HALLACA The Hallaca or hayaca is a typical Venezuelan wrapped dish , it consists of a cake made with corn dough with the flavor of a chicken broth and which is colored with onoto (bija). It also has a filling with a stew of beef, pork and chicken or chicken (although there are versions that carry fish), to which olives, raisins, almonds, capers, paprika and onion are added, wrapped rectangularly in leaves. plantain or bijao (palm similar to that of the banana, although with a stronger texture), to finally be tied with wick or pita and boiled in water. It is a dish, which although it can be eaten at any time of the year, is more typical of the Christmas season.

The hayaca is traditional in Venezuela and also popular in Colombian cities close to Venezuela, such as Cúcuta and Barranquilla (where it can be found all year round), on the island of Curaçao and its neighboring Aruba and Bonaire, in the Canary Islands , in Spain and in Ecuador following the return of emigrants from Venezuela. In these places it has been adopted as one of its traditional dishes, especially at Christmas.

In Venezuela it is one of the national dishes, keeping a certain similarity in form and preparation with the tamales of other American countries, and in Venezuela the preparation of this Christmas dish is always carried out as a family, becoming used as an excuse to celebrate and share with friends and family.



[ hide ]

  • 6 Sources


  • Caraqueña. Slightly sweet, not only in the capital, but also in the states: Miranda, Aragua, Carabobo and Vargas. With cornmeal, lemon and Worcestershire sauce. To differentiate it from the rest, they add almonds to the ornament.

The table set to make the Venezuelan Hallacas on Christmas

  • Andean. In the states of Táchira, Mérida and Trujillo, chickpeas are incorporated in the preparation, a touch typical of the region. And there are those who put pieces of tomato without seed, so that they are like homemade sauce.
  • Llanera (Venezuela). It is common in the states of Barinas, Apure, Guárico, Cojedes and Portuguesa. Very similar to the water-filled Caracas, with fewer ingredients and a spicy touch.
  • Llanera (Colombia). This beech is prepared in the Eastern Plains, the Caribbean Coast and in the North of Santander.
  • Oriental. It is typical of the Venezuelan states Sucre, Anzoátegui, Monagas and Bolívar. Its main feature is the presence of potato wheels and hard-boiled eggs in the garnish, but this depends on each family.
  • Fish. It is one of the most popular variants of the traditional Christmas dish in eastern Venezuela (especially on the Isla de Margarita). The base is sea fish and the species to be used varies according to the taste of the area in which it is prepared.
  • Banana. It is a typical Zulia dish. Some claim that he was born exactly in Santa Bárbara del Zulia. It is characterized by the use of green plantain to make the dough. This results in a dark-colored, purplish, and slightly bitter flavoring, which enchants the inhabitants of that western state.
  • Angostureña. It is also called a dry hayaca and native to the western plains. The name is because the llaneros merchants used it as an airplane in their trips by river to Angostura, which in the 19th century was renamed Ciudad Bolívar. Its consistency is so firm that you can eat it with your hands without using any type of cutlery.

Traditional Venezuelan hallaca, unlike almost all Cuban tamales, takes a long time to prepare. Perhaps that is why it has remained mainly as a traditional Christmas meal. It takes three days to go through all the steps of your preparation. And all this is done as a family, of course, in these regions with a large female presence and very little male presence.

When the ingredients of the filling are mixed with the dough they are called buns of Hallaca (also called Christmas buns or simply buns). They may or may not have a touch of spice.



  • corn flour, 1 kilo
  • pepper, to taste
  • beef cow, 300 grams
  • onion, 2 units
  • pepper, 1 unit
  • panela, 250 grams
  • olive, 1/4 cup
  • clove, to taste
  • aromatic herbs, to taste
  • bananaleaf , to taste
  • oil or butter with annatto, 2 tablespoons
  • hen, 500 grams
  • pork, 300 grams
  • garlic, 1/2 head
  • chopped tomato, 1 cup
  • caper, 1/2 cup
  • pickledvegetables, 1/2 cup
  • cumin, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • cinnamon, to taste


Place the flour in a container and add the butter or oil with water and salt, or broth until obtaining a homogeneous mass. Form a ball and keep it covered.

To make the filling, cook the meats in a pot with water and salt until tender; drain and chop them into small pieces. Put the meats in the broth again and add the chopped onions, the crushed garlic, the minced pepper, the tomatoes, salt and cumin. Cook 20 minutes and add a ball of dough to thicken it. Add the grated panela, cinnamon and cloves and the rest of the ingredients, mixing well. Cook a few more minutes and let cool.

Spread a piece of banana leaf, place a portion of dough, as for an arepa and put 1 tablespoon of stew on it, cover with another portion of dough and wrap with the leaf forming the Halcaca and tie them with 3 passes of twine. Cook the Halcas in a pot for 1 hour.


  • Calories: HIGH
  • Concept: MASSES
  • Average cost
  • Difficulty: HIGH
  • Origin: VENEZUELA
  • Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Type: FIRST


Leave a Comment