Humita

Humita (pronounced u-mee-tah) is a native south American dish eaten throughout Argentina, Chile, Peru, Boliva and Ecuador. In Argentina, it is an extremely popular native dish eaten during our patriotic festivities and winter time.

The name comes from the Quechua name for this dish – humint’a and it is dish based on corn. Traditionally this dish can made by cooking the corn wrapped in its husk however I am making humita a la olla (humita in a pan!)

Humita is one of my most favourite Argentine dish. It is warm, comforting, spicy, mildly sweet. I also love the fact that although most people associate Argentina with steak, this native dish is 100% Vegan (without the mozzarella)!

Method

This recipe makes very generous portions for 2-3. It can easily be multiplied if you are cooking for more!

Ingredients

For the humita:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 onions- finely chopped
  • 2 pieces of spring onion – finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper – chopped
  • 6 grated corn on the cobs (Do not throw away the empty cob)
  • 500g grated butternut squash (roughly half a butternut squash)
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika (you can add more or less depending on your taste buds)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp hot chilli (add more or less depending on your taste!)
  • 2 litre of water in a clean bowl
  • salt and pepper
  • mozzarella (optional)

For the aji frito (spicy salsa):

  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • good pinch of salt
  • pinch of cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 -1/2 tsp hot chilli (depending on your taste buds!)
  • 4 chopped spring onions (including both green and white parts)

Instructions

  1. Grate all the corn on the cobs and butternut squash. You need the grated corn on the cobs to be creamy so it is best to grate the fresh corn on the cobs.
  2. Place each empty cob in the bowl of water and clean the cobs to remove any excess corn. Keep the water as this will be used!
  3. Start heating the olive oil in a large pan and when hot, add the chopped white onion, spring onion and red peppers.
  4. Whilst the onions and red peppers are cooking, add a good pinch of salt and continue to mix until it is cooked.
  5. To this add the cumin, paprika and hot chilli. You can start by adding less and once the humita is cooking, you can taste and add more paprika or chilli if needed.
  6. When well mixed, add all the grated corn to the vegetable mix and ensure you mix well. Add roughly 100ml of the corn water you kept aside and continue to stir so the corn does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  7. Cook the humita for 10 minutes continuously stirring. If the humita is becoming too dry at any time, add more corn water as needed.
  8. When the humita has boiled and cooked for 10 minutes, add the grated butternut squash and mix well.
  9. Continue to stir, reduce the heat and cook for a further 20 minutes until the humita is creamy and both butternut squash and corn are cooked. If you have added more corn water, you will need to cook for longer so the water evaporates.
  10. Whilst the humita is cooking, start making your aji frito (spicy salsa) which only takes a few minutes. In a separate pan, start heating the olive oil. Cook the half chopped white onion in the oil for a couple of minutes. To this, add good pinch of salt, paprika, pinch of cumin and chilli (if using). Stir well and add the chopped spring onion. Mix all well and remove from the heat.
  11. When the humita is ready, serve with the aji frito (spicy salsa) and lots of mozzarella (vegan mozzarella if needed)
  12. Enjoy!! ๐Ÿ™‚

This recipe is very dear to me as humita is an absolute South American classic which is not known too much in the UK (yet!). I hope you have a go at making a very different but super delicious dish!

Buen provecho! ๐Ÿ™‚

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