Causa is one of the most popular dishes all along Peru’s coast. Besides being delicious, the traditional causa is fairly economic and easy to prepare, making it accessible to the rich and the poor, great chefs and terrible cooks. Moreover, it’s a versatile dish that allows for many variations, both in the purée and in the fillings.

The following is the classic recipe, a potatoes and ají amarillo mash filled with tuna and avocado.


1kg potatoes (yellow, if available)
4 tbsp ají amarillo paste
½ cup vegetable oil (olive oil not recommended)
Juice 1 key lime
1 can of tuna-fish packed in oil
½ onion, finely chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 avocado


Boil the potatoes in salted water. Peel and mash while still hot (enough to handle). Let cool and mix thoroughly with the ají amarillo paste, vegetable oil, and lime juice. Salt to taste.

Mix the tuna with the chopped onions and mayonnaise.

Place a layer of the potato mash on a serving dish, and spread with a thin film of mayonnaise. Cut the avocado in slices and lay on the first layer of potato mash. Spread a second layer of potato mash, and cover with the tuna mayonnaise. Cover with a last layer of potatoes, and decorated with slices of hard boiled eggs and black olives.

Tip: try variations of the filling using (instead of tuna) crab-meat, shrimps, octopus in olive, or (for vegetarians) plain tomato slices.