Causa is a popular Peruvian potato dish and its name comes from the Quechua word 'Kausay', meaning 'life'. This particular recipe is typical of Peru's capital city, Lima and is also called Causa limeña. 'Causa', meaning 'cause' does not have a culinary meaning in Spanish. 'Relleno/a' means stuffed. In English language recipes, they are sometimes referred to as stuffed mashed potatoes. They are not really stuffed though, just layered.
- 1.25kg cold potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed thoroughly
- 125 ml corn or olive oil
- 1 tablespoon ají amarillo flakes, soaked in the oil
- 180 ml lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ of a Spanish onion, cut into thin strips
- 8 black olives, stones removed, and cut in half
- 2 eggs, hard-boiled, and each sliced into quarters
- Stuffing of your choice: shredded chicken, tuna, ham, grated cheese, avocado, sardines or prawns
- 1 crisp lettuce, shredded
- Chopped olives, peppers etc to garnish (optional)
- To the cold mashed potatoes, add the oil, ají amarillo flakes, lemon juice and seasonings and mix until the potato is smooth and manageable.
- You now need to layer the causas. The easiest way to do this is use a mould with both ends open.
- Grease the mould and taking one-eighth of the potato mixture, smooth out in the bottom of the mould.
- Place 2 egg slices on top, followed by 4 olive halves and a quarter of the onions.
- Then add a layer of your chosen stuffing.
- Finally add a further eighth of the potato mixture.
- When unmoulded, repeat the same until you have 4 causas.
- Add garnishes if desired.
You can make the whole thing in a greased baking dish if you have no moulds.
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