What’s Colada Morada?
You’ve probably never heard of a beverage called Colada Morada before and that’s totally OK. Before heading to Ecuador, I never heard of it either. But, let me tell you, it’s a really delicious beverage you need to give a try. It’s a thicker liquid than what you are probably use to drinking and it has a deep purple/violet color that occurs as a result of the fruit and the purple corn flour used in the beverage. In Ecuador, it’s sold everywhere starting in October and going through November because it’s traditionally drank for Day of the Dead. It’s usually served with spongy guaguas de pan and dates back to pre-Hispanic times.
My Colada Morada Experience
As I traveled through Ecuador in October 2016, I saw signs everywhere selling this beverage for $1-3 a cup depending on the location and the size of the cup. I actually didn’t even know it was a beverage until I asked someone. Finally, while traveling through Ecuador aboard the Tren Crucero luxury train cruise, our guides had the train’s bartenders get the ingredients and make some for us. It was such a sweet gesture and it was absolutely delicious. I really enjoyed the sweet yet warming flavors of fruit, corn, and cinnamon as we made our way around switchbacks and passed volcanoes. To me, Colada Morada is Ecuador in one beverage and just like the country, this beverage also won me over.
Colada Morada Recipe
Now, I present to you a recipe so you can make Colada Morada yourself at home. Of course, this recipe can be adjusted depending on your access to some of the ingredients. It’s understandable if you cannot get all the ingredients and I’ve made suggestions for substitutions just in case. The recipe is broken up into two parts; aromatic and fruit. Eventually the two come together to create a beautiful, harmonious melody of taste to excite your tongue warm your heart.
Servings: Approximately 2 liters
- 1 liter of cold water
- 4 cinnamon sticks or Mexican/Ecuadorian cinnamon bark
- 8 whole cloves
- The rind of 1 lemon
- The rind of 1 orange
- The rind of one small/medium pineapple
- 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup of panela or piloncillo (brown sugar will do in a pinch)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried lemon verbena (you can also use lemon balm either fresh or dried. If you use fresh herbs only use a couple leaves)
- 1 liter of cold water
- 1/2 pound of blueberries
- 1/2 pound of blackberries
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice
- 1 cup of naranjilla pulp
- 1/3 cup of blue corn flour OR 1/3 cup cornstarch dissolved in 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of diced pineapple
- 4 ounces of strawberries cut in quarters
**Note: You can purchase most of the more exotic ingredients at your local Hispanic supermarket.
Aromatics: Boil all the aromatic ingredients in a large pot with 1 liter of water for approximately 20 minutes. Do not add the bay leaves or the lemon verbena yet. After 20 minutes turn off the heat and add the bay leaves and lemon verbena. Let steep for 10 minutes off the burner. Strain the liquid and discard all the spices and aromatics. Pour the liquid back into the large pot and set aside.
Fruits: In another large pot, combine the 1 liter of water, blueberries, blackberries, and allspice and boil for approximately 30 minutes. Strain the berries (set fruit pulp aside because you will need this later) and combine this liquid with the aromatic liquid.
In a blender or with a food processor, blend the berry pulp and with the naranjilla pulp and strain to remove seeds. Add this puree to the aromatics pot. Add the dissolved cornstarch or corn flour to the aromatics pot stirring constantly. Bring to a boil.
Once the liquid is boiling, add the pineapple and cook at medium high temperature for 10 minutes until the cornstarch or corn flour is cooked. Add the strawberries and cook for another 10 minutes bringing it to a boil.
Remove from hear. Serve lukewarm or cold.
Here’s another great recipe for a warm alcoholic Ecuadorian Canelazo!
Interested in another great Ecuadorian recipe? Check out this ceviche you can make at home!
Want to learn more about Ecuador? Here are some tips for traveling though this country!
Let me know how it turns out for you if you decide to give it a try!
What do you think? Comment below?
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