It's just a potato salad, really. Layer of mashed potato, layer of mayonaise-y fish/chicken typically, topped with another layer of mashed potato. Served cold, so it's perfect for picnics and potlucks, and with its good looks, Peruvian Causa makes any day special.
The potato layer should be made with Aji Amarillo, a spicy Peruvian chili paste which is theoretically easy to find in well-stocked Latin American markets. The condiment is zippy and fruity, and adds a signature yellow hue to whatever it's mixed with.
I didn't have Aji Amarillo, so I made do with a green hot sauce and a little turmeric. And instead of tuna fish salad in the middle, I used a tin of smoked mackerel that I had been hoarding.
For garnish, avocado, tomatoes, hardboiled eggs, even olives, are traditional, but the only thing I had were eggs. A scattering of minced quick-pickled red onions jazzed up the richness of my Causa.
This was my first time making Causa, and I loved how forgiving the formula is. It's perfect quarantine food really. Except for the Aji Amarillo, this was made with ingredients we already had in our pantry. And the bright colors really cheered me in these stressful times.
Makes two individual servings
🇵🇪 4 small Yukon (or other mashing) potatoes
🇵🇪 Hot sauce (optional)
🇵🇪 Tinned fish (smoked fish or plain tuna)
🇵🇪 Sliced Avocado (optional)
🇵🇪 Boiled Eggs (optional)
🇵🇪 Other possible garnishes as above
Boil and mash your potatoes. Because I was using smoked fish, I added the mayo to my mashed potatoes rather than to my fish. If I were using regular tuna, I would've added the mayo to my fish and prepared my mash as usual (with olive oil and milk).
If like me, you don't have Aji Amarillo but you like a little zip, season your mashed potatoes to taste with a little hot sauce, and add a little turmeric just for color. Best to use a yellow or green hot sauce for this.
1. Layer of mashed potatoes in the bottom of your ring mold.
2. Layer of fish. I added a few thinly sliced quick-pickled red onions in this layer.
3. Layer of mashed potatoes.
And garnish! Remove your ring mold carefully and chill.
You could prepare Causa for a crowd by using a casserole dish. I've prepared a similar Russian potato salad to serve 12 using a springform pan. Will share that recipe later! We'll be making Causa a lot during these quarantine days and I hope it cheers you too! 🤗🌈🇵🇪