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Peruvian Causa de Pollo (by a Peruvian chef)

Peruvian causa de pollo is my favorite. It’s made fairly simply and it feeds a number of individuals. The bottom primarily has Peruvian yellow potato and ají amarillo (yellow chilli) paste. It’s crammed with shredded rooster and mayo in addition to avocado. On this submit, I’ll take you thru the right way to make Peruvian causa in order that it’s good. I may also present steering on Peruvian substances and the right way to work round not accessing them.

What’s Peruvian Causa?

A Peruvian Causa or Causa limeña (from Lima) is a Peruvian dish manufactured from layers of mashed potato and crammed with rooster, tuna or different extra fashionable alternate options. The substances for Peruvian causa are primarily Peruvian yellow potatoes and ají amarillo paste (Peruvian yellow chilli). It’s the yellow chillies that deliver a scrumptious and sophisticated flavour to the dish, but it’s not spicy. For the mashed potatoes we additionally add a little bit of oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. The filling to the Peruvian Causa de Pollo is shredded rooster and mayonnaise that lays on a layer of sliced avocado. In different recipes, you can see that in addition they layer hard-boiled eggs and sliced tomatoes. Each family does it in a different way and I believe there’s magnificence in that!

What’s the origin of the Causa?

In accordance with the historian Rodolfo Tafur, the phrase “causa” comes from the quechua phrase kausay/kawsay. This phrase means “life” in quechua. The dish known as kausay consisted of sliced boiled potatoes with sliced ají amarillo, each typical Andean crops. After that, the story turns into blurry as a result of there are completely different variations of how that grew to become the Peruvian Causa we all know right now or not less than a better model of it.

Some variations say that it was in colonial occasions that the Spanish conquistadors took the concept and modified it. Others assume that it was really a girl in Lima who invented this model. It’s stated it occurred when she was confronted with the problem of feeding a battalion celebrating Peru’s independence. Lastly, one other model claims that Peruvian Causa got here to be throughout the Warfare of the Pacific. Throughout that point provides had been scarce and so the story goes that due to it, low cost substances like potatoes and chillies had been used to feed the troopers. On this final model, it’s stated that the dish known as “Causa” (“trigger” in Spanish) as a result of it was in favour of the reason for profitable the battle. Regardless of the model you like, the fact is that this Peruvian Causa is one among Peru’s most necessary dishes to at the present time.

How you can make Peruvian Causa

Peruvian Causa is first made by cooking Peruvian yellow potato in water after which puréeing it utilizing a potato ricer. When you don’t have entry to this scrumptious potato since you dwell outdoors of Peru, you should utilize Yukon Gold or Russet. Outdoors of Peru, you possibly can typically discover recent Peruvian yellow potatoes or typically they’re offered peeled and frozen. Search for Peruvian or Latinx shops in your space. If you find yourself utilizing Russet potatoes, it’s greatest that you just prepare dinner these within the oven like we do in my mashed potatoes recipe. This achieves a drier texture, just like the yellow potatoes. To this mash potatoes we then add the ají amarillo paste, oil, lime juice, salt and pepper.

For the meeting, you might have two choices. The primary is to make particular person parts utilizing a hoop or ramekin like I did on the Youtube video for this Peruvian Causa de Pollo recipe. The second possibility and the one usually utilized in Peruvian households is to make an oblong or sq. pan of Causa. To serve you simply slice items, identical to a lasagna. To assemble the dish you’ll lay the primary half of the potato, then the sliced avocado adopted by the rooster and the remainder of the potato to complete. Don’t neglect to season your avocados. When you’ll be turning it over onto a plate, it helps to line the pan first with baking paper or cling movie. I used a rectangular pan that measures 22x11cm/8x4in for mine.

Slice of Peruvian causa de Pollo with layers of potato, avocado and chicken

Ají amarillo outdoors of Peru

One of many foremost substances in Peruvian causa is ají amarillo or yellow chilli. You could find ají amarillo in 4 variations: recent, frozen, in a paste and powder. Right here I exploit recent which leads to an virtually non-existent spicy stage however the flavour is at all times off the charts with this chilli. I reduce it in half lengthwise, take away the seeds and veins and boil it. Boiling it removes extra of the spiciness and likewise permits me to peel it. Then I mix it and the ají amarillo paste is able to use within the Peruvian Causa de Pollo. When you discover frozen complete ají amarillo, you are able to do the identical factor nevertheless it tends to have a spicier end result. I assume that when it thaws, the spicy from the seeds and veins permeate the chilli’s flesh, however I don’t have scientific proof, lol.

When you purchase ready-made ají amarillo paste and even powder, it’s very seemingly it is going to be (very) spicy. It is because they have a tendency to mix the entire chilli to make it, seeds included. Recently, I’ve observed that in Perú manufacturers have began to provide non-spicy pastes however I haven’t seen them outdoors of Peru but. On this case, add a little bit of store-bought paste at a time to the potatoes and style the way it’s doing relying in your spiciness tolerance. It received’t style the identical with much less paste, however after we are outdoors of Peru and miss Peruvian Causa, it’s higher than nothing. Powdered ají amarillo is a bit completely different in flavour, extra just like ají mirasol and likewise spicy. However once more, if it’s what you may get your palms on, you should utilize it.

Closeup of rectangular Peruvian causa de Pollo with layers of potato, avocado and chicken

Peruvian Causa de Pollo

Peruvian Causa de Pollo (crammed with rooster) is unquestionably my favorite. I’ve nothing in opposition to tuna Causa, however I’m usually not so appropriate with the uncooked onion that’s usually combined into that filling. This Causa de Pollo is what we’d eat at house in Lima, perhaps that’s additionally why I’ve additional love for it. Nothing compares to that filling of rooster and avocado. I might eat an infinite quantity of parts. The opposite advantageous factor is that as a result of it’s a chilly dish, it’s good for decent months. Now that you understand how to make causa, you’ll be capable of make it at house, too.

What do you serve causa with?

I get this query each occasionally. Individuals ask me in the event you serve causa after which one thing else on the facet. I’d say that causa is a standalone dish and doesn’t want a facet. Consider how Peruvian causa is made and the substances of causa. In the identical dish, you have already got potato, avocado and rooster. To garnish, I at all times use quail eggs that are cute and scrumptious. I additionally add just a few leaves for color. Some individuals additionally add tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs and olives. It can depend upon what you want, nevertheless it’s plain {that a} attractive causa by no means fails to impress.

Cross section of Peruvian causa de Pollo with layers of potato, avocado and chicken

Peruvian Causa de Pollo

Peruvian causa de pollo is my favorite. It is made fairly simply and it feeds a number of individuals. The bottom primarily has Peruvian yellow potato and ají amarillo (yellow chilli) paste.


Course: Appetizer, Major Course, Starter

Delicacies: peruvian

Key phrase: aji amarillo, causa, rooster, chilli, pollo, potato

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook dinner Time: 1 hour

Whole Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Servings: 6 individuals in a 21x13cm / 8x4in pan

Creator: Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal


For the yellow chilli paste*

  • 250 g Peruvian yellow chilli recent or frozen

For the potato base

  • 500 g Peruvian yellow potato or Yukon gold potatoes or russet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 90 g yellow chilli paste from above
  • salt and pepper to style

For the rooster layer

  • 250 g rooster breast
  • 6 tbsp mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to style

For the avocado

  • 2 avocados sliced
  • Salt and pepper to style

To garnish

  • Laborious-boiled quail eggs
  • Child rocket leaves


Yellow chilli paste

  • Lower off the top of the chillies and reduce them in half lengthwise.

  • Utilizing a small knife, take away the seeds and veins.

  • Place a pot with chilly water and boil for 10-15min or till you possibly can simply peel the pores and skin off. It is best to be capable of rub the pores and skin at a nook and it ought to simply peel by pulling.

  • Take away the chillies from the water, peel and mix. In case your blender wants a little bit of liquid, add a drizzle of vegetable oil, simply the minimal quantity to assist your blender.

  • Reserve what you want for the recipe and you may freeze the remainder for as much as 6 months.

For the potato base

  • When you’re utilizing Peruvian yellow potatoes (superb) or Yukon Gold then peel them and take away the eyes. Cook dinner in salted chilly water over medium warmth. Do not let it go on to a rolling boil or the surface will disintegrate earlier than the centre cooks. We take them out as soon as you possibly can simply pierce them with a knife. Do not allow them to overcook or they are going to begin to disintegrate. When you’re utilizing one other kind of potato similar to Russet, prepare dinner it within the oven with the pores and skin on at 200°C/400°F for 1 hour – 1.5 hours or till actually tender. We do it this fashion so the ultimate product is as dry because the yellow potato.
  • Go the potato via a potato ricer whereas it is nonetheless sizzling (it will get powerful when it is chilly!).

  • Add all the opposite substances and blend till homogeneous. Style and regulate the salt stage if needed.

For the rooster layer

  • Place the rooster in a pot with chilly, salted water. Let it come to a boil over medium-low warmth. Do not let it come to a rolling boil or the meat might turn out to be powerful. Cook dinner it for 15-20min from the second it begins to boil. It should not be pink in the event you reduce into it. Take away it from the water and shred it.

  • Combine the rooster with the mayonnaise, salt and pepper.


  • Line a 21x13cm/8x4in pan with cling movie or baking paper. You may also use particular person rings.

  • Flatten half of the potato combine on the bottom.

  • On prime, layer the avocados and season with salt and pepper.

  • Then, make a layer with the rooster and flatten it.

  • End with one other layer of potato. Cowl in cling movie and refrigerate for not less than 2 hours if you are going to unmould it onto a plate.

  • Garnish on prime nevertheless you want. I used quail eggs and child rocket leaves.



*You possibly can change this with the store-bought model (normally simply discovered on-line) and the distinction is that store-bought is spicy however the home made model is just not.



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