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Preparing Hallacas with my mother

On this occasion, I have prepared a guide with which you can make a very traditional dish at Christmas in Venezuela: La Hallaca.The hallaca is one of the dishes preferred by Venezuelans in Christmas food, this meal is prepared as a family and is present at the table of Venezuelans throughout the month of December. The history of the hallaca goes back to the times of the colony, it is said that the slaves and indigenous servants only ate the mass of cooked corn, so they collected the leftovers of their oppressors to be able to take a slightly more balanced diet. Over the years, and thanks to miscegenation, the recipe for the current hallaca was reached.Venezuelans are very proud of this delicious dish, because it represents our history and idiosyncrasy, it is made as a family and for a special occasion such as the Christmas dinner, the recipe of the hallaca is divided into three parts:1) The stew.2) The mass.3) Preparation and cooking.

Ingredients (for approximately 50 units)

For the stew

1 Kg. Of finely chopped pork leg2 Kg. Of finely chopped beef2 Kg. Of boiled and chopped hen (without bones)½ Kg. Bacon cooked and finely chopped1 ½ kg of onions finely chopped into cubes½ kg of finely sliced garlic¼ Kg. Of finely chopped scallion¾ cup of peeled and crushed garlic½ cup of small capers1 Kg. Red paprika without seeds and julienne1 cup raisins¼ cup of finely chopped sweet pepper2/3 cup corn flourSaltPepperOil With Onoto

To decorate

1 Kg. Of paprika in julienne½ kg of bacon cooked in ½ cm strips. x 5 cm½ Kg. Of pork in strips of ½ cm. x 5 cm½ kg of boneless breasts in strips½ kg of onion in rings200 grs. of capers400 grs. of stuffed olives½ Kg. Raisins

To wrap

50 pieces of banana leaves about 30x30 cm.1 roll of wick

For the mass

2 ½ packets of corn flourOil or lard of pig3 cups of chicken broth2 cups of waterSaltOnoto seeds



In a large enough pot, fry all the vegetables, starting with the onion and garlic, and add each one of the vegetables. Until they are well cooked. Add the meats starting with the beef and pork, cook for 10 minutes, add the capers and raisins. Add the flour to thicken to taste. Cook without letting the stew dry for 30 to 40 minutes. The stew should be thick.


The mass of the hallaca must reach its characteristic deep yellow color, for this purpose it uses onoto's oil or through the lard of pig. When ready, it is added to the flour along with the chicken broth which will give it more flavor, water and salt. All this a large bowl to knead. The dough should be slightly watered.


Now ready the stew and the dough, it's time to go to the most magical moment of this recipe. Making or "Arming" the hallacas is a job that is done as a family, listening to music and sharing a great time. First you must have all the ornaments separated by containers, the banana leaves must be clean.To start, on the banana leaf rub (with your hand or a napkin) a little lard, then take a little dough and form a circle, then add the already cold stew and place the ornaments harmoniously distributed over it. Then fold over the wide part of the sheet, creating a fold until it is closed, fold the ends inward and wrap it with the smallest sheet, then take the sheet strip and secure the blade in the middle, tie it with a wick by crossing it two times in each direction.
When you have several ready hallacas introduce them in a large pot with boiling water for an hour, remove them and drain them, let them cool completely, and if possible wait a whole day to serve them so you can better appreciate their flavor. To heat them, put them in boiling water for 20 minutes, remove and drain them.
Definitely the hallaca is one of the most delicious dishes of Venezuelan cuisine, besides being a symbol of family unity and tradition in Venezuela. I hope you can make this rich preparation wherever you want to be, and so you can taste a little of the Venezuelan flavor.


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I fight for my life, give me a chance.

I write these words to vent my feelings. No one can stand in the shoes of others. I am currently without money to go to my cooking classes, from which I will obtain the title of executive chef. I'm without money, it's not because I do not work or work a little. It's because you do not live here, you survive here. The money from my work is not enough for me and I survive with my mothers and my brother with their salaries and mine, we can eat or take something to our mouths. I have ambition to offer my mother and my family a better life is what I crave the most. You know in spite of not having a refrigerator for more than 5 years, without a car, without a bigger social life, I'm still struggling to educate myself, to learn and to be a better person. I have done my calculations and to cover the expenses of the professional chef course I need $ 200, I really hope to get them. If you can help me, I will be very grateful. I'm not sick, I'm in good health, which allows me to go out to work but I only have enough to feed my family.
   6mo ago
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Some might use your recipe to make this, the only things I cook is pancakes (I like them with Nutella) and eggs, wait, I cooked a whole chicken once also, this was some 25 year ago :-)
   6mo ago