Papas a la Huancaina (Rommy’s Bolivian way)
I grew all my life thinking this dish was Bolivian and not knowing our neighbor’s geography (Huancayo is in Peru). When I traveled in Peru with my husband, I was surprised to see papas a la huancaina on the menu and I ordered it. We were amazed by the delicious sauce, but I noticed it didn’t have peanuts and we could not figure out what the ingredients were. I asked the waitress and she told me that the sauce was made with soda cracker and cheese with aji amarillo and I asked why they modified the Bolivian recipe. She said, “Bolivian recipe? You know Huancayo is en Peru.” So this is how I learned geography and a new recipe. Here is the Bolivian way. Enjoy!
4 dried spicy yellow peppers
2 garlic cloves
1 cup raw peanuts (you can substitute for unsalted roasted peanuts)
2 cups water (1/2 cup more if you want it less thick)
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Optional ( 1/2 cup grated queso fresco or monterrey jack)
1 head of lettuce
8 large potato boiled and peeled or 16 small potatoes
8 hard boiled eggs
Get the ingredients ready:
Llajwa de Mani (Bolivian peanut sauce)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Select 4 large yellow peppers. Bake them in the oven for 5 min, the pepper will start burning in some areas and the pepper will turn a dark red color. Don’t over roast.
Let the pepper cool. Meanwhile, put the peanuts on a baking sheet and roast the peanuts at 350F for 7 min. Remove from the oven, the peanuts will continue cooking after they are out of the oven so you don’t want to keep them inside the oven too long.
(The above photo with two piles shows the unroasted and roasted peanuts). Take the seeds out of the yellow peppers and put them in a food processor or blender, add the peanuts, garlic, salt and water. You are looking for a smooth sauce.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the peanut sauce. Cook for 15 min, if is too thick add more warm water or milk. Add the cheese after you take the sauce out of the stove.
Serve warm with potatoes or pasta or any barbecue chicken or meat.
Heat the oil in a pan and addd the peanut sauce cooked for 15 min if is to thick add more warm water or milk. Add the cheese after you take the sauce out the stove.
At this point you can add the fresh cheese make sure that the fresh cheese is well shreded since it doenst melt with heat. You dont want big chunks in you peanut sauce. Ad warm milk or water if needed to keep it more liquid that (espeso)
Peel the potatoes and eggs and slice them. You can arrange this on the plate this in different ways, I like it this way. Usually there is a layer of lettuce, a layer of potatoes, and a layer of eggs covered with peanut sauce. Top with olives. You can get very creative, my husband and I love it this way.
I think the food from Bolivia and Peru are very similar especially around the Andes part now that they were one country before Simon Bolivar. I do know that Peru has had more Chinese and Japanese influences due to the imigration.=)
I must tell you that Papas Huan. are one of my favorites. I’ve tried both the Peruvian and Bolivian receipes and must tell you that I prefer the Bolivian 10:1. Unfirtunately most of my friends are peruvian and am stuck w/ their paps hua. The lack of peanuts in the Peruvian makes it too bland. I will try your recipe as well as the llajua.
I love papas a la huancaina (Bolivian style I’ve had both). Recently I was in Lima on business and my aunt’s family received me. That’s where I learned that the Bolivian style of papas a la huancaina is actually more similar to papas con ocopa from arequipa which also uses peanuts in the sauce, though I think it’s a bit different (I’m Bolivian so I wouldn’t know).