Humintas – Bolivian Style Tamales

Humintas (Oomeantas) are a kind of Bolivian tamale without any filling. They can be cooked by steaming or in the oven. This recipe is for steamed humintas. However, you can go ahead and place the corn into a buttered oven proof dish, top it with sliced white cheese and bake it until you have a kind of corn bread. That would be the easiest and fastest way to prepare these. Although steaming them requires more work the final result is a small, moist tamale loaded with flavor. Here is what you need to make these for 4 people:

8 large ears of corn
1 cup grated white cheese (Farmers, Panela, Cotija)
2 tablespoons melted vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon aniseed
1 teaspoon salt

Peel the corn and keep the husks aside. Cut the corn off of the cob into a large bowl. Place the corn into a blender or food processor by batches. Add a little milk – and I mean a little milk – to blend the corn until it is smooth and milky. Empty into a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Go through the corn husks and choose the least damaged ones. Cut the tip of the leaves into a cone shape like this:

Corn Husk

Place one husk over the other like this:

Layered Husks

Place two heaping spoons of the corn mixture into one of the husks like this:

Filling the Husks

Fold the corners of the husks like this:

Folding the Husks

Wrap the huminta like this:

Wrapping th Huminta

Tie the bundle with a little piece of husk like this:

Tying the Huminta

Place the humintas in a double boiler – or a pot with very little water – and add an extra teaspoon of aniseseed on top. Steam them for 30 to 35 minutes. Serve with a nice cup of coffee or for lunch with a side salad. Enjoy!

Steamed Humintas

Print the Bolivian Humintas Recipe Here

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