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4 humintas on a wooden slab

Humintas (Bolivian Tamales)

Humintas, a Bolivian delicacy made from fresh corn, ground in a batán (a stone hand-mill), flavored with anise seeds and filled with cheese.
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Bolivian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 12
Calories 113kcal
Author Lizet Bowen


  • 4 ears of fresh corn with husk
  • 50 grams butter (1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of anise seeds
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (Holland cheese, or queso fresco)
  • Optional 1 tablespoon of ground chili


  • Carefully remove the husks from the corn and reserve them for the filling.
  • Remove the hair from the corn, peel it by hand and reserve the cob for cooking.
  • Grind the corn in a in a food processor. Place it in a bowl,d the sugar, salt and mix until everything is incorporated, then add the anise, melted butter and beat again until everything is incorporated. In the case that it is very liquid, the mixture can be strained a little, the consistency should be like a porridge.
  • Choose the largest husks and cut the thick part of these, until it can be fully stretched, then place one on top of the other intersecting the widest parts (the largest and widest husk should go underneath and the smallest on top), place the filling in the center and grated or diced cheese on top of the mixture.
  • The assembly of the Humita:
  • Bring the tips of the husks towards the center leaving a few centimeters to give space to the mixture, then fold the sides towards the center and finally tie with a strip of husk as well and adjust so that the mixture does not escape.
    filling Bolivian tamales
  • In a pot, place the cobs, fill with water until it boils, then place the humintas in the water face up to prevent the filling from escaping, place the remaining humintas on top of the water, without introducing them and boil for 40 - 60 min.


Once cool, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freeze for up to 2 months. Heat in the microwave before consuming.
Calories are an approximation. It depends a lot on the cheese you use and the corn.