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  • Writer's pictureCecilia Tupac

Humitas Dulces de Choclo: Traditional Peruvian Sweet Corn Treat

How to make Peruvian Humitas Dulces

One of Peru's favourite sweet treats is the traditional "Humitas Dulces de Choclo" - sweet corn cakes wrapped in corn husks and steamed to perfection.

This Andean dish offers a choice of both sweet and savoury varieties, but today we'll be focusing on the delicious sweet version and showing you how you can prepare it in your own kitchen!

What are Peruvian Humitas Dulces?

Made from the large kernels of corn (choclo) grown in the Andes region, Humitas are made by grounding the corn with milk, butter and sugar until it becomes a thick, coarse paste. Packed with sweet raisons and flavoured with vanilla and cinnamon, these Humitas are then wrapped tightly in corn husks and steamed until tender.

Incredibly moist and aromatic, Humitas are a favourite of many Peruvians and are often enjoyed in family celebrations or as a delicious dessert.

History of Humitas

Sweet Humitas Recipe

Dating back many centuries, Humitas are a traditional dish with deep historical roots in the Andean region of South America, most notably in countries like Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. Deriving from the Quechua word "Humint’a", meaning a dish made from corn, there is substantial evidence that ancient civilisations prepared this dish hundreds of years ago.

Corn, or "Choclo", has long been regarded as a extremely important crop in Peru, not only as a vital food source but also having religious and cultural significance. Corn is used as a principal ingredient in a variety of different dishes, and the ancient idea of grinding the corn and mixing it with water or milk, and cooking it corn husks has gone largely unchanged.

As with many dishes, the recipe for Humitas developed over time, although it is believed that is believed that the sweet versions of this dish developed only following the Spanish invasion, who introduced dairy products and spices to the country.

Regional Variations of Humitas

Many countries boast having Humitas as part of their rich gastronomy, and each country used its own local ingredients to create regional variants of this dish. Here are some of the key differences of Humitas across the different countries:

  • Ecuador: Ecuadorian Humitas are typically savoury and can include cheese, eggs and cream. They're normally served for breakfast in the highland regions of the country, in cities such as Quito, Loja or Cuenca.

  • Chile: Made from humero corn, these savoury Humitas usually include basil and are often served with a tomato salad or pebre, a spicy salsa.

  • Brazil: Known as "Pamonha", both sweet and savoury versions are eaten in Brazil, most commonly in the North of the country.

How to make Humitas Dulces

Today, Humitas remain a beloved dish across the Andes and beyond. Learn how to make delicious-tasting Sweet Humitas by following the step-by-step process below:

  1. Prepare the Corn Husks: Place the corn husks in warm water, making them easier to work with.

  2. Grind and Blend the Corn: Remove the corn and add to a food processor or blender with evaporated milk. Add melted butter and continue to blend until you have the desired texture.

  3. Add the Ingredients: Place the mixture in a bowl and add baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla essence, white sugar, aniseed and raisons. Mix together well.

  4. Assemble the Humitas: Flatten the corn husks and place 3-4 spoonfuls of corn mixture in the centre. Fold the husk over the filling, using kitchen twine if necessary.

  5. Steam the Humitas: In an Instant pot, pressure cooker or large steamer, steam until cooked through.

  6. Serve: Leave to cool slightly and enjoy!

Sweet Humitas Peruvian Recipe

Ready to make your Humitas? Dive into the recipe video below.

Peruvian Sweet Humita Ingredients

  • 6 to 7 pieces of corn

  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder

  • 1 teaspoon of clove powder

  • 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter

  • 100 g of sugar (to taste)

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)

  • A splash of evaporated milk

  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon anise

  • Raisins to taste

  • Tamale flour to taste (optional for those living abroad outside of Peru)


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