Monday, November 3, 2014

Colada Morada - Ecuadorian fruit beverage to celebrate the Day of the Deceased


Colada morada is a traditional Ecuadorian beverage prepared with black corn flour and fruits such as naranjilla, babaco, pineapple, blackberries, strawberries, and Andean blueberries (which give it its color).

The drink is sweetened with cane sugar, known as panela, and prepared with spices such as cinnamon, allspice, cloves and herbs such as lemongrass and lemon verbena.


Colada morada is prepared for the Day of the Deceased celebrations in Ecuador.

Typical Day of the Deceased wreath that is left on the grave.

Ecuadorians celebrate el Dia de los Difuntos or Day of the Deceased on November 2nd.

The celebration is both similar and also different than the better known Mexican Day of the Dead (November 1).

It is a day to honor and remember all the loved ones who have passed away and people visit the tombs at the cemeteries, clean the gravesites and leave flowers behind.


As with most Latin holidays and events, there is always a food aspect to any special day, in this case it is a thick purple drink called colada morada. 

The drink is traditionally consumed with a type of bread called tanta wawa which are bread figures shaped like babies and often decorated with colorful icing and filled with fruit jam (strawberry or guava).


In indigenous Andean communities, especially in rural areas, it is consumed and offered in the cemetery next to the tomb of deceased relatives as part of the rite of reunion with ancestors.


 In the olden times, the indigenous people used to make wawas from an inedible type of dough.

These were meant to be used as offerings for the graves.

Some indigenous groups would also put small human like figures made from clay in the graves or tombs of the dead, and just like many other ancient cultures in the world, they also buried the dead with food and treasure so that they would be comfortable in the afterlife.


These tombs or gravesites are also known as wakas, and are sometimes raided by those looking for gold or treasure.

Stealing from a waka is supposed to bring very bad luck, and there are countless stories of misfortune that has fallen upon those who have tried to take treasures from the wakas.


So I recommend staying away from them.


Colada morada is a gastronomic tradition that endures in Ecuador and is not limited to be consumed in commemoration of the dead.

Its preparation is also ritual that maintains the recipe accurate throughout the years.


The traditional preparation of colada morada uses local fruits, spices and herbs; some of which are very difficult to find outside of Ecuador.


This recipe is adapted based on the ingredients that can be found in the US (or Europe).

Just in case you are in Ecuador, some of the additional ingredients that have been left out include a delicious fruit called babaco, spices called ishpingo and arrayan.


Some variations also add passion fruit and other fruits, just as most other typical Ecuadorian dishes, the recipe will vary from one family to another – with each one claiming that theirs is the best version.

The beverage is usually served warm, though it is also just as a good served cold.

Similar to any concoction – be it drink, soup, stew – that is made with a variety of fruits and spices, it tastes better when it’s a day old than when it’s freshly made.


Colada morada always tastes better if made with fresh fruit, however frozen berries work perfectly fine. 



COLADA MORADA

Ingredients

1 cup purple or black corn flour
14 oz naranjilla pulp
2 cups blackberries
2 cups blueberries
2 cups strawberries, sliced
1 pineapple, peels and core + 2 cups finely diced
5-6 cinnamon sticks
4-5 whole cloves
4-5 all spice berries
12-14 oz panela or brown sugar
A few lemon verbena leaves, fresh or dry
A few lemongrass leaves, fresh or dry
2 pieces orange peel
8 + 4 cups water
(1/4 of large babaco if you can find it)



Instructions

Place the pineapple skins and core, cinnamon, spices and panela or brown sugar in a large pot with 8 cups of water.

Boil for about 20-25 minutes.

Add the lemon verbena, lemongrass, and orange peel.


Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove and strain. You will only use the liquid.


In a separate pot, add 4 cups of water with the blueberries and blackberries, boil for about 20 minutes.

Remove them from heat, let cool down until safe to handle, then blend and strain.


Mix the cup of the purple corn flour with 1 cup of the spice and pineapple liquid stirring it until it is well diluted.


Add the strained berry mix, the naranjilla juice, the spiced pineapple liquid and the diluted purple flour mix to a large pot.

Cook over medium heat, stir constantly to keep it from sticking, bring to a boil.

Add the pineapple (and babaco) chunks and reduce to simmer for about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat, add the strawberry slices. Serve warm or cold.

ENJOY!

56 comments:

  1. This sounds really good and like it might pack a flavorful wallop! I was surprised to read that they serve it warm and cold? I would definitely be up for trying it some day!

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  2. I always love the personal stories that you share with the recipe!

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  3. I enjoyed reading about the traditions. We've started using our longer car rides to share stories about new things we've learned with one another. I plan to talk about this next!

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  4. Sounds like a great drink to have on a hot day! <3

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  5. Oh that sounds so yummy!! I can't wait to try it out.

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  6. This sounds like such an interesting and tasty combo! Love all of the photos:)

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  7. I love knowing where a recipe originates and what it's original purpose is. This looks delicious! Thank you for sharing your recipe and your story :)

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  8. Colada Morada sounds so yummy! Fruity drinks are my favorite <3

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  9. So fun and I love all the traditions that you share!

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  10. Not only does that drink look delish but I loved not only the recipe but a little history behind it. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Wow, this is one long ingredients list, but I bet it is all worth it.

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  12. so interesting that this is usually served warm...id like to try it!

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  13. Sounds delicious! I love the pictures too!

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  14. That sounds like an interesting and refreshing drink.

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  15. I find it interesting to know the practices and traditions of other countries. Don't you too?

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  16. Sounds good. I think it's amazing that certain cultures still respect their loved ones memories. I hope that when my time comes, my loved ones have their own fiesta :)

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  17. I really enjoy all your posts on the country and the culture. It's fascinating! The drink looks really great. I'll have to try it out. I bet it is really healthy too. A few years ago we were in Mexico for the Day of the Dead. It's a really neat holiday and I loved to see how the culture celebrates it. What a great adventure!

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  18. Very interesting and cool! Thanks so much for sharing :)

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  19. sounds yummy!!! All those fruits, delicious!!!

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  20. I love how the foods from Ecuador are so similar to what we have here in Peru, yet so decidedly different. We have chicha morada (maybe you do too??) made from boiling whole ears of purple corn with cinnamon, cloves and other spices. So good!

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    1. We don't have chicha morada in Ecuador but I have tasted it when I've been in Peru. It's really delicious.

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  21. Love learning how other cultures celebrate! Sounds like the perfect mix of goodness in a drink!

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  22. this looks so yummy! i'd love to try it.. but it looks like so many ingredients! i don't know where to find all that. :P

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    1. Most ingredients can be found at the local supermarket. Try latin isle for the ones you don't use normally. And if there is no purple or black corn flour, maizena gives the consistency too, it's just not as flavorful.

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  23. Sounds flavor packed, can't go wrong with all those fruits!!!

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  24. Always love the history and background on a dish! I lived for numerous years on the border with Mexico and la Día de los Muertos was always celebrated strongly!

    Hugs and thanks for sharing!

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  25. Sounds delish! I love that you share the culture behind it.

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  26. This sounds yummy :) I'm fruit obsessed! Looks like the kiddos enjoyed it too!

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  27. this drink sounds delicious! I wish i had all the ingredients so i could make it now. I've never even heard of black corn flour!

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  28. Sounds delicious. I love the way you put this post together.

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  29. This sounds really good! I'll have to try adapting the recipe to ingredients that I can find. Perhaps on day though, I can make it to Ecuador & try the real version.

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  30. What a fascinating tradition. That drink is one awesome experience. I'd love to try making it. Yummy! 😀

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  31. Yum! That sounds absolutely delicious!

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  32. That sounds amazing and what a great tradition. Thank you for sharing!

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  33. I am amaze on how culture relates to food and beverage. I've learn a lot today

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  34. This sounds really delicious. I think I'd be all about this tradition, haha.

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  35. This sounds like a really good flavor combination!

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  36. I LOVE panela so much! Ecuadorian food is a little similar to Mexican food so a lot of the ingredients I recognize and grew up enjoying. What a wonderful drink for Dia de los Muertos.

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  37. Love the story behind this recipe. :)

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  38. This is such a cool post! I love all of the pictures, and that drink sounds delicious!

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  39. That drink looks really good. These pictures are great. I would love to travel and get to experience different things about different cultures.

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  40. I love recipes so much more when they're attached to stories! Thanks for sharing!

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  41. Looks delicious! I love the traditions that go along with this day.

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  42. This sounds wonderful! Something I'd love to try!

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  43. I've never heard of this drink before. Sound yummy. I always love looking at your pictures. It's fun seeing the different cultures.

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  44. This is a new one for me. It sounds really tasty!

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  45. I really love learning about the traditions and the beverage looks really good. Thanks for sharing!

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  46. What an interesting look at the culture!

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  47. The drink looks amazing, and I loved reading about the traditions. I love traditions like that, that take time to remember ancestors and honor them. :)

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  48. Wow, cool recipe and tradition, it's great to hear about how respect is paid to the deceased. We have a similar tradition in Chinese culture where we go to the grave and clean it, pay respects, and eat food to commemorate the occasion. The food can be anything from roast meat to dumplings to sweets and fruits... I think the importance is just getting loved ones together, as is demonstrated by your post.

    xo,
    lauriel
    EyeForElegance.com

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  49. I love trying drinks from other cultures. I'd love to try this one!

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  50. This sounds like a great blend of flavors and some fruits I've never tried before!

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