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Puka Picante Vegetariano

Serves: 4

Duration: 40 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

For the spicy olluco, oca and beetroot:

  • 200g purple potatoes or regular floury potatoes, skin on and cut into thick slices
  • 200g olluco potatoes or parsnips, unpeeled and cut into thick slices
  • 200g oca potatoes or carrots, unpeeled and cut into thick slices
  • 1 cooked golden baby beetroot, finely sliced, to serve
  • nasturtium, watercress or basil leaves, to decorate
  • 1 tsp beetroot powder or paprika, to decorate (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the puka picante sauce:
  • 150g cooked beetroot, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp amarillo chilli paste
  • 2 tsp panca chilli paste
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 50ml single cream or evaporated milk
For the cream cheese sauce:
  • 120g smoked cream cheese or goat's milk cream cheese
  • 120g double cream

On Martin Morales’ first trip to the city of Ayacucho, in the region of the same name, this dish left a big impression on him. Big on colour and flavour, it’s popular during Easter in the Andes, as well as for special occasions such as birthdays and weddings. It’s also much-loved at Casita Andina, where every day is a special occasion.

1. First, put all the potatoes (or alternatives) into a steamer and cook for about 20 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside to keep warm.

2. While the potatoes are cooking, make the puka picante sauce. Put the beetroot with 150ml of either beetroot cooking water or fresh water in a food processor or blender and blitz to a purée. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat and add the onion. Sauté for about 10 minutes until the onion turns soft and translucent, then add the garlic, chilli pastes and peanut butter. Stir to combine and cook for a further 2–3 minutes until the garlic is soft but hasn’t taken on any colour.

3. Add the puréed beetroot to the frying pan, along with the cumin and the single cream or evaporated milk. Season with salt and pepper, then simmer until everything is well combined and heated through. Remove from the heat and set aside.

4. Make the cream cheese sauce. Put the cream cheese and double cream in a bain marie or a bowl suspended over simmering water. Whisk continuously for about 4–5 minutes until the mixture is silky smooth and thick.

5. To assemble the dish, divide the puka picante sauce between 4 bowls, then layer on the cream cheese sauce, and then the cooked, drained potatoes (or alternatives). Decorate with the golden beetroot slices and the leaves. Finally, sprinkle over the beetroot powder or paprika, if using.

Ingredients

For the spicy olluco, oca and beetroot:

  • 200g purple potatoes or regular floury potatoes, skin on and cut into thick slices
  • 200g olluco potatoes or parsnips, unpeeled and cut into thick slices
  • 200g oca potatoes or carrots, unpeeled and cut into thick slices
  • 1 cooked golden baby beetroot, finely sliced, to serve
  • nasturtium, watercress or basil leaves, to decorate
  • 1 tsp beetroot powder or paprika, to decorate (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the puka picante sauce:
  • 150g cooked beetroot, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp amarillo chilli paste
  • 2 tsp panca chilli paste
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 50ml single cream or evaporated milk
For the cream cheese sauce:
  • 120g smoked cream cheese or goat's milk cream cheese
  • 120g double cream

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