02 Dec 10 Most Popular Peruvian Dishes You Should Try
Peru as a destination is growing in popularity for its rich culture and fantastic food! If you have chosen this destination for your TEFL Course, you won’t regret it! The exciting and unique flavors of Peruvian dishes are known for making use of the endless array of natural ingredients that are in abundance in the traditional street markets, which really are a treat for all five senses.
Let’s take a look at some of the most famous Peruvian dishes has to offer:
1. CEVICHE PERUANO
This is the national dish and, while there are many types of ceviche, the most common ones contain pieces of raw fresh fish cooked with lemon, spices, and salt. Vegetarians and vegans can also appreciate this dish with mushrooms, instead of fish!
It is also accompanied by potatoes, fresh corn, and sweet potatoes. Definitely one to try in Peru!
2. LOMO SALTADO
Saltado (sautéed) steak, this dish features sliced steak, red onion, yellow pepper, red or white vinegar, tomato, and spices. It’s a simple dish, but has a ton of flavour!
3. CAUSA RELLENA
Causa Rellena is a typical dish made with yellow potatoes as the main ingredient. There are two versions of it: with chicken or tuna. No matter which one you choose, they are both amazing, especially with mayonnaise.
La Causa Rellena is potato mash mixed with crushed chilli to give it flavour and is traditionally made with meat and avocado. Nowadays, more ingredients are added, like Peruvian corn, mayonnaise, hard-boiled egg, lettuce, and black olives.
It is food that you will find in street stalls, especially in Lima. It is also prepared in homes for gatherings or celebrations.
4. AJÍ DE GALLINA
This dish is made with tender chicken stewed in a rich yellow chilli sauce. Gallina means hen in Spanish, but most cooks use chicken in this dish. In addition to chicken, a key ingredient is ají amarillo. This pepper gives the sauce its yellow colour and adds an incredible touch of spice.
Other ingredients, like cheese and crackers, tone down the spiciness and create a thick, creamy sauce. Like many other Peruvian dishes, ají de gallina is combined with potatoes and/or white rice.
This is a very typical dish in Peru that dates back to the Inca Empire. It was even declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation in 2003.
Nowadays it’s cooked in pots but Pachamanca means “pot of earth” in the Quechua language, and it is how this dish is originally prepared, in a kind of oven made in a hole in the ground.
You’ll find chunks of beef, chicken, guinea pig, and pork, among potatoes, yucca, lima beans, pods, sweet potatoes, plantains, and chunky corn in this dish.
6. LECHE DE TIGRE
One of the best parts of ceviche is the rich marinade that gives the fish its intense flavour. So why not take that marinade and make a snack? Add baked shrimp, fish, and corn kernels to a cocktail glass and top it with the liquid ceviche marinade to make a dish known as Leche de Tigre.
The colour and intense flavour come from the lime juice. Chopped chilli peppers, red onion, and cilantro also contribute to the rich flavours of this dish
It’s also a popular hangover cure!
7. SUSPIRO A LA LIMEÑA
This traditional dessert that originated in Lima is a light and delightful way to end any meal. With a name meaning “Woman’s sigh”, you’ll just need milk, sugar, eggs, and Pisco or Port.
It’s presented in a glass and topped with meringue and cinnamon powder.
Alfajores are a delicious dessert with manjar blanco, a caramelized cream, filled between two butter cookies. A sprinkle of powdered sugar on top adds even more sweetness.
Although Alfajores are popular throughout Latin America, each country adds its touch that sets them apart. Dipped in chocolate, covered in grated coconut, fried, or with a drizzle of honey, there are many variations to discover as you explore South America and especially Peru.
9. MAZMORRA MORADA Y ARROZ CON LECHE
Purple corn, a superfood, is combined with quince, pineapple, apple peel, cinnamon, cloves, lime juice, and sugar to create a popular drink known as chicha morada. This liquid is heated again, adding cornstarch, dried plums, apricots, and/or cherries to turn it into a fruit jelly known as purple mazamorra.
Street vendors and restaurants often pair this fruity flavor with a rich, creamy rice pudding. In addition to white rice, Peruvian rice pudding includes condensed milk, egg yolks, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a little butter. Although you can have only one or the other, the combination of purple porridge and rice pudding creates a delicious and unique flavour.
Who knew that with a pumpkin and a sweet potato you could make such a delicious dessert? This Peruvian fritter is another street vendor staple that dates back to Peruvian history. Created as a cheaper version of a donut, picarones have become popular in their own right.
Topped with a drizzle of aniseed honey, picarones are a delight at any time of year. Find tasty picarones in the Kennedy Park in Lima or Picarones Ruinas, in the heart of Cusco.
We’ve given you a lot of things to get excited about Peru… and this is just the beginning of the journey! We can give you tons more information on why Peru is an amazing place to start your international adventures, and why it’s the perfect place to teach English.
If you’re interested in joining our TEFL Course in Peru and beginning your career as an English Teacher, click here for more information.