Top ten must-try Peruvian dishes
Kavita Favelle shares the top ten must try Peruvian dishes as spotted in Good Things magazine.
Ají de Gallina
This colourful dish takes its bright yellow colour from ají oeooers which are combined with cheese, milk and bread to create spicy cream sauce from thin strips of chicken. Walnuts or pecan are a special-occasion addition.
Anticuchos de Corazón
A popular street food, these grilled brochettes are made with beef heart marinated in spices and ají peppers, served with a pungent garlic sauce. Restaurants often offer antichucos as starters or bar snacks and other cuts of meats.
This hearty dish is a great way to enjoy some Peruvian potato varieties which are combined in layers with avocado, lime, onion, chilli and oil. A protein such as tuna, chicken or eggs is sometimes added to the usually-cold dish.
Ceviche & Tiradito
Cubes of fresh raw fish from Peru's coast and rivers are cured in citrus juice, spiced with chilli peppers and finishes with onions and coriander. Leche de tiger (tiger's milk) refers to the resulting juices; and both it and ceviche are recommended as a hangover cure and aphrodisiac.
This dish also showcases Peru's fresh fish, but here the fish is served in thin slices sashimi-style and dressed with a spicy sauce just before serving.
ALA 'the one that travellers love to talk about.' Guinea pig is still a staple meat for rural Peruvian communities. Commonly served backed or barbequed whole on a spit, the taste is mildly gamey, like rabbit or wild game birds. If tou can find cuy pachamanca, you are in for a treat.
Chifa (chinese fushion) food is hugely popular, no dish more so than lomo saltado, a stir-fry of beef, onions, tomatoes and ají peppers with soy sauce, vinegar and spices; typically served with fried potatoes and rice.
The literal translation of 'pachamanca' is 'earth pot', an apt name for this Andean dish backed in underground ovens heated with fire-warmed stones. Depending on the region, it's made with a herb-and-spice-seasoned with mixture of either pork, lamb, chicken or guinea pig meat that's combined with local and seasonal vegetables. Also known as pachamama (mother earth), it's cooked for celebrations and festivals.
Pollo a la Brasa
Also known as 'blackened chicken', pollo de la Brasa is marinated in soy sauce, red peppers, garlic and cumin and roasted on a spit or baked in hot ashes, yielding crisp, beautifully-flavoured skin. It's usually served with fried yuca or potatoes.
Rocoto Relleno & Papa Rellena
Fiery-hot rocoto chilli are stuffed with spiced minced beef, eggs and onions and topped with white cheese before baking. Also try papa rellena - meat-stuffed, deep-fried potato croquettes.
Another fushion dish, tacu tacu is an Afro-Peruvian speciality created by slaves brought over during the colonial era. The fried mixture of rice, beans, bacon, onions and spices is usually served with steak, eggs and fried plantain.