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Papa a la Huancaína

45 min

4 servings


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You don't often see potatoes playing the leading role in a dish. However, this is the case with the Peruvian recipe from Huancayo (a city in the middle of Peru) 'Papa a la Huancaína'. The potato is presented on a bed of lettuce and sprinkled with a special huancaína sauce. That is a sauce made from seasonings, such as garlic, onion and yellow peppers, and some more remarkable ingredients such as feta, evaporated milk and mini crackers. There are several stories about this popular recipe. The most famous version tells us that 'Papa a la Huancaína' was first reserved around the 19th century by a woman from Huancayo. She made this recipe for workers on a train line between Lima and Huancayo. They were very surprised by the delicious taste of this dish, after which they called it 'Papa a la Huancaína' and distributed it throughout the country.


Preparation method

Step 1: Make the Huancaína Sauce

  • Finely chop the garlic, onion and yellow peppers. Crumble the crackers and the feta.

  • Mix the crackers with the milk in a bowl and let it soak.

  • Put some oil in a pan and add the garlic and onion. Let it caramelize and add salt and pepper.

  • Then add the yellow peppers and fry for a while.

  • Add some hot water so that it is just covered and cook for about half an hour. Add some water if it becomes too dry

Step 2: Boil and fry the potatoes

  • Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

  • Grate the skin of the potatoes and cut into slices.

  • Boil the potatoes in plenty of water for 7 minutes and drain.

  • Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper and place in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

  • At the same time, boil the eggs for the garnish.

Step 3: Make the Papa a la Huancaína

  • Blend all ingredients (except for the potatoes and eggs) in a blender to form the huancaína sauce.

  • Serve the potatoes on a bed of lettuce and drizzle with the huancaína sauce. Garnish with olives and a boiled egg.

Buen provecho! ('Enjoy your meal!')
Try this recipe and let us know what you think!Try this recipe and let us know what you think!
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Dafne got this recipe from Peruvian Ronal during a cooking class in Cusco, Peru. Ronal told her more about the Peruvian food culture and all the stories behind it.


  • 4 large potatoes

  • 8 yellow peppers (you can also use jalapeños)

  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 2 white onions

  • 200 grams of mini crackers

  • 80 grams of feta

  • 400 ml coffee milk

  • Salt to taste

  • Pepper to taste

  • Vegetable oil

For the garnish:

  • Lettuce

  • Black olives

  • Eggs

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