The day in which Coca Cola will rule the world is a bit further away in Peru. Here the consumption of purple chicha (maize) almost exceeds the brown monster's one, which is a national relief. This drink is traditionally prepared boiling purple chicha with cinnamon, sugar and fruit peelings. It was drunk even before the Inca times, and it's one of the few things which has kept the popularity from back then. Besides, it has so many healthy properties, that surely peruvian doctors just need to prescribe purple chicha in case of uncertain diagnose, like Reflex (skin gel) in my school when I was a child. I'm not exaggerating though: "the Medicine School of Nagoya University in Japan has demonstrated that the purple chicha pigments prevents the development of colon cancer. Besides, it lowers the blood pressure and the cholesterol, it benefits the blood circulation, protects the blood vases from oxidizing, improves the microcirculation, it's anti-inflammatory, it encourages the connective tissue regeneration and promotes the collagen formation." (Wikipedia)
It's only natural that you're able to find it at almost every house with a door and in every house without one. It's like a secret elixir which every Peruvian knows about, and which, if the Japanese are not mistaken, will probably save the world. I've tried to make something savory out of the sweet. Here it is my purple interpretation:
RECIPE -Purple Chicha Risotto with Chicken and Maniyaki Sauce-
- Arborio rice
- 2 purple chicha (maize)
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- Spring onion, chopped
- 1 chicken breast
- Teriyaki sauce
- Peanut butter
- Soy sauce
- Butter, oil, salt, pepper, sugar
1. Sauté the onion and garlic in a saucepan. When they are golden, put the purple chicha in and cover with water. Cook at a low heat for an hour and a half, and afterwards strain and reduce the liquid for another half hour to obtain the purple chicha stock.
2. Heat up the teriyaki sauce with the sugar (to taste) till it dissolves. Let it cool and use it to marinade the chicken.
3. Sauté the rice with the white part of the spring onion, and add the right amount the stock to it (usually it's 1 cup of rice by 3 of water) and cook the rice at low heat, stirring constantly.
4. Drain the chicken, reserve the sauce, and fry it in a pan. When it's ready remove from the pan and put in the teriyaki sauce. When it has reduced a little bit, dissolve in the peanut butter.
5. Serve the risotto with the chicken. Cover the latter with the maniyaki sauce and sprinkle with the remaining green bits of the spring onion.
I've also decided to copy here my impressions on the purple chicha dessert I had at Astrid & Gastón:
Purple chicha pudding with Carlota cow's ice-cream, macambo crunch (amazonian fruit) and purple chicha rice cracker: I find the pudding quite dense, yet distracted by the ice-cream, with really, really tastes like milk. The cracker it's a bit of an excuse, a promise which is just a promise. But, what does purple chicha really taste like?