Humita is a savory creamy corn chowder from the Andean countries: Perú, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. It is a traditional dish normally enjoyed during Lent and Easter, when the corn is ripe. The word “humita” comes from “jumint’a” – the name given by the Quechua people of the central Andes to a sweet corn bun, wrapped in cornhusks and cooked in water.
There are many different versions of humita. In Argentina’s Catamarca province for example, humita can be made with or without pumpkin. Slow Food Catamarca Convivium leader María Elena Ledesma Dall’Asta shares her recipe with us.
Ingredients (serves 6):
- 12 raw sweet yellow corn cobs, grated
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fat or oil
- 21oz. pumpkin, diced
- 1 tomato, chopped
- a small bundle of green onions
- pinch of salt
- pinch of sweet paprika
- pinch of red hot pepper
- pinch of cumin
- 2 cups milk
- 200g cheese Cremoso Argentino (similar to Crescenza, Taleggio or Bel Paese), optional
- 1 large pumpkin to serve, optional
- a bunch of fresh basil leaves, optional
Sauté the onion in oil until translucent then add the pumpkin, tomatoes and green onions. Season with salt, paprika, pepper and cumin, and add water until ingredients are just covered.
Simmer for 20 minutes until creamy, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add the corn and milk, and cook for 5 minutes more. Serve sprinkled with sweet paprika, if desired with a slice of cheese on top of the dishes and some chopped basil leaves.
You can also serve the humita in a baked pumpkin. Remove the top of a round pumpkin and put to one side. Dig enough space to fill with the humita. Bake until softened slightly. Remove from oven, fill it with the hot humita and cover again with the top of the pumpkin. Serve immediately.
This recipe comes from María Elena Ledesma Dall’Asta – a chef and Slow Food Catamarca Convivium leader from her book Catamarca Recipes by María Elena. You can find more of her recipes here or follow her on Facebook