Recipe for traditional Venezuelan Hallacas

Venezuelan recipes

Meat and poultry




An Hayaca or Hallaca is a type of tamale wrapped in banana leaf with a dough prepared with corn flour that is filled with pitted olives, raisins, capers, and meat stew. Steamed, it is a traditional Venezuelan Christmas dish. With this recipe we teach you how to prepare this delicacy that is the result of combining various ingredients and flavors.

Ingredients Preparation Share



For the hallacas stuffing stew

  • 1 lemon 203
  • 0.5 kg of 205
  • 0.5 kg of 99
  • 1 kg of 147
  • 1 cup of 203
  • 8 crushed 205
  • 2 onion brunches 177
  • 1 tablespoon of 348
  • 0.5 cup of of Capers jar
  • 0.5 cups of of Perdigon Olives
  • 0.5 cups of chopped pickles
  • 3 tablespoons of of Panela Redonda
  • 1 cup of veal broth (beef)
  • 1 cup of sweet wine
  • 0.5 cups of finely chopped parsley
  • 1 spoon of paprika

For the hallaca's dough

  • 1.5 kg of of White Masarepa
  • 1 tablespoon of achiote paste
  • 12 cups of chicken broth not very hot

To decorate

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 white onions
  • 0.5 cups of of Capers jar
  • 1 cup of of Perdigon Olives
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts (optional)
  • 0.5 cups of of Sultanas
  • 0.5 cups of drained pickles (optional)

For the hallaca's wrapping

  • 4 packages of of Banana leaf
  • 1 roll of wick thread (to tie the hallacas)
  • 0.5 cups of oat oil or 3 tablespoons of achiote paste
  • 1 spoon of salt
  • 1 pot with water to boil


Stew or stuffing of the hallacas: 

  1. Wash the veal, dry and set aside. Wash the pork and dip it in lemon juice for about 10 minutes, rinse and set aside in a colander. 
  2. In a large pot, prepare the dressing: putt he achiote paste or the onoted oil, place the garlic and onions sauteing for several minutes while adding the sweet pepper and paprika, once mixed, remove to one side. The por, already empty, put on high heat and seal the pork repeating this with the other meats.   
  3. In a pot putt he dressing prepared before with all the meats, the paprika, add the corn flour, the tomato, panela, olives, the beef stock and the wine, mix well all the ingredients and cook on low heat for approximately 80 minutes. Let stand two hours. Remove the bones from the ribs. Cut all the meats into cubes- It is not recommended to add salt to this stew because of the salt capers have, however it is optional to add or not to add. 

Preparation of the hallaca´s dough:

  1. In a large container add ten cups of chicken broth and putt he precooked corn flour, knead it with both hands. Add the annatto paste or oatmeal oil until it reaches a homogeneous consistency or if needed add more chicken broth. 
  2. Place the dough on a flat Surface and continue kneading, if it sticks to your hands add corn flour until it doesn´t stick. Make 20 balls of similar size and place them aside covered with a tablecloth or napkins until they are assembled.  

Preparation of the decoration for the hallacas: 

  1. Cut the onion into thin slices, cut the pepper and remove it´s seeds.
  2. Shred the chicken breast into about 20 large pieces.
  3. Drain or train the capers, olives and pickles. 
  4. Reserve everything aside. 

Preparation for assembling and wrapping the hallacas:

  1. Wash the banana leaves and dry them with a cloth, cut the leaves in equal parts or approximately half twenty cm son each side and other a bit smaller.  
  2. Take a piece of the leaf, smear your hands with the oil, place a ball of dough on the leaf with your fingers, spreading the dough about 3 to 4 mm thick. 
  3. In the center of the dough, put three large tablespoons of the prepared stew, a Wheel of onion and another paprika, two olives, two capers, two raisins and a few small pieces of chicken. 
  4. Join the two ends of the leaves and keep the hallaca suspended on its own weight to ensure that the fillings and the stew are in the center of the dough, you can then carefully roll the sheet so that it is tight. 
  5. Cut some small and elongated pieces of leaf so that it serves to fasten the previously rolled hallaca, do it in the opposite direction to the wrapping of step 4. Place the wick thread as a belt and tie it with three turns at the ends. Repeat this with the 20 spheres. Set aside the wrapped hallacas. 
  6. In a large pot, pour water until it is covered halfway and add a handful of salt until it boils, place the hallacas and cover for 45 minutes. 
  7. Remove with a large spoon and let them drain until they are cool. They are ready to eat. If you wish, you can refrigerate the hallacas for up to a week. 

We hope you can cook successfully this recipe and enjoy it as a delicious and traditional new years eve dinner. You can find every ingredient in stores. 




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