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Humintas, Cuzco’s Fresh Corn Tamales

Huminta a Delight of Cuzco (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

Humintas made from corn, a kind of tamale, are a traditional food in the Peruvian highlands. People from all our diverse communities know how to make them and love to cook them up when their season arrives.

The months of January, February, and March is when fresh corn is available, although this year climate change has pushed the season back to March, April, and May. The recipe we offer here stems from our ancestors. In recent years it is used all over and different ingredients have been added but the flavor is the same.

You can make you humintas to be either sweet or savory; though it is most recommendable you make them sweet. They make a good combination with coffee for breakfast or an afternoon snack, what we call lonche. The ingredients can easily be found and are relatively inexpensive. They are within the reach of any budget and the humintas are easily made. You just need to go through a few steps.

15 Humintas

The ingredients are as follows:

  • I kilo of kernels of fresh corn removed from cobs.
  • Lard
  • A handful of peeled Green broad beans.
  • Green Aniseed
  • ¼ kilo sugar
  • Fresh corn husks for wrapping the humintas
  • A few sticks of cinnamon
  • 10 eggs
  • Baking soda or Sodium bicarbonate

Preparation

Fresh Kernel For Sale to Make Humintas
Fresh Kernel For Sale to Make Humintas

First you should grind the kernels of corn together with the fresh aniseed and the hand-full of broadbeans. Then you add the eggs and lard. Kneed it gently until you obtain a uniform dough. Now add sugar, tasting the dough to make sure it is not too sweet, nor lacking in flavor.

Add the baking soda to finish the mixture. Choose the greenest husks in which to put the dough. With a large spoon put the dough into the husks and add a small shred of cinnamon. Cover with the husk and bake. In many cases they are steamed in pots or are made in our traditional fogones.

Remove the humintas and enjoy. You can accompany then with various hot drinks.

If you wish you can buy fresh humintas on Arequipa Street close to the Plaza de Armas as well as in the Three Cruces de Oro bus stop.

 

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