My Life in Peru

An Expat Mom Shares Her Experiences with Peruvian Life, Travel and Food

Chicha Morada

Posted on | April 1, 2011 | 5 Comments

Chicha morada

Image by lindsaybanks via Flickr

Go ahead – ask me why I’ve never posted this recipe.  And the answer will be – I just don’t know! Honestly,  I thought I’d done it a long time ago. But I realized today that I hadn’t, so better now than never!

I’ve talked about chicha before – specifically chicha de jora, and talked about how it’s used in cooking. Well, chicha morada is a bit different.

Like chicha de jora, chicha morada is made from maize – or corn. Morada means “purple”, and as you might expect, it’s made from a variety of purple grained corn. It’s a sweet drink and opposed to the chicha de jora, it’s not fermented before drinking.

When you get a glass of chicha morada, it looks like nothing more than a big glass of dark purple grape juice (although sometimes there will be fruit floating in it.) In fact, when I first tried it, I didn’t particularly care for it. My brain expected it to have a grapey taste, and it just didn’t. Ever picked up a glass of iced tea, thinking it was soda, and it tasted all weird because it wasn’t what you expected? It was like that.

But over time, I adjusted to the flavor and now it’s one of my very favorite things.  If you can find Peruvian purple corn, I encourage you to give it a try!


  • 1 kg of Peruvian purple corn (maiz morado)
  • 1 large piece of cinnamon bark, or 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cloves (clavos de olor)
  • 1 pineapple husk
  • 2 quince fruit, cut in halves (membrillo)
  • 5 liters of water
  • 4 limes (limones)
  • 1 cup of peeled and cubed apple (optional)


  1. Put the first 6 ingredients in a large stock pot, and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce to a simmer, and let it boil until the corn begins to burst open.
  3. Let it cool, then strain the liquid into a large jar or other pot.
  4. Add the juice from the limes.
  5. Add sugar to taste – I usually go with a slightly heaping cup of sugar per 3 liters to start.
  6. Add the apple cubes, if desired. Some people also go with a bit of chunk pineapple.

IMPORTANT TIP: Chicha morada can ferment quickly after sugar is added. If you’re making it in advance, you should wait to add the sugar until the last minute.

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5 Responses to “Chicha Morada”

  1. Astrid
    April 1st, 2011 @ 20:11

    I remember how back in the US, I used to serve Chicha at my son’s B-Day parties and people were always trying to guess what it was. Some people thought it was grape juice, some thought it was Jamaica, a mexican drink… when I told them it was purple corn drink everyone was surprised. Most people liked it! It’s one of the things I missed the most when I was living in California.

  2. Tony
    April 1st, 2011 @ 20:52

    Ah, chicha morada! I’m obsessed with the stuff. It’s the perfect way to cool down in the jungle – either that or a nice cold agaujina.

  3. Kelly
    April 2nd, 2011 @ 01:10

    We buy liter bags of it for 1 sol from the same lady we buy our breakfast sandwiches from. I love it when it’s got lots of cinnamon.

  4. Johanna Coronado
    April 5th, 2011 @ 10:31

    Wow!! So great you enjoy our country, great posts!! From now I’m your follower 😀

  5. Kelly
    April 5th, 2011 @ 13:53

    Thanks Johanna. :) I went over and checked out your blog – what fantastic photos you have! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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    I got tired of life happening while I made other plans, so I quit my job and came to Peru. I live here with my Peruvian husband, two sons, three dogs and various other family members, depending on the weather.

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