Known as "the bread of the Incas", humitas is a traditional food enjoyed throughout South America and a delicacy that dates back to pre-Hispanic times. Nowadays, there are many variations to the traditional way to prepare humitas. This is just one of those recipes.






Skill level

Average: 4.2 (7 votes)


  • 4–5 corn cobs
  • 2–3 garlic cloves
  • 125 ml (½ cup) evaporated milk
  • 250 g pre-cooked cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 medium bunch coriander, chopped
  • 200 g lard
  • 2 medium-large red onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ cup aji (chilli) paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 230 g goat’s feta, white sheep’s milk cheese or cream cheese, crumbled

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Peel and reserve husks from the corn cobs. Remove and discard the silks.

Cook the corn husks in boiling water for 5 minutes or until soft. Drain.

Meanwhile, slice the corn kernels from the cobs. You need 500 g kernels for this recipe.

Place the corn kernels, garlic and evaporated milk in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Place in a bowl and stir in the cornmeal, baking powder and coriander.

Heat the lard in a wok or large frying pan. Cook the onion until soft. Add the cumin and aji paste and cook for 2–3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add the corn mixture and cook for another 3–4 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool slightly and stir in the cheese. Stand until cool.

Lay 2 corn husks flat on a work surface, slightly overlapping, with wider edges lined up. Place 2–3 tbsp of corn mixture on husks. Fold one side of husk over corn mixture.

Fold pointy end of husks down and tuck in while folding other side over and wrapping them. Tear a few softened husks into thin strips and use to secure humitas.

Place humitas in a steamer and steam for 20–25 minutes, adding water if necessary to prevent pot from boiling dry. Cool slightly and serve.