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 foods and combined them with foods 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, garlic, and chicken imported from Europe. Hearty yet refreshing, cool yet mildly picante, causa is an intriguing mix of the abundant flavors found in the region.
Two Layers of mashed potatoes and one layer of shredder chicken with mayo & vegetable.
- 8 yellow potatoes
- 3 fresh yellow chile peppers
- 3 limes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 gloves garlic
- 2 skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 ripe avocado
- Salt and pepper
- Cook the potatoes in salted water until soft. Peel the potatoes and pass them through a potato ricer (or mash them), then set aside.
- Remove the seeds from the chili peppers, and saute them in vegetable oil with the garlic until softened. Place them in a food processor or blender, along with the juice of the 3 limes, and salt/pepper to taste. Process until smooth. Stir lime/chile mixture into the potatoes.
- Poach the chicken in water seasoned with salt, pepper. Shred the cooked chicken, and mix with the mayonnaise and mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- On a plate, shape half of the mashed potato mixture into a square or rectangle. Cover with the chicken in a smooth layer. Layer with slices of avocado. Layer the other half of the potato mixture on top and smooth with a knife. Decorate the top with parsley leaves, slices of hard-boiled eggs, and olive halves.
- Serve chilled.
Variation: You can also shape the potatoes and filling into individual servings. Remove the top and bottom parts from a clean empty can to make a ring. Grease the inside of the can with vegetable oil. Rest the can on a plate, and layer the potatoes and chicken inside the can, then carefully remove the can. To shape the causa into one large ring, you can use a cheesecake pan with removable sides.