Originating from the mountainous regions of Peru, Chicha Morada is a traditional alcohol-free beverage crafted from purple corn, pineapple peel, cinnamon and cloves. This delightful concoction is highly customizable, going from healthy to sweet. Despite its roots in Latin America, it is a delicious drink that deserves recognition worldwide.

Purple Corn, maiz morado (culli o ckolli)

Chicha Morada holds a higher level of popularity in Peru than Coca-Cola. While it’s available in various forms, such as bottled, powdered, or gel, nothing compares to authentic homemade juice. Crafting it at home is surprisingly easy; the most challenging part may be sourcing dry purple corn (maíz morado), typically found at your local Latino market. If not available locally, you can likely find it online, ensuring it’s from Peru as they have the unique entirely purple cob. Particularly favoured among children, there’s also an adult version called Chicha de Jora, which includes alcohol, offering a different twist for the grown-ups.

Origin of Chicha Morada

Andes
Photo from KinEnriquez via Pixabay

This purple drink is famous all over the Andes, meaning Bolivians, Ecuadorians and Chileans are also big fans! Some say it comes straight from the Pre-Incas, back 2500 years ago. Although, the first written knowledge of the drink was made by a French explorer in 1870. The original drink was made just of purple corn. In modern times, some ingredients made their way there: pineapple peel, apples, lemon and quince on the fruit side, and cinnamon and cloves on the spices level. These types of purple corn cobs grow at an altitude of 3,000 m, making it almost impossible to cultivate elsewhere.

Beneficial Juice

Pouring the Chicha Morada

Studies were made on the health benefits of purple corn at a Japanese University, proving the purple vegetable helps to prevent Colon cancer, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and is an excellent antioxidant. You can read all about it here on the Cancer.vg platform. Many studies like this one claim it’s also anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, anti-inflammation, helps enhance memory and much more.

Personal Note

Thanks to my Bolivian Friend Herminia for showing me how to make this drink and bringing me the dried purple corn. She learned herself from an elderly Peruvian lady firsthand! I feel privileged to know the secrets of Chicha Morada and be able to share the good with my followers!

Making the Chicha Morada

Variations

The choice of fruits for the cooking process is entirely at your discretion, allowing you to tailor the flavours to your preferences. You can include or omit other ingredients besides the essential purple corn, cinnamon, and cloves. The sweetness level is also adjustable, depending on your taste. Five tablespoons of sugar proved perfect in my preparation, but some prefer it without sugar or opt for just a tablespoon or two of honey for an ultra-healthy twist. This versatility makes Chicha Morada a highly adaptable and customizable beverage, catering to various tastes and dietary choices.

Other Alcohol-Free Drinks

Chicha Morada

5 from 20 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 119
An ancestral drink from the mountains of Peru, Chicha Morada is an alcohol-free drink made with purple corn, pineapple peel, apple, cinnamon and cloves. It is a yummy drink that needs to be known outside Latin America.

Ingredients

  • 2.5 l water
  • 2 purple corn
  • 5 tbsp sugar (or honey)
  • 3 slices of apple
  • 12 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 slice of a pineapple peel
  • 1 lime
  • salt

Instructions 

  • Add all the ingredients to the water and let simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Strain and collect all the juice, pass it through a fine-meshed strainer and cool it down for 10 minutes before adding it to the refrigerator.
  • Add the squeeze of a lime or lemon.
  • Let it cool for a minimum of two hours before serving.

Video

Notes

It could also be served at room temperature or warm for colder days. Decorate with a lovely contrasting lime.
Author: Marie Breton
Calories: 119kcal
Course: drink
Cuisine: Peruvian
Keyword: alcohol-free, Andes, chicha, corn, drink, morada, peru, pienapple, purple, purple corn

Nutrition

Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Sodium: 27mg | Potassium: 198mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 115IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Nutrition Facts
Chicha Morada
Amount per Serving
Calories
119
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
1
g
2
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.1
g
1
%
Trans Fat
 
0.002
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
0.1
g
Sodium
 
27
mg
1
%
Potassium
 
198
mg
6
%
Carbohydrates
 
31
g
10
%
Fiber
 
4
g
17
%
Sugar
 
22
g
24
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Vitamin A
 
115
IU
2
%
Vitamin C
 
10
mg
12
%
Calcium
 
36
mg
4
%
Iron
 
0.5
mg
3
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is very interesting drink. The purple corn is sn interesting ingredient. The color of the drink reminds me of my Jamaican Sorrel drink that is mainly served during the Christmas season. Thanks for sharing the history and recipe of Chicha Morada.

  2. I’ve never heard of this drink before! It looks absolutely delicious. I’ll keep a look out for purple corn, and when I do, I’ll be sure to make your recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    What an interesting beverage that sounds amazing. I had no idea purple corn was available. Thank you for the recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    I love this drink. It is unique, based out of a particular culture and the variations of this juice is awesome. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    Wow, I love this! it sounds delicious. I have never heard of purple corn, didn’t even know it existed. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

5 from 20 votes (16 ratings without comment)

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