It has been so hot in Los Angeles. This unattractive heatwave inspired me to make my favorite cooling-off-drink of my childhood: Peruvian Chicha Morada. This is what my mama would make me when I was little.
What is Chicha?
Let’s talk about Chicha Morada. This is a drink from Peru. This drink is made from corn. Yes! Corn! Beautiful Peruvian dried purple corn. 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. If you’ve watched a food tv show about Peru, you’ll most likely be familiar with chicha as a drink that people make in Cusco, Peru. But it’s actually made all over Peru in varying ways. In Lima, it’s made from boiling dried purple corn.
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).
And then it simmers for 45 minutes and when it’s done your house will smell spicy and fruity. The mixture will go from looking like water with ingredients mixed in to a beautiful, bright purple color!
Next, 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!
There are different types of Chicha!
Chicha usually comes in two forms: fermented and non-fermented.
That’s not what we’re making today! But if you decided to add a splash of rum or pisco to this, I wouldn’t be angry with you.
Top each drink of Peruvian Chicha Morada with a small handful of diced pineapple and apple. Screams summer time.
- 1 (15-ounce) bag of dried purple corn
- 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 fresh lime juice
- 1 green apple, diced, for serving (peel reserved)
- To a large pot, add the dried purple corn, water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, the pineapple peels, sugar and apple peel. Heat over high heat and once the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Remove the chicha from the heat. Place a strainer atop a large bowl and pour mixture through it, catching the large corn ears, pulp and pineapple. Transfer to a pitcher and allow to come to room temperature before refrigerating until cold. When the chicha has gotten cold, stir in the lime juice, diced pineapple and diced green apple. Divide amongst glasses and serve.