A Journey Through Popular South American Dishes

A Journey Through Popular South American Dishes

By Carlos Fida – South America Expert at Columbus Travel

Not long ago I read an article declaring, and answering, what South America is famous for. Some bad things were mentioned:  politics, inflation, and housing among others.

The list included the good as well, but the highest kudos went to the diversity of the South American cuisine.

I would like to share a few recipes, easy to make and very tasty. You can bring a piece of the Andean cuisine of South America into your home.


Locro de Papa. This is a traditional Ecuadorian Potato or Stew Soup. The ingredients are few. You can find many of them at a Latin store. Here is Salt Lake, the best is La Pequenita. This recipe will feed a large family.


5 medium sized potatoes.
2 tablespoon of oil.
1 white onion diced.
2 cloves of garlic.
A small piece of chili pepper.
1 teaspoon of achiote powder, if you cannot find achiote use some nutmeg and pepper.
1 cup of milk and salt to taste.


Over medium heat cook onions, garlic and achiote powder in the oil, until the onions are tender. This will take about 5 minutes. Stir frequently. Add the potatoes to the pot and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Stir every 2 or 3 minutes. Add the chili and water and bring the liquid to boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender. Turn the heat down to low. Add salt to taste and let cook for another 5 or 10 minutes. When served add a slice of avocado.


Peru has been branded as the gourmet capital of South America, much to my dismay. I thought that my native country Argentina had the best food. Not so; it is Peru. The diversity of the Peruvian cuisine is known around the world. Last year I had a delicious Peruvian lunch in a restaurant in Prague!

Ceviche. This is a very traditional Peruvian dish. There are different versions in Ecuador and Chile; but nothing as good as the Peruvian recipe.


1 ¼ pound of sole, flounder or seabass. (My favorite is sole)
1 quart of water, boiled and chilled.
1 red onion cut in a very thin slice.
1 or 2 habanero pepper cut in half, without seeds and deveined
1 clove of garlic
¼ cup of fresh lime
2 tablespoon of finely chopped cilantro leaves
2 ears of corn cut in half
1 sweet potato sliced in ¼ inch thick, boiled and left to cool.
2 tablespoon of canola oil
1 cup of lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste


Cut fish in small cubes, place in a bowl with cold water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Refrigerate while preparing the onion and juice of lime. Rub the thin onion slices with half a tablespoon of salt and rinse in cold water. Rinse the fish to remove the salt. Place the cubes of fish, half of the slice onions and the hot pepper in a glass bowl and pour the lime juice over the ingredients. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt.  Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes. The juice of the lime will cook the fish. Remove the cilantro sprigs and the hot pepper from the mix. Use a spoon to place the ceviche on each plate. Add some more onion, the chopped cilantro and a slice of the hot pepper. Serve with the corn and sweet potato. Make sure the corn and the sweet potato is boiled until soft. Serve cold.