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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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
- 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
- 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.