Causa Limena

Recipe by Ana Cecilia Ponce (Peru)

Serves 8


For the potatoes
2.5 kg red potatoes (I prefer them as they are more floury and flavorful)
4 yellow peppers
250 ml sunflower oil
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
1 pinch ground turmeric

For the filling
2 eggs
1 pinch ground mustard
salt and pepper
250 ml sunflower oil
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
500 g cooked chicken breast (or shrimp or octopus)
250 g corn
250 g boiled and chopped carrots
250 g peas

To serve
lettuce leaves
3 boiled eggs
pitted black olives
1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced

Preparation time: 4 hours

First, prepare the potatoes. Peel, boil and mash the potatoes. Carefully wash and trim the peppers, removing all seeds, then puree them with the sunflower oil, a little lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and the turmeric, which will give the sauce an ochre color. Mix together with the mashed potatoes to make a bright yellow mixture.

Next, the filling. You can make it with whatever you like. I like to use 500 grams of cooked and shredded chicken and 250 grams each of corn, peas and carrots. That’s the original recipe, but the chicken can also be replaced by seafood like shrimp or octopus, or even left out all together, which is how I often prepare it for guests at La Casa di Anita. Make a homemade mayonnaise by beating the eggs with the mustard, salt and pepper, then dripping in the sunflower oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick and creamy. Stir in the vinegar and lemon juice. Mix together the mayonnaise, chicken and vegetables.

Take a deep serving dish measuring 40 x 20 cm and line with lettuce leaves. Spread half of the potato mixture on top to form the base of the causa limena. Top with the mayonnaise mixture, then another layer of the remaining potatoes. Peel the boiled eggs and slice them lengthways. Decorate the top of the causa limena with the boiled egg slices and black olives, which help to mark out the individual portions.

Ideally the causa limena should be refrigerated for at least two hours so that it can firm up and the flavors can develop. Cut into squares and serve cold on crisp lettuce leaves, accompanied by a slice of ripe avocado.