Peruvian Chicha Morada

in Drinks

OMG so hot outside, amirite?! Last week in LA felt like the east coast: a ton of humidity, sort of overcast days (which I sort of liked) paired with high tempertues. That winner of a combo resulted in my makeup sliding off my face and my hair all frizzy. Not adorable.

That unattractive experience inspired me to make my favorite cooling-off-drink of my childhood: Chicha Morada. This is what my mama would make me when I was little.

So…here’s the deal: This drink is made from corn. Yes! Corn! Beautiful Peruvian purple corn that’s been dried. You can find it at most Latin supermarkets and online here. Note: It should run you about $4 at a latin market, so amazon is a little bit more expensive.

Look how pretty the purple corn is!

The corn is tossed into a pot with water, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and the peel from a pineapple (waste nothing! and plus it gives it a hint of pineapple flavor).

It simmers for 45 minutes and when it’s done your house will smell spicy and fruity and your chicha will be a beautiful, dark purple hue.

Then it’s time to add the fresh lime juice and sugar. Below it says 1 cup of sugar. This wasn’t super sweet, so feel free to taste it after the 1 cup of sugar and add more if you like!

Chicha usually comes in two forms: fermented and non-fermented. Usually the fermented chicha is more like beer, still made from corn, but almost like a beer.

That’s not what we’re making today. This is non-fermented and non-alcoholic. But I urge a splash of good rum in one of these cups. Or a splash of Pisco wouldn’t hurt either.

Top each drink with a small handful of diced pineapple and apple. Screams summer time.

Chicha Morada

Print this recipe!

1 (15 ounce) bag of dried purple corn
12 cups of water
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon of whole cloves
1 whole pineapple, diced (peel reserved)
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup lime juice
1 green apple, peeled and diced

1. To a large pot, add the corn, water, cinnamon sticks, cloves and half of the pineapple peels. Heat over high heat and once the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes.

2. Remove the chicha from the heat and pour in the sugar and fresh lime juice. Place a strainer atop a large bowl and pour mixture through it, catching the large corn ears, pulp and pineapple. Refrigerate until cold. To serve, add ice, and a small handful of diced pineapple and apple to each glass; add chichca and serve immediately.

Serves 12

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie @ Blonde Ambition July 18, 2012 at 10:48 am

I’ve never heard of anything like this before! I need to go more places. So many foods to be learned!

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Sean August 15, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Katie, I go to Peru once a year for a 2 week vacation. This drink is served in almost every establishment, and is delicious. It could take the place of sodas or Koolaid for the kids, and is much healthier. Another drink to try would be “Jamaica.” that most Mexican restaurants sell. It is pronounced..”Ha-my-i-kuh.” It is made from the boiled flowers of the Hibiscus flower, and is also very delicious. Imagine a tea, if you would, made of the Hibiscus flowers, then sugar is added, then it is cooled. Yummy.

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DessertForTwo July 18, 2012 at 10:59 am

I love learning new things like this! I’ve heard of this drink and have been so curious. I like when you share your culture :)

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Adrianna July 22, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Haha. YAY!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks July 18, 2012 at 11:23 am

Ive never ever heard of this drink but now I want it! GORGEOUS!

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Don G July 18, 2012 at 11:24 am

Thank you for this. I had this a couple weeks ago at Andina in Portland (best. meal. ever.). I’ve been looking for recipes…It’s like KoolAid for grown ups.

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Adrianna July 22, 2012 at 10:41 pm

It totally is!

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape July 18, 2012 at 11:49 am

This reminds me of Sangria minus the booze!! I’d never heard of Chicha Morada before, but I want to try it now!

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Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking July 18, 2012 at 11:55 am

Ugh! I hate when my makeup basically slides off of my face. I also hate that along with my makeup my glasses go sliding down my nose! Stupid heat! I am so intrigued by this recipe! I could totally see a good splash or two of rum in here!

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar July 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm

This looks so awesome! And it’s super unique too. Love it!

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NicoleD July 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Beautiful! I love pretty purple drinks!

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laura @ glutton for nourishment July 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm

OMG i love this drink. used to get it at a fabulous peruvian place downtown that is no more. now i desperately want some!

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Sara/Matchbox Kitchen July 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Why have I never thought to make chicha at home before?! For some reason I thought it was a much more complicated process. Can’t wait to make this as soon as I get my hands on some purple corn.

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Young Wifey July 18, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Wow! Drinks made from corn!!! What a fantastic color too!

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Kelly/Running Blonde July 19, 2012 at 4:11 am

Hey – This is completely unrelated to this post, but I wanted to let you know I tried out your spicy caramel bacon popcorn recipe last weekend! It was a huge success! I put it up on my blog (with links back to you of course!)
http://runningblonde.com/2012/07/18/spicy-caramel-bacon-popcorn-recipe/

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Adrianna July 19, 2012 at 11:39 am

RAD! I love that popcorn.

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Dana July 19, 2012 at 3:13 pm

This sounds both bizzare and lovely at the same time. I’ll have to see if I can track down some Peruvian corn…

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Kim Bee July 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm

This is spectacularly beautiful and unique.

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Javelin Warrior July 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm

I’ve never seen or used purple corn before, but you’re right – it’s gorgeous! And this drink sounds so refreshing… I’m featuring this post in Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and thanks for creating such amazing food…

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Leah // Freutcake July 20, 2012 at 8:54 am

I have never heard of a drink like this one! I would love to try you childhood fave. Thanks for sharing!

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Christina @ The Beautiful Balance July 20, 2012 at 11:04 am

Wow! Kudos for how unique this recipe is! I would love to try this!

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chiara August 13, 2012 at 1:58 am

I’ve never seen that corn before…..!!!!

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Nicole August 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Hahahah oh man, I was in Peru a couple years back and the signs for the fermented Chicha Morada by the side of the road on some mostly-deserted plateau town were not really enticing me to drink any. This looks much better. But still not sure. I stuck with the pisco sours most of the time. Or Cuzcena beer.

xo
Nicole
http://www.hourglassandbloom.wordpress.com

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Adrianna August 14, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Ahhh, yes. The fermented Chicha Morada tastes quite different than this. This is alcohol free and a milder flavor. It tastes almost like grape juice. I bet you’d love it!

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suspiro August 14, 2012 at 6:16 pm

…adding cloves and instead of apples quince, make it more authentic. (:

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Adrianna August 14, 2012 at 6:27 pm

There are cloves in this recipe. :)

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Eliana September 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm

You can add quince (membrillo) too. It will taste sooo good. And with the chicha morada you can prepare a nice mazamorra morada using cornstarch …My mouth is watering…

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Ricco October 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm

hola… i’m peruvian too… and yes…. growing up…. my mom would make this amazing drink all the time…. you just inspired me to make it for our next house party… and yes it will have some rum…. actually the brazillian rum… Cachaça would be perfect for it or pisco!! thanks for the great recipe!!

cheers!

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C January 4, 2013 at 1:43 pm

I am trying this recipe today. I absolutely love chi cha morada and am afraid and excited to try the recipe on my own. I drink it at the Peruvian restaurants by my house and went to Peru this past summer so I hope I can do it justice. It seems pretty simple Thank You for posting this :))

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Adrianna January 4, 2013 at 4:27 pm

You be totally ok. This recipe is pretty easy! Good luck and let me know how you like it.

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andrew January 9, 2013 at 1:17 am

im half peruvian. love this drink when its made fresh. they sell the powdered form at some latin markets too but its just not the same, you dont get that corn taste from the powder. i especially like mazamorra morada, the pudding version of this drink!!

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Brittany April 12, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Hola my husbands Peruvian, and he always wants peruvian food (so I make it of course). If you buy the powder (a very poor sub for the real thing) add a bit of pineapple juice, lime juice and a splash of apple juice to top it off. It will taste more like the real thing. This is what I do when I am short on time and my in-laws are on the way. It goes over well and they drink in ALL! Oh by the way these people are real Peruvians (Inca Cola lovers [me too]) they go like 3 times a year. ¡Viva el Peru! ¡Carajo!

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Emma January 19, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Does anyone know how to thickin it up to make it a sauce they put over arroz con leche?

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lourdes canela February 16, 2013 at 6:50 am

maicena/corn starch

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lourdes canela February 16, 2013 at 6:53 am

I love this drink I am full Peruvian and I ‘ve had it since I was a baby and now I make it for my children and they love it , I also make “mazamorra morara” which is translated as “purple pudding” and that is what Emma is talking about it is delicious with home made rice pudding

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Ravi December 20, 2013 at 2:16 pm

I’m visiting Peru right now and just discovered this drink in Lima- it was SO good! I was looking up recipes as soon as I got home and was so excited to find your blog :) I just hope I can find purple corn when I get back home (Philly). I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in any supermarkets!

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Adrianna Adarme December 22, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Oh! That’s awesome. You should be able to find this corn at any Latin grocery store. (Philly should have a Latin grocery store somewhere–it’s a big city.) Or if you can’t find it, Amazon has it:

http://www.amazon.com/Whole-Purple-Corn-1-lb/dp/B000NQBZW8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387764072&sr=8-1&keywords=dried+purple+corn

P.S. It’s much cheaper at the grocery store.

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Ellaphant March 19, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Just finished making this. Used a 16 oz package of kernels and 1 full gallon. Turned out delicious! Can’t wait til it’s cooled off in the fridge. Super easy to make!

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Adrianna Adarme March 19, 2014 at 3:32 pm

YAY! I love this drink. It reminds me of my mama. So glad it turned out for you!

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Thomas March 27, 2014 at 1:48 pm

I’m an American living in Peru, and I used this recipe so I can make this at home. Out of the house, it is far too sweet for me. My peruvian boyfriend loves it! Thanks for giving me one popular Peruvian recipe that didn’t flop. Love it!!

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Adrianna Adarme March 29, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Oh yay!! Yeah, I agree. For me the chicha I get in restaurants is way too sweet. I scaled it back because it’s actually nice to taste the corn. So glad it worked out and you enjoyed it. Cheers from Los Angeles. xo

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