Diverse, tasty and with a high dose of history: that’s Peruvian gastronomy. Its mouthwatering dishes are always served in generous portions and conquer even the most demanding of palates.
Would you like to prepare one of these dishes yourself? Here is a selection of five succulent recipes for you to prepare, enjoy and, why not, repeat.
Ají de gallina. According to the history books, this dish emerged in Peru during the 16th century, at the height of Spanish colonial rule.
To prepare it at home, first cook and shred a chicken breast. Meanwhile, soak four bread rolls in milk for five minutes. Set aside.
While you wait, heat a pot and fry a handful of finely chopped onion, together with 3 cloves of garlic and ½ cup of yellow ají pepper (both previously minced). Add this and the soaked bread mixture to a blender and blend until everything is smoothly mixed together. Add the shredded meat, a little salt, a dash of milk and a handful of pecans for flavor. Mix everything together and that's it. Serve with potato, rice and egg.
Papa a la huancaína. This fabulous stew is believed to have appeared in the 19th century in the department of Junín. It received this name because its creator bought potatoes in the Mantaro River valley, located in Huancayo.
To prepare it yourself, first blend the following ingredients: 5 yellow ají peppers (boiled and deveined), ½ cup of oil, 14 ounces of fresh cheese, a little milk, half a pack of crackers and salt. Finally, boil white potatoes and cut in half, before pouring the sauce over the top. Garnish with olives, eggs and lettuce.
Causa. This dish tastes like Independence. According to the history books, it was created in 1820 as a means of raising money for the Peruvian soldiers who, under the command of General José de San Martín, were fighting for the emancipation of Peru.
To prepare the Peruvian causa, first boil and mash around 2 pounds of yellow potatoes. Once ready, season them with salt, yellow ají pepper paste, oil and a little lemon juice.
Assemble the dish by alternating layers of potato, shredded chicken and mayonnaise, and avocado cut into pieces or a mix of vegetables. Seafood or tuna can also be used.
Tacu Tacu. This generous –and hearty– mixture of vegetables and leftover rice arose, as is often the case in Peru, as a result of cultural fusion during the colonial period.
Various scholars suggest that it would have been the slaves brought from Africa who were originally responsible for combining the leftover scraps of food. Seasoned with a little yellow ají pepper, the dish would become even more delicious.
To prepare Tacu Tacu at home, you should set aside 4 cups of cooked beans and 2 cups of rice leftover from the day before. On the following day, mix these two ingredients and put them aside. For the sauce, add a dash of olive oil to a pan and fry 1 finely chopped onion, 1 and a half tablespoons of yellow ají pepper paste, 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, 1 diced tomato, salt and pepper to taste. Finally, mix the rice and beans into the sauce, press into an oval shape, and brown in the pan. Serve the Tacu Tacu with a juicy steak or seafood sauce.
Creole soup. Since time immemorial, soup has nourished and warmed the souls of Peruvians. In winter, it is impossible not to crave a generous portion, with a boiled egg and some toast.
Do you want to make it right away? Alright. Follow these steps:
In a preheated pot with oil, sauté 1 chopped onion with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of minced garlic. Once this is ready, fry 1.3 pounds of ground beef seasoned with cumin. Then, add some Peruvian red pepper paste, 3 tablespoons of tomato paste and 1 tablespoon of dried oregano. Mix everything together.
Add 1 diced tomato and mix again. Then, add 5 cups of beef stock, along with some pepper and salt to taste. Mix once more and bring to a boil. Add the capellini pasta to the soup and stir. Wait for it to boil once again and finish with a dash of evaporated milk. Serve this delicacy with a poached or fried egg and toast.
Sources: La República/ Peru.com/ El comercio/ Wapa/ Red Bus.