Chicha Morada

More of the tale of fixing the troubles I mention in last post: here is a drink from Peru that does wonders for my blood numbers (A1C is excellent these days), and is said to have many health benefits. For me, it’s a superb anti-inflammatory. Not bad with pisco or vodka either, but I’m off the hard stuff for a whole. And, yes, I had pineapple trimmings in that same freezer of doom. Why, you might ask, do I beg pineapple trimmings off people who eat pineapples? This drink.

This is made of purple corn, some pineapple peelings, and usually apples. Add spices and simmer for about an hour, until the drink is very deeply-colored. It’s a glass full of antioxidants. Just don’t spill it. It stains like heck.

I got the recipe from a Peruvian friend, and then tried to amp up the antioxidant value with some additions. No effect on taste, as the spices are pretty forward.


Chicha Morada

Contributed by Mscellenea @ Crossgrained.

Published March 20, 2016


  • 1 1/2 cups of dried purple corn
  • 2 small apples diced, core and peel included, OR:
    • pomegranate arils
    • tart cherries
    • any dark sweet fruit, about a cup. I used a combo of frozen pomegranate arils and some tart cherries, as I didn’t have any apples
  • trimmings from a large pineapple (except for the leaves), or one quarter of a whole pineapple, skin and core, chopped, no leaves. You can freeze the rest
  • 1 large cinnamon stick or three small
  • about 10 whole allspice berries
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 3 “stars” of star anise
  • several pieces of sliced dried ginger rhizome, or fresh ginger, sliced. I had some leftover fresh turmeric, steeped into a tea that I added. It got involved in the freezer meltdown. I had about a cup of strong tea. It just added to the ginger taste
  • 1 scoop of red beet juice powder, optional — you can’t taste this, but it ups the antioxidant value
  • 1 gallon of distilled water
  • juice of 4 lemons or limes
  • extra lemon or lime slices for serving, if desired, to garnish the glass
  • I personally don’t add any sugar or sweetener, but it’s traditional to add some. If you want to add sweetener, I recommend you wait until the mix is done and add to taste — the fruits give out a lot of sweetness, and sugars will dissolve easily while the mix is hot. Once you figure out how much you like, you can add it in with the rest of the ingredients


  • Combine all ingredients in a pot to fit and bring to a boil
  • Simmer for about an hour
  • Allow to cool slightly, than strain through a very fine strainer. Discard the solids. Tart cherries at this stage look just like Greek olives. Don’t freak out
  • Put Chicha Morada into jars and refrigerate
  • Drink cold with added lemon or sweetener, if desired

Further details:

Makes slightly less than 4 quarts–some liquid gets trapped in the scraps.


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