June 10, 2015

Peruvian Ingredients: Purple Corn

Unique taste and a intense dark purple tone. This variety of corn grows in the Andean region of South America, and it's been used in Peruvian cuisine for more than two thousand years. In fact, it was called "moro sara" in the Inca Empire. Today is still one of the most iconic ingredients in Perú. Purple corn is the main ingredient of the refreshing "Chicha Morada" and the traditional "Mazamorra".

Purple corn (Zea Mays) is rich in anthocyanins and therefore has some nutritional benefits that are worth mentioning. It' has antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties, and it also helps controlling hypertension.

7 Facts About Purple Corn:

1. "Chicha Morada" is the most traditional drink in the country, and it's made with Purple Corn, sugar, water, pineapple and cinnamon.

2.  Some ancient cultures in South America - before the Incas - were already preparing drinks with Purple Corn.

3. It's also used as colorant by many industries.

4. It inspired the creation of Chicha Sour, a sweet twist of Pisco Sour.

5. The are more than six variants in Peru.

6. Some researches suggest it could help treat colon cancer.

7. Coca Cola Company attempted to create a chica flavored soda in Peru, with negative results.

June 03, 2015

Recipe: "Arroz Con Pollo" (Green Rice With Chicken)

Green and unique. Everybody loves "Arroz con Pollo" in Peru. Sure, the obvious combination of chicken and rice is not tied exclusively to this country. Actually it has mediterranean roots. But this version is quite different and certainly delicious.

People in Lima prepare this dish really often every week, because it's simple, tastes really good and the ingredients are easy to get anywhere in the country. Adding corn or even dress the rice with the popular "huancaina" sauce are even greater variations.


  • 1 chicken in pieces
  • 1 onion diced in really small parts
  • 1 smashed garlic
  • 1 spoon of aji amarillo
  • 1 diced carrot
  • 1 cup of coriander
  • 3 cups of rice
  • 1 portion of beans
  • 1 sliced pepper


Remove the skin and marinate the chicken with salt, garlic and aji amarillo for 50 minutes. Brown the chicken with oil for three minutes, using a pot. Put the chicken aside for a while, and use the same pot to cook the onion, carrot, aji amarillo and coriander. Cook the mix for ten minutes under moderate heat, and then add pepper and beans and the chicken again, for 25 minutes.

Finally, add the rice to the pot and cook it all for 15 more minutes. Add some water if necessary. You can serve with onion and tomato salad.

May 27, 2015

14 Ways To Cook Chicken In Peru

14. Coca-Cola Chicken

Creative meal with a super-secret ingredient that contributes a sweet flavor (we're talking about Coke). Easy to cook and always served with white rice.

13. Salpicón

Peruvian Salpicon is inspired in the European dish but with a local twist. Uses a lot of vegetables and shredded chicken. Makes a great entry for lunch time.

12. Peanut Sauce Chicken

This dish has a tasteful mixture of spicy and sweet flavors. Peanut and other ingredients are easy to find at any supermarket around the world. Goes great with yellow potatoes and rice.

11. Chicken Diet

A popular soup in Peru, this light meal has no spicy condiments. It contains mostly noodles, chicken and vegetables.

10. Aguadito

with a slightly thick consistency, Aguadito is maybe the most traditional soup in Peru. Basic ingredients are chicken, rice (yes, rice in a soup) and coriander.

9. Peruvian Escabeche

Another dish with european heritage, peruvian escabeche contains chicken - or sometimes fish - lots of onion, tomatoes, eggs and the key peruvian ingredient: "aji amarillo".

8. Chicken Ceviche

Yes, it's called "ceviche" but it has nothing to do with fish or any sea product. This is a hot dish made with onions, chicken and "aji amarillo". Delicious and under appreciated, this ceviche is worth a bite.

7. Peruvian Chicken Sandwich

Mix celery, shredded chicken, creamy cheese and mayonnaise, add some potato sticks. You'll get one of the most popular sandwiches in the country. Warning: extremely addictive.

6. Chicken Brochette

Simple appetizer made with chicken, pepper and onion on the grill. You can find them at the finest restaurants and people make them at home too.

5. Oven-Roasted Chicken

It's name sounds indeed really common and simple. So, what's special about this dish? Garlic, lemon and butter. You'd be surprised.

4. Estofado

Another meal for everyday lunch. Potatoes, peas and carrots are important ingredients but the real secrets is the bay laurel leaves.

3. Aji De Gallina

Classic and iconic dish. The proper translation would be something like "spicy cream of hen". But reality is, peruvians use chicken to prepare it and it's delicious. Once again, the "aji amarillo" is the star of the cooking.

2. Green Rice With Chicken

The most popular dish among house moms. It's common in many parts of Latin America, but this peruvian version is quite special. Virtually every person in Peru has "Arroz con Pollo" for lunch at least once a week. That's a lot, considering the diversity of their cuisine. The chicken is served with green rice, spiced up with culantro and many other vegetables.

1. "Pollo a la Brasa" (Peruvian Blackened Chicken)

This is without a doubt the most popular chicken dish in Peru. You can have in virtually every city across the country and in thousands of peruvian restaurants around the world. The rotisserie preparation is done in special ovens called "rotombos". Usually served with french fries and salad, it's simplicity and yet memorable taste makes it one of the most valuable creations of peruvian cuisine.

May 23, 2015

Recipe: Chicha Sour

Peruvian dishes and drinks are mostly result of unlikely fusions that turned out to be delicious. Chicha Sour is an uncanny drink that combines two of the most iconic products in Peru: purple corn and pisco. This is the sweet sister of the widely known "Pisco Sour" and a must in fancy bars of every city in the peruvian coast. The unique taste of this Pisco Sour Chicha and it's cold preparation - which includes ice and lemon - makes it the perfect cocktail for the summer.


6 ounces Pisco
2 ounces chicha syrup
1 ounce lemon juice
7 ice cubes
4 drops Angostura bitters
3 spoons egg white


To prepare chicha syrup, boil chicha morada and add sugar until it gets syrup texture. When its ready and cold, put the syrup in a cocktail shaker, alongside the ice, pisco, lemon and egg white. Shake it for 30 seconds and serve. Add two cups of Angostura bitters on each cup. And enjoy!

October 10, 2014

Recipe: Anticuchos (Peruvian Grilled Beef Heart)

Some traditional dishes in Peru have a strong influence from African immigrants that arrived in the XVIII century. One of those are the anticuchos, which are small pieces of grilled skewered meat, usually beef heart. The meat acquires a strong taste when marinated in vinegar and spices (such as cumin, aji pepper and garlic) and often come with a boiled potato, salad and corn.


• 1 Beef heart or 500 grams / 2 lb of beef rump steak
• Salt
• 3 to 4 cloves of smashed garlic
• ½ cup of red wine vinegar
• 2 tablespoons of olive oil
• 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
• 1 large chili peppers, finely chopped without seeds


Work on the beef heart in order to get rid of veins and fat. Cut the heart or rump steak in small 3 to 4cm (1 to 1½ in) cubes. In a large bowl mix the vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, crushed garlic, chili pepper and ground cumin. Add the heart cubes and let the heart marinate for several hours or overnight. If you are using rump steak you do not need to marinate the meat for as long. Remove the meat cubes, lightly salt them and put 3 pieces onto each metal skewer. Cook over a hot grill for approximately 3 minutes per side, brushing them with the vinegar mix. When ready, they should go along with steamed corn and boiled potatoes.

March 12, 2009

Recipe: Rocoto Relleno (Stuffed Hot Peppers)

Hot, delicious and unique. One of the most well known rocoto dishes in Peru is the rocoto relleno. This is a traditional entree from the Andean city of Arequipa, made with rocoto (chili pepper). Besides the meat, it can be stuffed with many another ingredients. As for the ideal stuffing, this beef mix contains beef, pork, onion, garlics, margarine (or butter), cream, peacans and it will be a heaven meal.


• 7 rocotos with a wide base
• 3/4 cup of red vinegar
• 200 g (1/2 lb) of ground beef
• 100 g (1/4 lb) of ground pork
• 3 tablespoons of olive oil
• 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce
• 1/2 glass of dry white wine
• 2 tablespoons of cream
• 1/4 cup of ground peacans
• 1/2 cup of beef stock
• 1 tablespoon of aji panca paste
• 6 small potatoes, cooked and peeled
• 1 red onion, chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, ground
• 1/4 cup or margarine or butter
• 1/2 tablespoon of flour
• 3/4 cup of mozzarella cheese
• 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
• 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic


The Rocotos (Chili Pepper): In the first place, cut the upper part of 7 rocotos as a lid. It's extremely important to take out all the seeds and to clean it. Cook in water with salt and vinegar. Repeat this process four times.

Prepare the stuffing: Make a seasoning in a frying pan with the margarine, the ground garlics and onion. Once you do this, add the aji panca paste.

Then, you must season the meats with salt and pepper and add them to the seasoning. Mix good. Chop the remaining rocoto (in very small pieces) and add it with the peacans and the flour. Mix again. Wait for a few seconds and add the stock and cream. Mix and take out from the flame. Using hot oil, fry the chopped garlic in olive oil, add the tomato sauce and the wine. Let it cook for 5 minutes.

Now, stuff the rocotos with the meat mix. It's mandatory to be gentle in order to keep the rocotos intact.

Spread tomato sauce on a tray and place the stuffed rocotos and the potatoes. Cover them with parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

You are almost done! Bake to 350º F (150º C) until the cheeses get melt. Serve immediately with white baked potatos and salad if you feel like.

February 26, 2009

Recipe: Pisco Sour

The famous Pisco sour, invented in Peru around 1900, is made with Pisco (a very classy grape brandy from the Andean country) and has a bit of bite of secret ingredients to create the balance in this creamy, frothy, limey drink.

  • 3 cups of pisco
  • 1 ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of lemon juice
  • 1 egg's white
  • Ice flakes
  • Add drops of Amargo Angostura

First, prepare the PISCO SOUR only in a blender. Place the egg white and blend for a few seconds. Add the ice only until it reaches the middle of glass (this is the secret to get that the drink has a very heavy texture) move it and add all the ingredients but the Angostura. Mix it all.

It might be necessary to add some ice water and rectify the quality of a great PISCO SOUR. Enjoy.

January 09, 2009

Recipe: Tiradito

The tiradito is the brother of ceviche. However, we could say that this dish has a japanese greatgrandfather. Indeed, the influence of the many Japanese immigrants who came to South America in the nineteenth century is apparent in the way the fish is sliced rather than chopped, and ginger, soy, and other Japanese ingredients often find their way into the delicious Tiradito.


1 1/4 lb flounder fillet (almost any fresh fish or shellfish will do)
4 tbsp of aji amarillo paste
2 aji limo, seeded, deveined cut into brunoise
2 tbsp cilantro in chiffonade
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
4 tbsp key lime juice
salt and white pepper

Cooked kernels from one fresh ear of peruvian choclo (corn)
Fresh parsley chiffonade


Use a clean big bowl to whisk together the key lime juice, salt, pepper, crushed garlic, aji limo, chopped culantro, aji amarillo paste, and vegetable oil. Keep chilled.

Now cut the fish meat fillet into thin slices on the diagonal as for sashimi and flatten.
spread out on a flat serving platter and sprinkle with salt.

Pour enough Criollo cream over the fish slices to just cover them and serve immediately, garnished with the small corn kernels.