Huacatay (Tagetes minuta), a native Peruvian herb related to marigold and tarragon, has a pungent aroma somewhere between mint and basil. Among thousands of native herbs, huacatay has given Peruvian seasoning its unique zest from Incan to contemporary times.

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons huacatay paste
  • 3 tablespoons shredded mint
  • 2 cloves garlic

What to buy: Because this herb has such a special flavor, there really is no substitute, though a combination of mint and coriander comes closest.from: Field Guide to Herbs & Spices by Aliza Green


  1. In a blender or food processor, puree lime juice, vegetable oil, huacatay paste, mint, garlic, and salt to taste.
  2. Spoon over grilled tuna, swordfish, or Chilean sea bass or serve with ceviche.