(Lima) Beans and Delhi Cha(a)t

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Peruvian dessert: mazamorra

Been a while since we've been here. That's just because we've been having some tasty stuff we wanted to share. As you might or might not know last week was the anniversary of the Independence of Peru. So naturally it was a good opportunity to have some typical Peruvian dishes.

This time I want to talk about too dishes, a drink and a dessert which have one thing in common. That thing is purple maize. Yup, you read well. It's not a figurative thing either. It is actual purple maize which might seem very odd, even surreal for people in other parts of the world, but which brings Peruvians a secret delight for it represents one of our most representative drinks: chicha morada (purple chicha).

As you can see from the picture, purple maize has a very intense color and that is enhanced when it's boiled. It tints the water with this very, very dark hue of purple resulting in a delicious drink. The maize is put in water (some people put the bare cobs and the grains, others put it with the grains still attaced to the cob) along with some pineapple skin, sometimes apple skin, depends on the flavor you want. After you boil it (some people boil it twice until the grain of the corn bursts and can't shed any more color) you drain it. The result is chicha. Let it cool down and you will have one of the tastier, most refreshing drinks on the planet.

But that is not all there is to purple maize, because chicha is just the first step to a traditional Lima dessert called Mazamorra morada. Mazamorra is something between jello and pudding. It's made using chicha and adding some fruit like cubed apples and a Peruvian fruit called membrillo (sort of apple which is very very sour). Membrillo has this unique characteristic, the fruit is usually covered by this grey froth. When you go to the market, the thicker the froth, be better the fruit. So anyway, apple, membrillo (sour fruits) and also dry fruits (guindones, guindas, huesillos) Guindones are like very big raisins with a pit; Huesillos are basically little dry peaches. To give it consistency we use a special kind of flour, sweet potato flour. Others use a similar prodcut called chuño.

So there you go, dig in, enjoy but be careful not to stain your clothes, because if you get a purple stain, it's a battle to remember.


1 comment(s):

"Membrillo" is the Spanish name for Quince. Anyone going to South America should try "Dulce de Membrillo" a thick, quince paste that is delicious.

I love chicha morada. I've made it at home many times but I still like the one they sell at the snack bars in Wong best. It's thicker somehow. I don't know what they do to it but it beats every other kind I've tried. La Negrita is too strongly fruit flavored for me.

I love mazamorra morada too but the one I made at home was disapointing. Meh, I kill everything I touch...

By Blogger Chantal, at 5:42 AM  

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