Humita Tortellini with Ají de Gallina sauce – an original Awasi Atacama recipe

INGREDIENTS for 8 servings

For the dough
Flour- 0.5 k
Eggs – 4 eggs plus 4 egg yolks
Olive oil – 1 teaspoon

For the filling (pastelera)
1 large onion
Sunflower oil – 2 tablespoons
Fresh basil leaves – to taste
Indian corn – 1k
Salt – to taste
Sugar – to taste
Milk – 0.5 l
Butter – 100 g

For the hot chili pepper paste
Yellow Chili (Ají amarillo) – 4 pieces
Onion – ½
Garlic – 2 cloves
Salt – to taste
Olive oil – 1 teaspoon

For the Ají de Gallina
Chicken – 1, 2 k
Sunflower oil – 50 cc
2 large onions
Garlic – 4 cloves
Salt – to taste
Chicken broth – 200 ml
Ají Amarillo hot chili pepper paste – to taste
A loaf of white bread– 0.5 unit
Roasted peanuts – 60 g
Evaporated milk – 1 can


Prepare pastry dough: in order to do this, mix ingredients in a bowl until they are all well mixed and you have achieved uniform dough. Keep in a bag and let rest for at least 1 hour at room temperature.

For the pastelera filling: Sautee the onion, previously finely diced, until quite tender and soft, add corn, milk, basil, salt and sugar to taste. Cook for at least 30 minutes over medium heat. Blend this preparation with the mixer and filter using a very fine sieve. Place the mixture in a saucepan and cook until it becomes thick (it must have the consistency of a soft purée), remove from the fire and add butter, cut in cubes, and some basil cut in chiffonade, quickly add to the mixture. Cool and leave in a piping bag in order to shape the tortellini later on.

To shape the tortellini: Roll out the dough until very thin (1 to 2 mm thick) let the dough pieces rest for at least 10 minutes (so at cutting time they are not reduced). Cut the 10 cm wide circumferences with a pastry knife. Brush with water the lower border of the pastry dough, add the pastelera right in the middle section, seal by turning the circumference upwards, withdrawing all the air and sticking carefully the two ends of the dough in order to shape the tortellini, set aside. Cook at low heat in boiling water (with sea salt added), not letting it boil too fast so the dough is not broken.

The hot chili pepper paste is prepared by cooking the deveined hot chili peppers until they become soft and can be easily peeled. They are then blended with some sautéed onion and garlic, seasoned with salt and olive oil, blended and filtered. Set aside for the ají de gallina,and a little bit for decoration.

For ají de gallina, cook the chicken breasts in the chicken broth, let cool and then shred the meat, put aside. Then sauté the diced onion until very tender (slow fire), add the garlic and sauté for 10 more minutes, increase the heat, add some more oil and fry the chicken for approximately 5 minutes, deglaze with broth, scraping the bottom of the pan, then add the blended mixture of crustless bread with evaporated milk and hot chili pepper paste to taste. Keep cooking until it boils (always stirring) and until it reaches the desired consistency, put aside.

For plating up, place the ají de gallina as the base, sprinkle on top some of the cut up roasted peanuts. Place the tortellini on top of the ají forming a line and decorate with ají amarillo paste and fresh basil leaves.


Chef Juan Pablo and his team uses many traditional flavours from the desert as bases for complex and sophisticate creations.