Tacu Tacu Quechua

Tacu Tacu Quechua

David Loftus

Aubergine Quechua Tacu Tacu. Flavouring an aubergine to provide an exciting dish is not just the preserve of Italian, Lebanese, Greek or Turkish cooking. Proof of that is right here. Bringing in influences from all corners of Peru, but using many Andina ingredients, this dish has tons of character and personality with its variety of textures and spices.


Quantity Ingredient
olive oil, for frying
2 aubergines, sliced into 2cm-thick chunks or rounds
50g queso fresco or feta, crumbled, to serve
a few coriander leaves, to serve

For the sauce

Quantity Ingredient
60ml olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
60ml white wine vinegar
175g Picante de Huevos, panca chilli paste
60g Causa de Alcachofa de Jerusalén, rocoto pepper paste
a few coriander sprigs, finely chopped
a few mint sprigs, finely chopped

For the quinoa tacu tacu

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
100g cooked butter beans
1 tablespoon Picante de Huevos, amarillo chilli paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
65g black quinoa, cooked


  1. First, make the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes until the garlic is very lightly cooked. Add the vinegar, chilli and pepper pastes and herbs, then season with salt. Simmer over a very low heat for 10 minutes, stirring, until everything is well combined. If it starts to look dry at any point, add a splash of water. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Next, make the quinoa tacu tacu. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes until softened, then add the tomato, butter beans, chilli paste and cumin. Continue to cook for a further 5 minutes until everything is well combined and any liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated. Remove from the heat.
  3. Mash the butter bean mixture roughly with a fork – you need to keep some texture – then mix in the quinoa. Allow to cool, then divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and shape into long (aubergine-shaped) patties.
  4. To make the dish, coat the base of a large frying pan with olive oil. Fry the aubergine pieces over a medium heat for 6–8 minutes, turning until golden on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen paper. Keep warm. You may have to do this in several batches. When you’ve fried all the aubergine slices, add them to the sauce and reheat until piping hot.
  5. To fry the quinoa tacu tacu patties, heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the patties and fry for 3–4 minutes on each side until lightly browned all over.
  6. To assemble the dish, place each patty on a plate and top with the aubergine and sauce. Sprinkle over some crumbled queso fresco or feta and a few coriander leaves and serve immediately.
Martin Morales
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