All you need to know about this tasty Peruvian food
Over 200 different nationalities live in Dubai. That gives us all the chance to sample a plethora of different cuisines, from Argentinian to Yemeni (sorry there were none starting with Z!). However, not so many of us have sampled the flavoursome food of Peru.
Located on the west coast of South America, it has a diverse geography, with rich lush rainforests and high mountains of the Andes. Influenced over the years by a large range of cultures, most notably the Spanish, it’s original Incan heritage is that which gives Peruvian food its exceptional taste.
So what is Peruvian food?
It does sound pretty simple at first glance, made with 3 main staples: potatoes, quinoa and corn. It may sound a little bland, however, Peruvian food is packed with flavour and spice. Its also great for the adventurous food lover, who would like to tick off some dishes from their bucket list.
Due to the varying landscape there is a mixture of light fish dishes and comforting meat options, sweet and doughy desserts and succulent grilled fruit choices. Peruvian food is a fantastic combination of sweet, earthy and robust flavours.
So where in Dubai can you find it?
Although Peruvian food still isn’t mainstream in Dubai, there are a number of restaurants that stand out from the crowd.
Coya Restaurant is at the top of the list of places to try. Described as Peruvian fine dining this stunning restaurant hosts a number of classic Peruvian dishes. We strongly recommend you try the ceviche. Ceviche is the national dish of Peru; a fresh and simple dish, perfect as an appetizer or as a cool plate of food on a hot summer’s day. Made with fresh fish marinated in lime juice, onion, salt and chilies and served with crispy onions, marinated corn and sweet potatoes. Simple but effective. Coya offers a wide variety of ceviche, from sweet tuna with soy to spicy prawns with palm heart and mango.
If you are looking for something a little more casual or authentic then pop into Pollo Pollo in Umm Suqeim. With a wholesome and affordable menu, you can taste the street food that is readily available in Peru.
Interestingly, Peruvian food has a little Chinese influence. Many Cantonese were sent to South America and finally made Peru their adopted home, adding their influence to the food of that region. The food style is called chifa and Pollo Pollo serves a delicious arroz chaufa. A fried rice dish mixed with vegetables including Chinese onions, a variety of meats from duck to pork and served with either soy sauce or an aji cream (Aji is a spicy South American pepper).
Meat is very popular in Peruvian cooking and the anticuchos at Totora Cebicheria Peruana are not to be missed. The word anticuchos basically means meat on a skewer. The preparation is simple; the meat is marinated in lime, spices and chillies and then cooked straight on the flame to make it tender, smoky and delicious. Anticuchos are a classic appetizer, drizzled with lime and sprinkled with crispy onions. If you want to be a little adventurous try the Anticuchos De Corazon or beef heart!
How about something for dessert?
Peruvian desserts are delicious! Influenced by the Spanish, especially in the use of the rich and sweet dulce de leche, a thick caramelized, condensed milk. A perfect example of this is the tres leches dessert, a sponge cake soaked in a milk syrup made from condensed milk and whole cream. This is a sweet and melt in your mouth dish. Or how about something a little unusual? Totora Cebicheria Peruana serves a dish made from lacuma andean cereals. And what exactly does that mean, you ask? Lacuma is a fruit native to Peru with a unique flavour of maple and sweet potato. This fruit combined with traditional quinoa and chocolate pisco sauce (Peruvian brandy). It makes for a perfectly sweet and truly South American dish.
We hope we have piqued you interest. There are a multitude of dishes out there for you to try. With more restaurants opening as people start to realise just how interesting Peruvian food is, you can eat your heart out!