Secrets of Peruvian Cuisine : Chicha Morada



One of the nicest things of studying Spanish in any country where it’s spoken is the cultural immersion. You do not only improve your Spanish language skills but you learn so much about local culture, habits, fiestas and history. In my case, I spent many others in the kitchen with my Peruvian host mum and she revealed my secrets of Peruvian cuisine to me!

One of the things I loved from the first moment on, when my stomach was still adjusting to the altitude and others, was the Chicha Morada.

Chicha morada is a non-alcoholic drink. It is incredibly refreshing and REALLY easy to make. Don’t let the thought of drinking purple corn turn you off to trying this recipe. It’s actually delicious and you’re not going to eat the corn anyway!



Chicha has been a staple in Peruvian food for thousands of years. The Incas made and drank this beverage throughout the entire Andean region (Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and northern Chile) before the Spanish ever discovered the Americas and It’s still a tradition till now. Last night i had the chance to watch the mother of the family that i live with making it and i thought of spreading out the recipe as well so everybody can try it out:

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ lb purple corn
  • Peelings from 2 lb cooking apples
  • Peelings from 1 large pineapple
  • 4 key limes
  • 1 cup sugar, or to taste
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks

Preparation :

To prepare it, bring to a boil the well washed apple and pineapple peelings, the corn and cloves with 3 quarts water. Simmer for half an hour, and then strain.
Repeat simmering process with same ingredients and 3 quarts clean water. We have to strain and mix both liquids. Finally, add sugar and lemon juice. Serve chilled.

Note: Add sugar and key lime to the Chicha only when ready to use. In fact, before adding sugar and key it can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days.



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