Recipe for How to Make Chicken Causa

XU3avk8OGYzE2BvymEO0cqX7JC3EApteoULsKRp-swftCuO1LQVh8PznHyIB_0tFW5GSJK_G4u-a23MFnOx51aFsQpS9iT7HyKDke133bCBpOKF5LDeKv_PRHA4P2hIJ-tD_Yll44odUhZ2nqvebbp_uCAgvR6bO4954dd0_jELqrelMsvFin--BBH30ObT7Iz0GrWBVTT5xjbHa7kcH-BI_TYMqo0bA classic potato dish in Lima is “causa” which translates as the “cause” or fight.  But, it can also mean “buddy.”  I took some photos while a buddy of mine and her mom made “artisanal” causa… as in homemade (which is one of the points that mega-phone of Peruvian cuisine, Gaston Acurio champions, although you can follow his recipe here). It took them more than three hours.  Here is the recipe (sort of) as the grandma making the dish doesn’t use measurements (hence the artsy part of this) and it took so long that I went off to take a nap.

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24 large Peruvian Yellow potatoes

a cup of celery

a large carrot

2 white onions

yellow Peruvian chili paste

salt & pepper

2 avocado

4 tomatoes

red pepper

parsley

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  1. Cook the chicken in water with chopped onion, celery, and carrot, and a pinch of salt (large pieces are fine). Boil until chicken breasts are cooked (40 minutes). Pull out chicken breasts and let cool.
  2. Boil yellow potatoes. When boiled, drain and peel as soon as you can as the peel is easier to remove when the potato is hot.
  3. Remove the strings off the celery and chop very fine.
  4. Chop half a white onion very fine.
  5. Chop/pull the cooked chicken breast.
  6. Mix the chicken meat with mayonnaise, salt, pepper, onions, and celery.
  7. Crush by hand the cooked and peeled potatoes. Crush until they are smooth and have a creamy texture. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, lime juice, and chili paste. Keep tasting it until it tastes right.
  8. In a large lasagna pan (or use a glass, whatever), build your causa. Bottom layer is potato, then the chicken salad, then avocado, then tomato, and then another layer of potato. Use a fork to make a design on the top and decorate with parsley, red pepper slivers, and black olives. Eat straight away or keep in fridge until it “settles” and gets even tastier.

EKsqBPiV_FTcNBYX9aRQnk02n7LKbEFZIvmo87qWEjO5Es4qDmYY4RAREOhPDEjuOI7qMdER6VbrcK8in88q2x27oa4zcGMfgZz_78eQ21Pe-5yAP9y9soVaPg0uYz1iVL54n9GQZSJrRu4DnH3PXS5ighTHF9LvCHIQ6ntXAhl3KAWvmzNS-bSAiIk2H6ZRgnFcAS1w21sCu4bswRE_MsWZjlIHGaTThere are other types of causa with crab, shrimp, egg, but chicken salad is typical in Lima. The Lima thing to do is to eat this as an appetizer and then follow with “aji de gallina” which is rice with stewed chicken, another classic dish from Peru.

 

Kharla, The Best Massage Therapist in Peru

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Kharla is probably the best massage therapist in Peru (how’s that for a claim?). Kharla is U.S. trained and she speaks English. Most importantly, she is gifted — magically so — with the ability to feel your pain. Once she feels your problem area, she works to resolve it. Call her at 1-980-386-892 to make the hurt go away.

Kharla charges 150 soles ($50) for an hour which is double the average price. She brings the massage table to your house unless you have your own. She can do as fancy spa-like massages (with scent, music, special sheets, heated blankets, etc. if you have them) but she has found that the basics are usually what people want. That said, I play zen music when I get a massage. Currently, Kharla is using an organic coconut oil on me and I like that it’s smooth without being sticky.

Just as I had a great massage therapist in Bogota, I’m glad to have found a great one here. Fortunately, there is a wide array of massage options in Lima including the blind massage therapists, but, I like Kharla. She keeps me tuned and humming.

 

 

Sri Lankan Tea Tasting in Lima

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The tea tasting costs 25 soles. The tasting is only Mlesna brand tea, one of the leading brands of tea in the world. This is the only Sri Lankan tea shop in Peru. The teacher was clearly bewitched by her time in Sri Lanka and that shows in her presentation. I have been to tea plantations in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh (although, I never got around to writing about that part because I was too interested in other aspects of Sylhet) so I sort of understood her fascination.

The store is filled with artwork, cups, plates, bags, and many other things to buy. It is a bit like an artists collective as the artists also own and work in the store.

I’d say to go on a South Asia kick and eat at Dhaasu before or after…