A spicy sauce made of rocoto hot peppers and herbs the uchukuta* has a flavor that has gained it great popularity. In Cusco, people ask for it to accompany the majority of the dishes they eat.
In truth, the translation of uchukuta from Quechua just is “ground hot pepper”. Nevertheless, uchukuta has a flavor that is greater than such small and few words could suggest. The secret of this sauce is its preparation. With our technology today people use a blender to grind up the ingredients to make the sauce. Nevertheless, that sauce is only 20% as good as one ground by hand on a batan, a flat stone mortar.
When you use the blender it comes out uniform and the flavor is gentle, a complete fusion. When you use the batan the combination of ingredients does not come out completely uniform, even when very well ground. This is the secret of its good flavor. Small pieces of herbs, such as huacatay, still maintain their own flavor in a small quantity, just like the pepper, the rocoto, and so they give the sauce small bursts of concentrated flavor.
In what follows we give you a recipe for a good uchukuta.
Peanuts, a handful
2 Cloves Garlic
Cheese, 100 grams
Oil 5 drop
Peel the garlic as well as the onion and remove the seeds from the rocotos. Then cut them into pieces to fry them lightly over gentle flame. Take the leaves off your herbs and put them on the batán and dress them with a few drops of oil. Add the ingredients you fried along with the cheese, peanuts, salt.
Grind them in the mortar, at first slowly until the textures reduce and come together. After a few minutes of grinding them you will see you uchukuta taking form.
This is the recipe for a good uchukuta to enjoy with any dish you wish to prepare.
*also spelled uchucuta, depending on whether you wish to use contemporary Spanish spelling or contemporary Quechua spelling.