Dish of the Day: Ajiaco Colombiano (Colombian Chicken and Potato Soup)
The flavours of this soup is simply comforting and brings a bout of nostalgia. This dish is one that has a long history and rich with Colombian culture. From the moment the pot was placed over fire, the house will be flooded with a comforting and warm aroma of guascas and wild grass.
What is Ajiaco Colombiano?
Ajiaco is a popular Colombian dish, particularly in the city of Bogotá, the capital of Colombia. It’s a hearty soup of chicken with potatoes and corn on a cob. An essential ingredient in the soup is Andean yellow potatoes called papas criollas — they dissolve and thicken the soup as it boils.
This meal is suitable for a cold nights and keeps one warm. It is served with artisan bread and Albarino wine from Spain. Ajiaco comes together with a Colombian herb named guascas. It is traditionally consumed with avocado slices, capers, and mild sour cream.
History of Ajiaco Colombiano
Ajiaco is a soup that is prevalent to Colombia, Cuba, and Peru. The origin of the dish has been a topic to be debated by many scholars. The dish is particularly popular in the Colombian capital, Bogotá, where it is usually produced with chicken, three kinds of potatoes and Galinsoga parviflora plant.
In Cuba, ajiaco is served as a stew, while in Peru it is served with a range of regionally particular variants. In the book Lexicografia Antillana, Alfredo Zayas y Alfonso, the ex-president of Cuba, indicated that the term “ajiaco” originated from “aji,” the indigenous Taíno term for “warm sauce.”
The Cuban ethnologist, Fernando Ortiz, said that ajiaco was a typical Taíno dinner and the dish served as a metaphor for Cuba to be a melting pot. In the Cuban town of Camagüey, the San Juan Festival starts with the creation and service of ajiaco.
Cuba’s La Calle magazine stated that the inhabitants of the village Santa María de Puerto del Príncipe started producing ajiaco using their own produce, passenger gifts, peasants’ surpluses, and excess arrangements for slaves. Ajiaco is thought to have become common in Cuba in the 16th century, especially among agrarian Cubans, although some parts of the upper class enjoy the dish as well.
Different versions of Ajiaco Colombiano
In the Colombian city, Bogotá, ajiaco is a common meal typically consisting of chicken, three kinds of potatoes, and the herb Galinsoga parviflora, frequently referred to as guasca in Colombia and in the U.S., where it is regarded a weed.
According to preference, capers or cream may also be included. Cubans have created many ajiaco soup variants that utilises pork, poultry, chicken and vegetables, and in Peru, this meal is usually served with a side of potatoes, garlic, chillies, and herbs.
You can usually find frozen papas criollas as well as dried guascas at Latin food markets—they are worth seeking out if you decide to make this dish.
Where to find Ajiaco Colombiano in Malaysia
It is really rare to find European establishments in Malaysia that serve Ajiaco Colombiano. However, El Maiz Venezuelan restaurant (Kuala Lumpur) serve common European dishes such as ‘Ajiaco’. It is RM25 for vegetable and chicken soup. the restaurant has been using an authentic recipe for the soup.
This dish contains a piece of chicken, chunky veggies, and flavourful stock. Hence, make sure to eat it with the accompanying set of sides of fresh lime wedges and capers to really set the flavours off. Order yours now at El Maiz!
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Article Written By Mico Hu
Mico is a professional creative writer in Foodpanda. She writes about travel, fashion, and food. Also, she enjoy travelling to new places and also eating delicious food.