Carapulcra is an ancient stew that the Inca made with papa seca (dehydrated potatoes). Migrant families that moved from the Andes mountains to Lima brought the stew with them. And over time, Lima’s creole cooks added spices such as cloves, cinnamon, and anise. Today, Afro-descendant communities in the town of Chincha south of Lima prepare three carapulcra versions: with papa seca, with fresh potatoes, or with chickpeas. All of these versions are part of the soul food of Black Peru. Here, toasting dry chickpeas adds smoky flavor and crunchy texture, native Peruvian hot peppers aji panca and aji amarillo give heat to the onion aderezo base, and five spice infuses aromatics. Peanut butter makes the stew creamy, while agave and red wine provide balance and depth. Colorful pickled cabbage brightens the dish. Accompany the carapulcra with a side of steamed rice to absorb the stew’s savory juices.

Carapulcra / Afro-Peruvian Chickpea Stew with Peanuts

Serves 4

Pickled Purple Cabbage

  • 2 cups thinly sliced 2-inch strips purple cabbage
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • dash salt


  • 1 cup dry chickpea
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons aji panca
  • 2 teaspoons aji amarillo
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon five spice
  • 2 cups vegan beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons agave
  • 3 tablespoons red wine (such as Malbec varietal)
  • cilantro leaves and roasted peanuts for garnish

For the pickled purple cabbage, combine the purple cabbage, lime juice, vinegar, and salt in an airtight container. Seal and shake well to mix. Refrigerate for 1 hour before using.

In a dry 11-inch skillet over medium heat, toast the chickpeas, stirring often, until they begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer the toasted chickpea to a large pot, and cover with at least 1-inch water, about 4 cups. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat, cover, and let soak for 2 hours. Strain before using.

For the aderezo base, in a 2-quart pot with peanut oil over medium heat, sauté the red onion with garlic until the onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Mix in aji panca, aji amarillo, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and five spice. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 more minutes.

Add the toasted chickpea plus the stock, stir well to mix. Bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces to the level of the chickpeas, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter, agave, and red wine. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve the stew in bowls and top with pickled cabbage. Garnish with cilantro leaves and roasted peanuts.