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Bolivia - Humintas

Updated: Jun 15, 2021

Cheesy tamales!

Aneri's note: I haven't had the pleasure of visiting Bolivia. Bolivian cuisine is meat-heavy, but I found a couple vegetarian dishes. For example, quinoa is an indigenous ancient grain that is immensely popular. My friends who’ve been to Bolivia enjoyed visiting the salt flats.



Difficulty level (1-10): 6

Humintas are delicious vegetarian tamales that might be the best I’ve ever had!


Mozzarella or Farmers Cheese - 3 cups

Onion - 1 cup, diced

Coriander - 1 tsp

Garlic - 2 cloves, crushed

Corn meal - 1 cup

Corn - 6 cups

Heavy cream - 1/4 cup

Eggs - 2

Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp

Anise seeds - 1/2 tsp

Salt - 1 tsp

Chili powder - 1 tsp

Sugar - 1 tsp

1. Soak 12 large corn husks in warm water for at least 1 hour or until softened and easy to fold. (A plate placed on top of husks will help in keeping husks submerged.) Set aside remaining dry husks; they will be used later in recipe.

2. Place the corn kernels, 3 cups of cheese, diced onions, crushed garlic, ground coriander, corn meal, anise, cinnamon, cream, chili powder, eggs, and salt in the food processor, mix until the corn is pureed.

3. To fill each huminta, use 2 of the large corn husks per humita, place them on top of each other, fill it with a spoonful of the mixture (how much mixture will depend on the size of the husks, the larger the husks the more filling you can add) and stuff some of the remaining cheese in the middle. Pull the sides of the husks to meet in the middle and fold the top and bottom over. Make strips out of the dry husk and tie around the wrapper to keep it closed. Repeat with remaining dry husks and filling.

4. Place vegetable steamer in large pot; add water to just below steamer. Arrange tamales upright in steamer rack. Cover top of tamales with remaining dry husks and a damp towel; cover with lid. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Steam, adding water as needed, for about 30 to 45 minutes or until filling pulls away from the husks. Serve warm.

This recipe was influenced by the very best baking and laylita.


Want more veg recipes from Bolivia?

Try AJÍ DE LENTEJAS by Sharon123, a spicy lentil stew.

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