Causa (Peruvian Potato Dish)


The main dish that D’nis shared in the South Arm Multicultural Community Kitchen is a Peruvian Potato Dish called Causa.

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Here is what D’nis shared with us about her country of origin:

Peru is a country located in South America, with a population of 29 million. It has a democratic government. The area covers 1,285,216 km square. Peru borders Ecuador and Columbia to the north, Brazil to the east, Bolivia to the south-east and Chile to the south. On the west is the Pacific Ocean with 3,000 km of coast. Peru in area is about 20 percent larger than British Columbia and has about 30 million inhabitants. Peru became an independent country in 1821, many years before Canada.

The geography varies from arid plains of the Pacific coast to the peaks of the Andes Mountains and the tropical forests of the Amazon basin.

The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant of Peruvians speak Quechua or native languages. The mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide variety of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature and music.

Potatoes, tomatoes and corn are originally from the Andes, a gift to the world. Peru has more than 3,000 varieties of potatoes.

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The above dish is called Causa Rellena con Atun/Palta/Huevo Duro which is Yellow Potatoes with Tuna, Avocado and Hard Boiled Eggs. The name Causa comes from the Incan Quechuan word “Kausaq”, meaning “that which gives life”. During the colonial period in Peru, the newly arrived Spaniards adapted many of the native food and combined them with the food they brought from Europe, creating the distinctive Peruvian cuisine that exists today. Causa is one of these hybrid dishes: a combination of the ancient potato, avocado and aji amarillo that are all native to Peru, and the lime and garlic  imported from Europe. Hearty yet refreshing, cool yet mildly picante, Causa is an intriguing mix of the abundant flavours found in the region.

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Ingredients

  • 8 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 to 3 pounds)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
  • 2 can tuna, drained
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chili paste to taste
  • parsley for garnishing

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Peru is famous throughout South America for its food. As a major fishing nation, fish is abundant. The primary ingredients found in nearly every Peruvian dish are rice, potatoes, pork, lamb, and fish. Most of these meals include one of the different kinds of aji, or Peruvian hot pepper. The main variety are yellow aji pepper, red aji pepper and red rocoto pepper.

Chicken, pork and lamb were introduced to Peru 500 years ago, when Spaniards came to America. Other ingredients, like potatoes, were already being grow in the Peruvian Andes and were taken by the Spaniards back to Europe.

Today, more than 200 varieties of potatoes can be found in the Lake Titicaca area. They range in color from purple to blue, from yellow to brown. Sizes and textures vary as well. Some are smalls as nuts, others can be as large as oranges.

Source: D’nis


Instructions

Causa-Peruvian-Potato-Dish-3D’nis brought along some of her kitchen tools for this demonstration. Both the metal egg  slicer and lime juicer had been with her over 40 years.
Causa-Peruvian-Potato-Dish-4Prick the eggs and hard boil them. Pricking the egg helps to prevent the egg from cracking.Run the hard boiled eggs under cold running water so that they can be cooled down quickly for peeling.
Causa-Peruvian-Potato-Dish-15Slice the egg with the egg slicer.If you slice the egg twice in different direction, you’ll get chopped eggs.
Causa-Peruvian-Potato-Dish-17Cut the avocado into halves. Remove the stone. Slice the avocado with the peel on, without cutting through the peel.Use a spoon to scoop out the sliced avocado to a plate. Drizzle with some lime juice to prevent discoloration.
Causa-Peruvian-Potato-Dish-26Drain the tuna. Season the tuna with some homemade mayonnaise, salt and pepper to taste.
Causa-Peruvian-Potato-Dish-19Peel the Yukon potatoes and cut into quarters.Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain.
Causa-Peruvian-Potato-Dish-21Mash the potatoes with a potato mashers.Add some oil and lime juice to the mash potatoes.

Add chili aji sauce to taste.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Causa-Peruvian-Potato-Dish-1The aji sauce can be purchased from some specialty stores only. You can substitute with other hot sauce like sriracha hot chili sauce or you can make your own chili paste with the following recipe:Remove the seeds from the chili peppers. Saute the chili peppers in vegetable oil with some garlic until softened. Place them in a food processor or blender, along with the juice of the 3 limes, and salt and pepper to taste. Process until smooth.
Causa-Peruvian-Potato-Dish-28On a plate, shape half of the mashed potatoes into a rectangle or whatever shape of the plate is.Top with tuna.

Layer with slices of avocado.

Causa-Peruvian-Potato-Dish-29Top with hard boiled eggs. Drizzle with some homemade mayonnaise.
Causa-Peruvian-Potato-Dish-30Layer the remaining half of the mashed potatoes on top and smooth with a spatula.Decorate with eggs, avocado and parsley. Serve chilled.
Causa-Peruvian-Potato-Dish-31You can made individual portion by rolling the mashed potatoes into a golf ball size and flatten it into a disc.Top with tuna, eggs and avocado.

Cover with another layer of mashed potatoes. Decorate with chopped parsley, chopped hard boiled egg and a slice of avocado. Served chilled.

One thought on “Causa (Peruvian Potato Dish)

  1. Looks good, will give it a try. You should cut down on the time you boil the eggs. That grey/green between the yolk and the white is a sign of over cooking.

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