Some people say causa comes from the Quechua word 'kausay" (sustenance of life). According to this, the dish would have pre-Hispanic roots, and in those days the dish was boiled potato eaten with slices of ají. But the "Causa Limeña", or Lima-style causa, appeared in the Colonial period. Based on the kausay dish, the Spanish added other ingredients like fish, olives and avocado.

The most folkloric version of the history of "Causa Peruana" says that a nun from Lima had to feed a battalion of soldiers and she was asked with very short notice. So she used what there was available and because they were celebrating the Peruvian Independence Day, it was named "causa" (cause). Whatever the real story is, you can now learn to prepare the dish with a Peruvian chef.






Skill level

Average: 4.3 (14 votes)


  • 2 pieces chicken breast 
  • 1 kg potatoes 
  • ⅓ cup yellow chilli paste 
  • ½ cup vegetable oil 
  • ½ kg mixed vegetables 
  • 3 lemons, juiced 
  • ¼ cup salt 
  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • 4 eggs, boiled, cut into pieces 
  • black olives

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Boil the chicken. Set aside when cooked.

In another pot, boil the potatoes in salted water. When cooked, peel and mash the potatoes.

Mix the potatoes with the chilli paste, vegetable oil, and some of the mixed vegetables, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.

Chop the chicken into small pieces and mix with mayonnaise and the remaining mixed vegetables.

In a dish, place a layer of the mashed potato mix. Cover with a layer of the chicken mix. Repeat this process.

Decorate with the eggs and black olives. Serve cold.