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cevicheOften hailed as the gastronomic capital of the Americas, Peru was recently recognised as the world’s premier culinary destination by the World Travel Awards. In another development, London based Lima became the first Peruvian restaurant to be awarded a coveted Michelin star, an international symbol of exceptional dining quality.

The multitude of tantalising dishes on offer at Lima include scallop tiradito (Peruvian sushi), halibut chalaca (buttery fillet) and beef pachamanca (Scottish beef), and perhaps best of all, ceviche – a ‘must have’ for seafood enthusiasts the world over.

Ceviche’s primary ingredient is raw fish (ideally salmon or tuna) which can be served sliced, diced or as a fillet. It is traditionally marinated for a few hours in chilli, coriander, ginger, tangy citrus fruit juice (made from lemons, limes or oranges) and zingy fish juice that ‘cook’ the meat. It is then garnished with peppers to spice it up, and usually served with seasonal herbs and vegetables.

Ceviche is definitely the food of choice for health conscious people on the lookout for gastronomic delights that are not only delicious but low in calories and rich in nutritional value. As ceviche uses fish in its purest form, each serving has a high content of minerals, Omega-3 fatty acids, proteins and vitamins, all believed to prevent a host of diseases.

Ceviche is therefore a perfect ‘light’ meal, and because it is super simple to prepare, it can be whipped up at home without the hassle or expense of going to a fancy restaurant.

Given that Latin American food is an emerging global culinary trend, it is no surprise that several restaurants in Pakistan have already added ceviche to their menu. So make sure to try out this tangy delicacy soon – not only is it delicious, it is also very healthy!

– Ayesha Shaikh

First published in The Adbuzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on October 27, 2013.

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