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National dish of Bolivia - Picante de pollo

Recipe: The national dish of Bolivia – Picante de Pollo

Picante de Pollo, one of many creole recipes, is originated from western Bolivia and is characterised by its aroma, spicy taste of choky flavour of chuño (dehydrates potatoes). The spiciness of this recipe depends on the quality of “aji” – cayenne peppers, you use.
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course, Main Dish
Servings 4


  • 1 chicken
  • 250 g green peas fresh, peeled or frozen
  • 4 potatoes
  • 250 g rice
  • 4 cayenne peppers fresh or dehydrated
  • 3 onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 150 g parsley finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ground cumin

Chuño phuti (can be replaced with more potatoes or made with the ingredients below if you can't buy it in the store)

  • 250 g potato starch
  • water
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 50 ml oil
  • 1 small onion
  • ½ tomato
  • 3 eggs
  • shredded cheese


  • Debone the chicken and put it in boiling water.
  • Add the potatoes, a pinch of salt and cook on medium heat.
  • After 20 minutes, add the peas and bring to a boil until the chicken and potatoes are soft - about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Fry the rice in 1 tablespoon of oil, continuously stirring for about 5 minutes. When the rice is golden brown, add enough water to cover the rice and let it boil on low heat, without stirring, until it becomes soft – about 25 minutes. Add more water if necessary.
  • Remove the seeds from the cayenne peppers and blend with 150 ml water to make a thick sauce. If you have cayenne powder, you can make the same sauce by adding water.
  • Finely chop the onions and garlic
  • In a large pan, fry the onions and the garlic in 2 tablespoons of oil until they become golden brown. Add some little water to avoid burning if needed. Set aside ¾ in a bowl. To the remaining ¼, add the red pepper sauce and season. Stir all the time.
  • By now, the chicken should be ready, so incorporate it and the peas in the chili sauce. Add about 5 tablespoons of broth and cook for another 15 minutes.
  • Serve the chicken with some chili sauce on top, adding 1 potato on the plate and the same amount of chuño and rice. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over and you are ready to serve a Bolivian spicy dish.

Chuño phuti

  • One night before preparing, put the potato starch to soak in warm water
  • The next day, sort through the soaked potato flour, removing any undesirable bits of peel. Split into four parts and knead repeatedly until the bitter taste disappears.
  • Bring to boil with enough water and two teaspoons of salt. Once cooked, drain in a colander.
  • Chop the onion and the tomato and shred some cheese
  • In another pot put the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and fry until it is golden brown.
  • Add tomatoes, stir and cook for about five minutes.
  • Add the eggs and mix again.
  • Add the cooked and drained potato flour and cook for about five minutes.
  • Finally, before serving, add cheese and stir over low heat.