Papa a la Huancaina - Peruvian potato dumplings with a cheese sauce Recipe

Papa a la Huancaina is one of Lima's most popular dishes: it can be served as a snack, appetizer or as a starter. The cheese sauce is often served with cold, boiled potatoes, but this dumpling version is a little more refined. A sure fire crowd pleaser!

  • Preparation
  • Cooking time
  • Rest time
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Les ingrédients

Pour people
  • Floury potato(es) : 4 whole
  • Olive oil : 50 ml
  • Ground turmeric : 0.5 Tsp
  • For the sauce
  • Onion(s) : 1 whole
  • Garlic clove(s) : 3 whole
  • Yellow pepper(s) : 1 whole
  • Ground turmeric : 0.5 Tsp
  • Parmesan : 100 g
  • Cream cheese : 100 g
  • Evaporated milk : 125 ml
  • Red chilli(s) : 1 whole
  • Olive oil : 30 ml
  • For the garnish(es)
  • Black olive(s) : 75 g
  • Whole egg(s) : 3 whole
  • Maldon salt : 5 pinch(es)
  • Freshly ground black pepper : 5 Turn



    Remove the pointy end of the onion, cut in half, then peel. Finely dice.

    Tail the garlic cloves, then peel, and mince.

    Remove the woody tail from the chilli, split in half, scrape out the seeds and spongy rib, then chop.

    Top and tail the yellow pepper, and chop into small dice.

    In a sauce pan, heat the olive oil over a high setting, and sweat the onion and yellow pepper until cooked through and soft.

    Add the ground turmeric, garlic and chilli, and stir for about a minute. Add the evaporated milk and cream cheese, and bring to a gentle simmer.

    Grate the Parmesan, if necessary. Stir into the sauce, until fully incorporated.

    Adjust the seasoning to taste.

    Huancaina sauce can be served as is for a rustic look, but it much more refined if it is blended to a smooth consistency. The end product should have the same thickness as double cream. Add more evaporated milk as needed

    Chill until needed.

    Huancaina sauce should be a vibrant yellow colour with a hint of heat. The sauce is normally made with Aji Amarillo and Peruvian turmeric. Aji Amarillo is a mild chilli with a deep yellow flesh, if you can fins mild, yellow chillies please substitute for the yellow pepper and red chilli.


    Peel the potatoes, and cut into large chunks.

    Place in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Season with a generous amount of salt.

    Bring up to the boil. Cook the potatoes until a small knife easily pierces them.

    Drain the potatoes, and mash while still hot.

    Adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Add the remaining ground turmeric and enough olive oil to bind the mash.

    When the potatoes have cooled down sufficiently, roll the mash into large marble-sized dumplings. the mashed potato is less likely to sick to your hands if they are wet.

    Chill the dumplings until ready to serve.


    Place the eggs in a pan of cold water, and bring up to the boil.

    Once the water is boiling vigorously, turn off the heat,cover the pan with a lid, and set aside for 6 minutes.

    Drain and peel the eggs. Chill until needed.

    To Serve

    Place the potato dumplings on a plate and cover generously with the Huancaina sauce. Garnish the plate with black olives and wedges of hard boiled eggs.

Chef's tip

«Papa a la Huancaina is usually serve cold, and is therefore a great dish for dinner parties since everything can be prepared well in advance. However, it is also lovely served warm.»

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