Guanimes are made with masa harina (corn flour), which you can find in most grocery stores. They are traditionally served alongside stewed salted codfish (bacalao); this vegetarian version features stewed eggplant and ajíes dulces, small peppers that resemble habaneros but are sweet, not hot. Read more about this recipe.

EatingWell Magazine, April 2021


Credit: Jenny Huang

Recipe Summary

45 mins
1 hr 30 mins


Berenjena Guisada


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare guanimes: Put a large pot of water on to boil.

  • Mix masa harina, broth, coconut milk, amaranth, honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Cut each banana leaf into a 6-inch square. Brush a leaf square with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Shape 1/4 cup of the dough into a 4-by-1-inch log and place on the leaf, leaving a 1-inch border on the bottom and sides, and a 4-inch border above it. Fold in the sides of the leaf. Fold the bottom of the leaf over the dough and roll up the guanime. Tie a piece of kitchen string around the bundle to secure it. (Alternatively, roll up the dough in the banana leaf square. Twist the ends to close and secure the ends with kitchen string.) Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling to make 12 guanimes.

  • Drop the guanimes into the boiling water and cook until the leaves start to pull away from the dough, about 45 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, to prepare berenjena guisada: Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, onion, ajíes dulces (or bell pepper), tomatoes, garlic and oregano; cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add broth, paprika, salt and pepper; bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the eggplant is tender, 10 to 15 minutes more. Stir in cilantro.

  • Drain the guanimes. Let stand until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Unwrap and serve with the stewed eggplant.

To make ahead

Assemble guanimes (Step 2) and refrigerate for up to 1 day.


Kitchen string


Amaranth (celosia) is a leafy plant that is cultivated for both its leaves and seeds. You can use the leaves as you would spinach, while the protein-packed seeds are often sold dried and can be cooked and prepared as a grain.

You can substitute cornhusks for banana leaves. Before using them, soak in hot water, weighted with a heavy plate or pan to keep them submerged, for 30 minutes. Drain.

Nutrition Facts

2 guanimes & 1 1/3 cups eggplant
463 calories; fat 24g; sodium 353mg; carbohydrates 60g; dietary fiber 12g; protein 9g; sugars 18g; niacin equivalents 4mg; saturated fat 9g; vitamin a iu 2409IU.