Peruvian Chicha Morada

  • PrepTime: 10 Mins
  • CookTime: 60 Mins
  • TotalTime: 1 Hrs 10 Mins

Ingredient

  1. 1 pound/about 450 grams dried Peruvian purple corn on the cob (approximately 4 medium-sized ears)
  2. 1 gallon/4 liters water
  3. 1 stick cinnamon (about 4 to 5 inches long)
  4. 6 whole cloves
  5. 1/2 cup white sugar
  6. 3 green apples (or crisp pears; can use yellow apples or pears)
  7. 4 key limes

Instruction

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Rinse the ears of purple corn under the faucet to remove any dust or foreign matter. Place the ears, plus any stray grains that may have fallen off, in a large pot together with the water, cinnamon, and cloves. Put the pot over high heat on the stove; once the water reaches the boiling point, reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow this to boil for about 50 minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool down until safe to handle. Strain the liquid through a fine strainer into a pitcher, setting aside (not discarding) the solids. Add the sugar to the liquid and stir until it is completely dissolved. Taste, adding more sugar if desired, though this beverage is most refreshing when it is not overly sweet.
  4. Chill the chicha. At this point, you can make another batch of the beverage, if desired, by adding more water to the pot with the reserved solids and repeating the entire process. When you see that nearly all of the grains of corn have broken open slightly, you will know that the corn has given up all of its flavors; until then, it can be reused in this way.
  5. Right before serving, chop the apples or pears into small cubes and juice the limes. Add diced fruit and lime juice to the chicha in the pitcher and stir. Serve as-is or over ice, with a straw and a long spoon (for eating the fruit), if desired. Store any leftover chicha morada in the refrigerator.
  6. Enjoy!

Note

  1. Add the rind of a fresh pineapple (the part you normally would throw away after cutting up the fruit) to the water with corn and spices, then proceed as usual. Alternately, add the rind of a couple of navel oranges (pith removed), or a couple of apples or pears (peeled or not, as desired, and cut into chunks or slices).
  2. Don´t hesitate to switch out the sweeteners in your chicha morada. Make it a little more rustic by using brown sugar instead of white, or go full Peruvian and use chancaca (unprocessed cane sugar known as piloncillo, tapa de dulce, raspadura, or panela in some other Spanish-speaking countries). Need fewer calories? Try your favorite artificial sweetener.
  3. Get a little fancier with the floating fruit, if you like. In place of or in addition to the diced apple/pear, add small cubes of pineapple or fresh guava fruit to your chicha.
  4. Substitutions of other types of corn are not recommended.
  5. Store any leftover chicha morada in the refrigerator.