Cusco’s Delightfully Named “Parrot Stew” or “Yuyujaucha”
Every morning our market vendors leave home early to get to their stands and prepare woderful food for their clients. Within the markets are vendors who do not have stands but prepare food on the edges of aisles and sidewalks. Though they may not have a regular stand they prepare tasty food that is much enjoyed by many.
Day after day they make up different dishes. Today we will talk about one of the common ones of Cusco. It has three names: yuyujaucha (jaucha of greens), estofado de loro (parrot stew), and nabo (mustard greens). People get to choose how they wish to call it. Whenever the vendors have the ingredients to make this typical and ancient dish, they quickly sell out. Maybe that is because it is made from pure Andean ingredients and has a unique and agreeable flavor.
Yuyujaucha has the nabo (mustard greens) as its foundational ingredient. It gives the dish a green color. The yuyus ( a word that also means weeds) or nabos grow without ever having been planted amongst the potatoes, corn, and broad beans that people did plant. Every time the vendors harvest their plants they also harvest a great quantity of nabo and they sell it to our food vendors.
Here is a recipe for this magical dish that you can enjoy in your homes.
Ingredients (for 4 persons)
. 1 kilo de potatoes
. 1 kilo de corn
. ½ kilo fava beans
. One bundle of mustard greens (nabo or yuyu)
. 1 onion
. 2 garlic cloves (ground)
.1 tablespoon lard
.1 tablespoon sodium bicarbonate
Wash and julienne the mustard green. In a por bring 2 liters of water to a boil. Add the greens and the sodium bicarbonate. Let it cook for approximately thirty minutes stirring it constantly. Once done, drain and smash with your hands to form small balls to get out all the water.
Boil your potatoes. Peel them and mash. Boil the corn in another pan. Toast some of the broad beans and when the corn is twenty minutes away from being done add them to the pot so that they can cook and be done at the same time as the corn.
In a pan heat the lard and fry your garlic paste. Then add onion cut into plumes. Let it cook for a fewminutes and then add cumin and pepper to taste and stir constantly. Finally add the mashed potatoes and the mustard green. Stir until well mixed and until the mixture is ready to serve up along side the boiled corn and broad beans.