The word tomando in Spanish literally translates to “taking.” However, here in Peru we use this word for “drinking.” You “take” juices, coffee, sodas, alcoholic beverages, etc. – and I must say that one of my favorite things about Peru are the drinks. Since sharing is caring, I wanted to do a series on culturally essential Peruvian drinks. I’ll be sure to link or post recipes when possible so you can enjoy the Peruvian goodies at home in the US. Enjoy!
The color purple… Oh, what joy it brings to my world. Not just because its one of my favorite movies and I know every line but because its also the color of another one of my favorite Peruvian drinks, Chicha Morada. It is one of many types of chicha or corn based beverages popular here in Peru. Dating back to the Incan Empire, this chicha is made from that weird blue corn you sometimes see at the grocery store and has a color as deep and purple as Harpo’s eye after Ms. Sofia socked him in the face. Exact ingredients can vary but the primary ingredients include, of course, purple corn, pineapple peel, cinnamon, cloves, sugar, apples.
Since I love it so much I actually wanted to learn how to make it so I asked my neighbor Vicki to walk me through process. Here’s the recipe and some pictures to go along with it!
What You’ll Need:
2 small apples
4 sticks of cinnamon
3 ears of dried purple corn (some people call it blue corn)
sugar (as much as you like or as we say in Spanish “al gusto”)
cloves (I don’t have an exact amount – but I’d say 3 or 4 pinches of cloves)
So the great thing about making Chicha Morada is that is so simple! Here’s what you have to do:
Fill up a large pot maybe about 3/4 of the way and put it on the stove
Take off the corn kernels from the ears of corn. When all the kernels are off the ear of corn, break the ears of corn in half (or generally in smaller pieces)
Peel the pineapple – save the peel for the chicha, do what you will with the rest.
Cut the apples into halves
Take the corn kernels and ears of corn along all the other ingredients throw them in the pot of water on the stove. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 45 minutes. After 45 minutes the water should be a deep, pretty purple. Take the content in the pot and strain into a separate bowl or pitcher and save the strained liquid on the side. Take the ingredients that were strained out and put them back in the pot and refill with water and repeat the process. After you’ve made enough of the chicha, it should still be hot. Now add the sugar and add as much as you’d like – I don’t like mine super super sweet but Peruvians seem to. After you’ve added the sugar put the chicha in the fridge and serve cold.
And there you have it friends – easy as pie! If you like more exact recipes, check this one out here. As always let me know how you feel about my beloved chicha if you get around to experimenting. And lastly, just know when I get back to the States Imma be blessing ya’ll with chicha morada margaritas – ya’ll not even ready!
If you’re thirsty for more, feel free to check out more delightful Peruvian drinks in the Tomando Series here.