This article will show you how to make an authentic chicha morada.
What Is A Chicha Morada?
In Peru, this beverage is called “chicha morada,” which literally means “purple corn” in Quechua.
It is traditionally made from purple corn kernels that have been soaked overnight in water before being boiled for about three hours.
The resulting liquid has a deep purple color due to anthocyanin pigments found inside the corn kernel.
The drink can also be prepared using other ingredients like rice or quinoa instead of corn, as well as different types of fruits, spices, and herbs.
This variation makes it possible to create many different flavors and recipes.
One of the most popular variations includes adding a few drops of lime juice to the final product.
When mixed together, these two ingredients form what is known as a Chicha Morada Limeade cocktail.
There are several ways to prepare this kind of drink at home.
However, if you want to learn more about its history and tradition, read on!
How do I get started making my own chicha morada?
To start your preparation, gather all the necessary ingredients, including purple corn (or any type of grain), limes, sugar, ginger, cloves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, vanilla extract, and a blender.
You should also include some ice cubes and a glass container big enough to hold at least four cups of the mixture.
Take one cup of purple corn and soak it in cold water for 24 hours.
After soaking, drain the corn completely and rinse thoroughly under running water.
Cut off the end of each cob, then slice down through the husk along both sides until you reach the white part of the kernel.
Remove the corn from the cobs and place them into a large bowl.
Rinse out the bowl again, and repeat the process until you have cut off every last bit of the cobs.
Place the corn back into the bowl, cover it with a towel, and set aside.
Now comes the fun part—boiling the corn.
Put the bowl over high heat and bring the temperature up to 180° F.
Once the temperature reaches this level, add 1/4 cup of the sugar per quart of corn to help prevent burning.
Stir gently so that no clumps of sugar remain undissolved.
Keep stirring, and wait until the sugar dissolves completely before moving onto step number 2.
In a separate pot, boil 3 cups of water per 4 cups of corn.
Add the remaining sugar while the water boils.
Continue cooking until the liquid turns a dark brown shade, approximately 30 minutes.
At this point, remove the pot from the stovetop and pour the contents of the pot directly into the bowl containing the corn.
Stir everything together vigorously, scraping the bottom of the bowl to ensure that all the sugar dissolves once again.
Take note of the mixture’s temperature.
If it isn’t hot enough yet, return the pan to the stove and increase the heat slightly.
Wait until the corn starts to bubble around the edges, then turn off the heat source entirely and allow the mixture to cool naturally.
Once the mixture has cooled, transfer it into a blender or food processor.
Make sure you have plenty of room between the lid and the top because the steam produced during blending may cause it to burst open.
Blend everything together until there are only small pieces of corn left in the bowl, similar to when you were peeling the corn.
Put the mixture back into the same bowl and stir in 6 tablespoons of orange blossom honey and 5 teaspoons of ground ginger.
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, strain the mixture through a fine strainer to remove the fiber, and discard the solids.
Transfer the strained liquid into another large bowl or jar and chill it fully before serving.
What Is The Origin Of The Chicha Morada Recipe?
The origins of the chicha morada can be traced back to Peru’s Incan Empire (1438–1532).
The beverage was created as a way for the indigenous people to preserve their crops during times when there wasn’t enough rain or food supply.
When it rained, they would collect water from streams and then boil it over open fires.
They would add sugarcane juice, which would ferment naturally, into this process creating a fermented drink called “chicha.”
During these times, the native people were able to use the fermented drink to help them survive in harsh climatic conditions.
However, after the Spanish conquistadors arrived, they found that the indigenous people had been using the chicha morada to get drunk on! So, they started brewing the drink themselves and changed its name to “morada” — meaning red.
Chicha morada became popular among the upper class and eventually spread throughout South America and Europe.
But not all drinks need to have such a dark history behind them to be enjoyable.
Today, many people know about the chicha morada because of its unique taste and color.
In fact, it has become so popular that there are now multiple companies selling chicha morada beverages worldwide.
However, if you want to learn more about the history of the chicha morada, check out our other articles below.
You may also like to read up on some other interesting facts about the region where it originated.
What Are The Traditional Ingredients In A Chicha Morada?
Chicha morada is a popular beverage that originated in Peru.
The name comes from its color – it’s reddish purple in appearance due to the addition of red food coloring during production.
The basic recipe for this beverage includes fermented purple corn (inedible), water, sugar, vanilla extract, and spices like clove, cinnamon, and ginger.
You can add other flavors depending on your preference, such as mint or orange peel.
In order to create the purple color, you’ll need red food coloring.
This may be added at any stage of production, but when making the final product, it should be done just before serving the drinks.
Purple Corn Preparation
- You’ll start off by washing the ears of purple corncob.
- Make sure they’re clean because the husks tend to have some dirt inside them.
- If there’s too much dirt, wash again until all traces of dirt has been removed.
- Next, cut open each ear of purple corncob using a sharp knife.
- Remove the cob itself, leaving behind only the kernels.
- Put these kernels into a large pot filled with enough cold water so that the kernels remain submerged throughout the process.
- Bring the pot up to a simmer, then let it cook for about 20 minutes.
- Once cooked, remove it from heat and allow it to cool down completely.
- Once cooled, use a spoon to gently scrape away most of the outer layer of corn kernels from the cobs.
- These are the parts you don’t want to eat.
- When removing the outer layers, look out for small white fibers.
- These are the seeds, which are edible but not desirable.
- Scrape away the remaining outer layer of corn kernels.
- They will now be ready to use in the next step.
Making Purple Corn Drink
- Put the cleaned kernels into a blender along with the sugar, vanilla extract, and spices.
- Blend everything together until smooth.
- Add more water if necessary to achieve a good consistency.
- Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl.
- Do not discard the liquid!
- Refrigerate the strained mixture overnight or for several hours.
Serving the Chicha Morada Recipe
- At this point, the drink is still quite thick and needs to be thinned out slightly.
- To do this, place the chilled drink back into a blender and blend it until it reaches the desired thickness.
- Add the whipped cream to the drink and stir well until combined.
- Serve immediately.
Read on below to find out what other ingredients go into making a chicha morada recipe.
And remember, while these traditional ingredients might seem simple, they take patience and practice to perfect.
How Is A Chicha Morada Typically Served?
Chicha morada is traditionally served at celebrations such as weddings and holidays.
You can also find it on tables during festivals like Carnival or Christmas.
In addition, you’ll see people drinking this sweet beverage all throughout Peru.
The best way to serve chicha morada is in small glasses filled with ice.
Traditionally, guests add a little bit of sugar and fruit juice (such as orange) to the glass before pouring in the chicha morada.
This helps bring out its flavor and makes for a more enjoyable drink experience.
What Are Some Modern Variations Of The Chicha Morada Recipe?
Chicha morada has been around for centuries in Peru and neighboring countries.
This beverage can be found throughout Latin America, as well as in other parts of the world like Mexico and Japan.
It’s believed that the first records of this beverage date back to 1570 when Spanish conquistadors brought it to South America from Spain.
The name “morada” means purple or black in Spanish, which refers to the color of its ingredients.
The most traditional way to prepare chicha morada involves a three-step process.
First, the purple corn kernels are boiled until they turn into a thick liquid called hominy.
Then, the mixture is strained through a cloth bag and left overnight to ferment.
Finally, the fermented liquid is mixed with sugar and spices like cinnamon, cloves, and lemon zest.
You can also buy bottled versions of this drink at your local grocery store.
However, since these drinks aren’t made using the same method as homemade ones, it may not taste quite as good.
Is A Chicha Morada Alcoholic?
A chicha morada is not actually alcoholic at all.
It’s just fermented from purple corn.
The fermentation process turns the sweet sugar into alcohol that can be absorbed through your mouth.
But there’s no actual drinking involved in making this beverage!
How Long Does It Take To Make A Chicha Morada?
The process for making this traditional beverage can vary depending on what type of equipment you have available.
If you are using an electric pressure cooker, then you can expect your chicha morada to be ready in about 20 minutes after all the ingredients are added.
If you’re not sure which way to go when it comes to pressure cookers, look at our guide to pressure cooking.
Chicha moradas are typically prepared using large copper pots or caldrons, but they also may use clay pots, ceramic vessels, and other types of containers.
The size of these vessels should accommodate the amount of liquid that you want to create during the chicha morada preparation.
Once the vessel is full of water, add one cup of sugar (or more if desired) and bring the mixture up to a boil.
As soon as the mixture starts to bubble, remove from heat immediately so that the sugar doesn’t burn.
Add two cups of dried blue corn kernels and let sit until they start to soften.
This can take anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the moisture content of the corn.
Once soft, drain off any excess water from the corn and discard.
Next, add three whole pieces of fresh pineapple, along with half of a stick of cinnamon and four cloves.
Add another cup of water to cover everything, and bring it back up to a simmer.
Simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally, before removing from heat.
When the time has come to strain out the fruit, run cold tap water through the inside of the pot.
Then place a funnel over the top of the container and pour the contents into a colander or strainer lined with cheesecloth.
You may need to press down on the solids to get them to pass through.
The resulting liquid should now be clear enough to see through the bottom of the glass bottle to where the chicha morada sits.
Discard the solids and keep the strained liquid separate from the rest of the batch.
Now, combine ¼ cup of lemon juice with ½ cup of sugar.
Stir together thoroughly and set aside.
Next, mix together ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of ground ginger, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract.
Mix well, then stir again.
Finally, add the remaining ½ cup of sugar to the strained liquid and whisk vigorously until the sugar dissolves completely.
Pour the syrup into the bottle containing the strained liquid, and seal tightly.
Store the finished product in a cool dark location away from direct sunlight.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of A Chicha Morada?
Chicha morada is sweetened, flavored, and colored purple corn that has been boiled in water until tender enough to eat.
The color comes from anthocyanin pigments found naturally in purple corn kernels.
Anthocyanins have antioxidant properties and can help prevent cancer.
The main ingredients of a chicha morada include:
- Purple corn
- Pineapple juice or concentrate
A chicha morada’s other common names are “purple corn liquor,” “purple corn beer,” and “Peruvian corn wine.”
As far as taste goes, this beverage is delicious! Purple corn tastes like sweet, juicy fruit with hints of vanilla and nutmeg.
In fact, many people say they would rather drink this than any alcoholic beverage because it doesn’t give them a hangover or cause dehydration.
The following sections contain detailed information about chicha morada recipes.
Ingredients for Making Chicha Morada
- 1 cup purple corn
- ¾ cup sugar (or more depending on personal preference)
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups cold water
- Lime slices
- Fresh mint leaves
- Whipped cream, optional
You can use either fresh or frozen purple corn.
If using frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator first.
After blending everything together and straining out the solids, pour into mugs and garnish with lime slices and fresh mint leaves if desired.
What Are Some Tips For Making The Perfect Chicha Morada?
Chicha morada is not only delicious but also very healthy.
This beverage has been around since ancient times and it was even mentioned in the Bible! The color comes from the blue corn used which naturally contains anthocyanins, so this drink’s health benefits come from its antioxidants.
Let’s learn more about what makes up a good chicha morada recipe!
- The first thing that you need to do when preparing your chicha morada recipe is to buy fresh ingredients.
- If you use dried or canned fruits then they won’t give off their natural flavors.
- You can choose between different types of fruit depending on what you like best.
- You should go for sweet ones because that way the result will be sweeter and less acidic compared to sour ones.
- Next, add sugar.
- A little bit goes a long way here.
- Too much sugar could cause fermentation and spoilage later on, so don’t worry if you have a lot, just keep adding until all the water evaporates.
- Now add the spices.
- Cinnamon, clove, and ginger are great additions to any drink.
- Ginger gives off a spicy flavor while cloves bring out the aroma.
- They’re both anti-inflammatory and help fight infection.
- To conclude, pour everything into a large pot and let it simmer over medium heat.
- Stir frequently to avoid burning the mixture.
Once you’ve got your ingredients ready, there are still several things that you may want to consider before starting your chicha morada recipe.
Here are 10 points you must know about before starting your chicha morada:
1. Make sure your stove is clean.
If you think that cooking isn’t easy, try doing it without your kitchen being spotless.
There might be bacteria hiding under your pots and pans so you need to get them cleaned properly.
2. Choose high quality ingredients.
It doesn’t matter whether you cook at home or work as a chef, you always need to ensure that you use quality products.
When it comes to chicha morada recipes, these days most people tend to use the cheapest options available.
However, using cheap ingredients is going to affect the end product negatively.
So, don’t fall victim to those who offer low prices on inferior ingredients.
3. Use plenty of ice cubes.
When it comes to mixing drinks, it’s important to mix well and evenly.
To achieve this, you need to put enough ice cubes in the glass and stir thoroughly.
Don’t forget to remove the lid after each addition too.
4. Be careful when opening jars.
Jars are usually sealed tightly to prevent air getting inside.
That means that once opened, you need to close the jar immediately.
Otherwise, the food inside could turn bad and start fermenting.
5. Always measure accurately.
Measuring cups are extremely useful when baking or cooking.
But they aren’t exactly great when it comes to mixing liquids together.
Measuring spoons are better suited to this job thanks to their small size.
6. Keep stirring constantly.
Stirring constantly prevents the contents from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
In other words, constant stirring ensures that no sediment is left behind after blending.
Also, remember that the hotter the liquid gets, the faster it’ll solidify.
7. Avoid letting anything burn.
Don’t leave the fire unattended during the entire process.
Once the liquid starts bubbling, take care of it right away.
If something burns, the chances of losing all of your hard work are quite high.
8. Wash hands thoroughly.
Washing your hands thoroughly is essential if you want to prepare delicious meals.
Cooking is messy business and you never know where germs hide.
So, wash your hands regularly and disinfect them whenever possible.
9. Remove excess moisture.
As soon as you finish making your chicha morada recipe, you need to transfer it from the pot to another container.
If you don’t, then the resulting drink can become sticky and runny.
Besides, this can lead to mold formation.
10. Serve cold.
When serving chicha morada, you can either serve it warm or chilled.
Warm chicha moradas taste better but they’re more likely to create foam, which is why we recommend chilling them instead.
How to make Chicha Morada
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 3 cups of dried purple corn kernels (or 3 ears)
- ⅛ teaspoons allspice or clove powder
- Pinch nutmeg
- ⅔ cup pineapple juice
- Bring 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan to boil over high heat.
- Add ½ cup of sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Add ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom, ⅛ teaspoon allspice or clove powder, and pinch of nutmeg.
- Stir well and then add 3 cups of purple corn kernels.
- Cover the pan and turn down the heat to low.
- Cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove lid from pan and increase the heat to medium.
- Stir frequently as it boils for another 10 minutes.
- Once boiled, remove from heat.
- Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl (to catch any remaining pieces).
- Discard solids.
- Whip ½ cup of heavy whipping cream and fold it together with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar.
- Serve chilled topped with a spoonful of sweetened whipped cream.
- large pot
- 15- ounce purple corn dried
- 16 cups water
- 3 whole cinnamon sticks
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 whole pineapple diced (peel reserved)
- 1 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup lime juice fresh
- 1 green apple diced for serving (peel reserved)
- Add the dried purple corn, water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, pineapple peels, sugar, and apple peel to a large pot. When the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for 45 minutes.
- Take the chicha off the heat. Pour the mixture through a strainer over a large bowl, catching the large corn ears, pulp, and pineapple. Allow to cool to room temperature in a pitcher before refrigerating until cold. Stir in the lime juice, diced pineapple, and diced green apple once the chicha has cooled. Pour into glasses and serve.