Causa de Alcachofa de Jerusalén

Causa de Alcachofa de Jerusalén

David Loftus

Sweet Potato & Jerusalem Artichoke Causa. Causa, meaning ‘cause’, is a Peruvian dish with a story. During Peru’s last major war, food was running low; only potatoes and scraps were left. The wives of the soldiers on the front line created a dish to make the most of the potato, adding remaining ingredients as toppings. When they handed the food to their husbands, they said ‘This is for the cause.’


Quantity Ingredient
400g floury potatoes, skin on, left whole
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons Picante de Huevos, amarillo chilli paste
2 tablespoons rocoto pepper paste
1 quantity Arrollado de Palta, Jerusalem artichoke tartare
1 quantity Causa Puno, avocado puree
a few edible flowers, such as violas, to decorate (optional)

For the rocoto pepper paste

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1 rocoto pepper
or 1 medium-heat red chilli
1 habanero or scotch bonnet, deseeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed

For the sweet potato purée

Quantity Ingredient
1/2 small sweet potato, skin on

For the artichoke crisps

Quantity Ingredient
1 artichoke, peeled and very finely sliced
vegetable oil, for deep frying


  1. First, make the rocoto pepper paste. Heat the oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 8–10 minutes until soft, then add the pepper or chillies and the garlic and sauté for 2–3 minutes more to soften. Allow to cool, then use a mini-processor or stick blender to blitz to a paste. Store until needed.
  2. Put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Salt the water, then bring to the boil over a high heat and cook for 15–20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, peel them and tip them back in the pan. Mash thoroughly, then stir through the olive oil and chilli and pepper pastes. Season with salt. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. To make the sweet potato purée, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil over a high heat and add the sweet potato half. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes until the sweet potato is tender, then remove the pan from the heat and drain. As soon as it is cool enough to handle, peel the potato and tip it back in the dry pan, then season with salt and mash to a smooth purée.
  4. To make the artichoke crisps, blot the artichoke slices with kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt – this gets them as dry as possible. Half-fill a small saucepan with vegetable oil and heat it to about 180°C. Drop in the artichoke slices and fry until very crisp and curled up (about 3–4 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
  5. To assemble the salad, form the potato mixture into 16–20 small rolls and divide between 4 plates. Arrange the artichoke tartare on top of the potato rolls, then add equal amounts of the sweet potato and avocado purées and the artichoke crisps to the plates. Decorate with edible flowers, if using, and serve immediately.
Martin Morales
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