Tacu Tacu de Palta
AVOCADO & RICE FRITTERS
This is a traditional and much-loved Afro-Peruvian dish usually made with leftover rice and beans, but here I have created a new version. The dish can resemble hash browns, although it is cooked with rice rather than potato. Our version is made with avocado, which gives it a lovely, silky richness.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onion for 10 to 15 minutes, until it is soft and translucent.
Add the garlic and chile paste and cook for another minute. Add the avocado and then transfer to a bowl with the rice.
Combine thoroughly and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to the fridge to chill for 2 to 3 hours.
When the mixture is firm and cold, remove from the fridge and divide roughly into 4 equal portions. Dust each portion with a little flour.
Heat some vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan set over medium heat. Using a spoon, heap a portion of the mixture into the pan and press down evenly with a spatula to form a rough oval shape. Try to fit 3 or more in your pan or cook in batches, if necessary.
Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the bottom is a light golden brown. Turn each portion over and continue to cook until the fritters are a rich, golden brown on both sides. Keep warm while you cook the other portions if you are cooking in batches, adding a little more oil as necessary.
Serve with some fried banana, some extra chopped avocado, and a fried egg on top.
BASIC CHILE PASTE
This basic chile paste works with any of the chiles on page 225 of my recipe book, or any red chile, but the pastes you’ll find used most often in the book are made with amarillo, panca, or rocoto chiles.
Put 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large, heavy saucepan. Heat over medium heat and then add 3 1/2 oz (100 g) frozen or fresh seeded chiles of your choice, or 1 tablespoon (35 g) reconstituted, seeded, and roughly chopped dried chiles, and 1/2 a finely chopped, small onion. Sauté over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
Add 2 crushed garlic cloves and sauté for 5 minutes until everything is very soft, being careful to make sure it doesn’t take on any color.
Put the contents of the saucepan into a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. Store in the fridge in a sterilized jar. Makes about 3/4 cups (190 g).
ARROCITO (PERUVIAN RICE)
This is a very simple, savory rice that we use to accompany all kinds of dishes. It is also good with the addition of some choclo corn for extra texture and taste.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the garlic. Sauté for a minute, making sure it doesn’t start to brown, and then add the rice and cook for a further minute.
Add the water, salt, and cumin. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover, and allow the rice to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Carefully stir the rice once with a fork to loosen it. Turn off the heat and leave to sit, covered, to steam for a few minutes before serving.
Reprinted with permission from Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen by Martin Morales (Ten Speed Press, © 2014). Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon chile paste
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and finely diced, plus extra to serve
All-purpose flour, for dusting
Vegetable oil, for frying
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 bananas, peeled, sliced, and fried
4 fried eggs
For BASIC CHILE PASTE
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 1/2 oz (100 g) chiles, frozen or fresh, seeded OR 1 tablespoon (35 g) dried chiles, reconstituted, seeded, and roughly chopped
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
For ARROCITO (PERUVIAN RICE)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Generous 1 cup (200 g) long-grain rice
1 1/4 cups (300 ml) water
1/2 teaspoon salt
A pinch of ground cumin