Hallacas Venezolanas recipe – how to make it the traditional way

Hallacas Venezolanas

What are Hallacas Venezolanas? Hallacas Venezolanas are a traditional food that represents Christmas in Venezuela, especially around the states of Miranda and Vargas where they originated. Hallacas are made by stuffing corn dough with different ingredients, like ground meat or chicken, and olives among others. Then the dough is wrapped with banana leaves or parchment paper and boiled to get it cooked thoroughly. Hallacas Venezolanas also have cheese inside, which makes them even tastier!

  1. Description
  2. Recipe
  3. Ingredients
  4. Video Guide
  5. Pictures

One of the top 10 Venezuelan dishes you should try, Hallacas Venezolanas recipe is a cultural symbol in Venezuela and making it can be tricky unless you know what you are doing. Many people who want to try cooking Hallacas Venezolanas are not sure where to start. That’s why I decided to create this guide which will show you how to make it correctly using the authentic ingredients and techniques used in Venezuela since colonial times. If you want to learn how to make this delicious dish, keep reading and don’t forget to watch the video at the end!

What is Hallacas Venezolanas – The Venezuelan Tamales?

Hallaca is a type of tamal from Venezuela. It’s created with maize dough and stuffed with a beef, pork, or chicken broth, as well as raisins, capers, and olives. Hallacas venezolanas, also known as hayaca or hayaca, are tamale-like dishes made of maize bread and filled with pork stew, olives, raisins, capers, and other seasonings. After being wrapped in banana leaves, they are steamed.

Hallacas Venezolanas, or Hallacas for short, are a traditional Venezuelan Christmas food. The dish is normally cooked a few days before Christmas with a lot of love and care. It is a huge dish made up of several components that are baked in a large pot.

To prepare hallacas venezolanas, you’ll need achiote oil for the meat filling-guiso and the dought-masa. Onoto, achiote, and annatto are the most popular food colorings in Latin America! It adds color as well as a delicious nutty, sweet, and earthy flavor to your food. However, because of its powerful flavor, it should be used sparingly.

The banana leaves are required for the making of hallacas since they give the hallacas their distinct smokey flavor. Throughout the month of December, hallacas are eaten as a lunch or dinner, either alone or with bread, cornmeal, or other grains.

Recipe Facts

Hallacas Venezolanas recipe

Recipe: Hallacas Venezolanas Recipe
Category: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: LHH Food
Preparation Time:
Cooking time:
Ingredients: Ingredients list
Instructions: See recipe
Servings: 30
Average rating: 4.9 of 5.0 from 812 reviews
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About: Hallacas Venezolanas recipe guide. Hallacas are Venezuelan tamales.

Hallacas Venezolanas Ingredients List

Hallacas Venezolanas ingredients For the oil:

  • 2 cups of oil
  • ¼ cup of onoto grains (achiote, annatto, colored seeds)
  • 10 garlic with shell

For Hallas stew and stuffings:

  • 1 kg of beef minced in cubes
  • ½ kg of diced pork can be leg or loin
  • ½ kg of chopped pork ribs
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup oat oil (colored oil)
  • 1 ½ cups white onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup chives, sliced
  • 10 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup diced tomato not so ripe
  • ½ cup finely chopped sweet pepper
  • ¼ cup of capers drained
  • ¼ cup pitted green olives
  • ½ cup pickles, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of grated papelón (panela, piloncillo, chanchaca)
  • ½ cup minced parsley
  • 1 cucharada the bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 cup of beef broth
  • 1 cup of sweet wine optional

For Hallas mass:

  • 1 ½ kg of precooked cornmeal preferably yellow color
  • 1 cup of onotato oil
  • 12 cups warm chicken broth

For Hallas decorations:

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 white onions
  • ½ cup of capers 2 per sacaca
  • 1 cup of olive 1 per sacaca
  • ¾ cups of seedless raisins 3 per sacaca
  • ¼ cup pickles, drained optional
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts optional

For Hallas assembling and wrapping

  • 4 kilos of banana leaves
  • 1 roll of hilo pabilo
  • ¾ cup of oat oil
  • A handful of salt
  • Enough water to boil

Hallacas Venezolanas recipe step by step

Oil or colored oil preparations:

  1. In a small pot, lightly smash the garlic and blend with the oil and onoto beans.
  2. In the kitchen, bring to a boil for a few minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it cool.
  4. Once the grains have reached room temperature, strain them out and discard them.
  5. Keep the oil onoted because you’ll use it several times during the Hallas preparation.

Stew or stuffing of the Hallas:

  1. Place the pork in the same pot and seal it over high heat, then remove it and set aside with the dressings. Repeat with the beef and ribs.
  2. Return all of the meats and the dressings to the saucepan, together with the remaining ingredients: tomato, papelón, olives, paprika, cornmeal, beef broth, and wine. Mix all of the ingredients together using a spoon, preferably a wooden one, and cook for around 90 minutes on low heat.
  3. Finally, add the capers, parsley, and pickles and cook, stirring occasionally, until the stew is fully dry.
  4. When the stew is done, set aside for two hours to rest.
  5. Once the bones from the pork ribs have been gently removed, the stew will be ready.
  6. It’s worth mentioning that the stew isn’t seasoned; the salt from the olives and capers should suffice in most cases.
  7. Taste it when it’s done and adjust the salt if required.

Making the hallacas dough:

  1. In a very large container or platter, add 10 cups of the chicken broth, and slowly add the precooked cornmeal; if possible do it with the help of another person, which will allow you to knead with both hands.
  2. Knead in the oat oil until the dough is smooth and uniform in consistency. If required, add the remaining two cups of broth in a slow, steady stream.
  3. Continue kneading the dough on a level surface; if it remains sticky, add additional cornmeal until it no longer sticks to the surface.
  4. Once the dough has acquired the necessary consistency, roll it into twenty balls of similar size and keep them covered on a plate until the stalks are finished.

Decorating the Hallas:

  1. After peeling the onion, cut it into thin slices.
  2. Remove the paprika’s veins and seeds before slicing it into thin slices.
  3. Cut the chicken breast into about twenty pieces using a coarse knife.
  4. All of the capers, olives, and pickles should be drained.
  5. All of the decorations should be saved until the Hallas assembly.

Assembling and wrapping:

  1. The leaves should be properly washed and dried under running water. Based on their size, the leaves must be separated into three pieces. In the larger ones, the dough will be placed. The narrowest girdles will be utilized as lining, while the medium girdles will be used as outerwear. Place the leaves on a large counter with the rest of the ingredients, which should be maintained in separate containers: the stew, the decorations, the dumplings, and the spilled oil.
  2. Place a large leaf on top, then spread a ball of dough on top, flattening and spreading it out with your fingers until you have a 3 mm thick circle of dough.
  3. Three tablespoons of stew, an onion wheel, a paprika wheel, two capers, an olive, two raisins, and a piece of chicken go in the center of the dough.
  4. Pick take the two ends of the sheet with one hand and carefully pull them together. By suspending the Halva above its own weight with the stew and ingredients in the center, roll it until it is tight enough.
  5. Wrap a girdle around your waist and hold the two sheets in reverse while holding the two ends of the sheet in place.
  6. Finally, do three twists in both directions with wick and knot a sash as a belt.
  7. In a reasonably large pot, combine half the water and a handful of salt.
  8. Carefully remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.
  9. The Hallas can be kept for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Hallacas Venezolanas pictures

Homemade Hallacas VenezolanasHow to make hallacas venezolanasHallacas Venezolanas food

Recipe Video

Video Title: How to make Hallacas Venezolanas

Learn how to make hallacas venezolanas. Hallacas are Venezuelan tamales. This is a video on how to prepare fantastic hallacas venezolanas.


If you want to make Hallacas Venezolanas the traditional way, there are several steps you must follow and ingredients you need to prepare. Luckily, the process isn’t too complicated and you can still enjoy a tasty treat in no time! The main ingredient in Hallacas Venezolanas is what makes them so special – corn dough called masa. To make this traditional Venezuelan pastry, you will need these Ingredients and just follow this Recipe each steps, Video guide is available as well and Pictures.

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