Traditional Food

Cuzco’s Knuckle Scramble, Always a Favorite

Knuckle scramble (revuelta de patitas) is one of the most common and traditional dishes of the city of Cuzco. Very popular at lunchtime, it is made from lamb and beef knuckles. These are converted into a delicious combination with French fries and egg, all scrambled together.

This is a favorite dish on weekends and all the time in the markets. For example the vendors (caseras) of the San Pedro Market, prepared food section, talk a lot about this food. Some of them ask their clients if they liked the dish or not.

A good knuckle scramble consists of a hot dressing, the knuckles, potatoes, peas, and rice.

Where do you find these ingredients?

The markets that sell patitas, or knuckles, are the San Pedro Market, the Cascaparo, and the Vinocanchón. Besides getting good knuckles you also need to find the right potatoes among the wide variety sold in Cuzco. Boiling potatoes, such as the peruanita or the huayro are not recommended for this dish.

Instead, you would do well to ask the caseras, vendors, which potatoes are best for frying. They will probably recommend the canchán or the papa blanca. Even though small, peas are also important.

Some good peas, fresh and green, to combine with the other ingredients once they are boiled, is very important. The aderezo, the dressing, which is the beginning of the dish, is also very important. Finally, you need good rice since this accompanies the scramble and is eaten little by little with it. You also need to know how much you should cook the scramble. If you remove it from the heat too soon, the peas and the knuckles will still be tough. But if you let it go too long, the ingredients will lose their distinctiveness.

You want something that is tender, comes together and yet maintains the separateness of the ingredients. As a result, when you eat a good knuckle scramble the flavor and the composition are balanced. The potatoes are soft and yet crispy and are combined with tender peas and meat. That is the best.

Where can you find this dish to enjoy it?

The tourist restaurants of the colonial core do not offer this dish, nor does it appear on their menus.

A good option, as a result, is to go to the San Pedro market, which is just a little bit away, and worth a visit in its own right.  In the section of cooked foods you will find this dish. The dish is also often prepared in Cuzco’s homes during days when the whole family will be there.  If you do not know where to find it, you can make it up yourself and here is the recipe.

Brayan Coraza Morveli

Soy completamente cusqueño. Mi profesión es analista de sistemas. Me encanta escuchar y tocar la música andina tanto como bailar break. Me gusta también compartir mi experiencias como cusqueño con gente de otros lados. Una de mis metas es llegar a conocer mi cultura más profundamente y compartirla ampliamente con gente de otras generaciones tanto como con hermanos y hermanas de otros lados de nuestra planeta.

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