Learn how to make mazamorra morada, a classic Peruvian dessert with pre-Hispanic origins made with purple corn and dried fruit.
There are written accounts of mazamorra morada being sold by Lima street vendors in the 19th century. But the dessert has pre-Hispanic origins, as the purple corn was used to make a simpler version of the porridge. Indeed, the version we know of today is a result of Spanish (with Moorish influence), Indigenous and Afro-Peruvian traditions.
Often served with a side of arroz con leche (rice pudding), a magnificent combo known as combinado, mazamorra morada is delicious on its own with just a sprinkling of cinnamon on top.
The flavor is similar to the drink chicha morada, but you’ll find it to be more intense and full of fruit bites. Here’s a recipe for this comforting dessert, adapted from a cooking class offered at the Incas del Peru travel and learning center in Huancayo.
Ingredients for mazamorra morada
3 pounds of purple corn
10 cups of water
3-5 whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
1 sour apple (Granny Smith or similar), peeled, cored and cut up into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup prunes
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sweet potato starch
1 1/2 – 2 cups of sugar, depending on taste
Juice of 1 lime
Ground cinnamon for garnish
1. Put the corn ears in a big pot with the water, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and anise. Break the corn ears if needed to make them fit into the pot. Boil for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced to about six cups – this should take about an hour and 30 minutes.
2. Strain, removing the spices and corn. Put the liquid back into the pot and add the apple pieces, dried fruit, and sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Take a spoonful of the liquid and mix it into a small bowl containing the sweet potato starch. When it is fully blended, pour it into the liquid. Stir constantly, until the mixture has thickened. My instructor told me to always stir in the same direction, otherwise it will cause the mixture to separate.
4. When the mixture has reached the consistency of pudding, turn off the heat and add the lime juice, mixing thoroughly to incorporate. Cool slightly and serve in individual cups with cinnamon on top. May also be served chilled.
Cover photo: Andina
This article has been updated from its original publication written by Sophia Guida on February 28, 2014.
Now that you're here:
We're asking you, our reader, to make a contribution in support of our digital guide in order to keep informing, updating and inspiring people to visit Peru. Why now? In our near 20-year journey as the leading English-language source on travel in Peru, we've had our fair share of ups and downs-but nothing quite like the challenges brought forth in the first quarter of 2020.
By adapting to the changing face of the tourism and travel industry (on both local and international levels), we have no doubt we will come out stronger-especially with the support of our community. Because you will travel again, and we will be ready to show you the best of Peru.
Your financial support means we can keep sharing the best of Peru through high-quality stories, videos and insights provided by our dedicated team of contributors and editors based in Peru. And of course, We are here to answer your questions and help whenever you need us.
As well, it makes possible our commitment to support local and small businesses that make your visit an unforgettable one. Your support will help the people working in these industries get back on their feet once the world allows us to make our dream of enjoying everything Peru has to offer a reality again-from its mouthwatering gastronomy, thriving Amazon and archaeological wonders such as Machu Picchu.
Together, we will find a way through this. As a member of our community, your contribution, however big or small, is valuable.