Peruvian Mazamorra Morada - Purple Corn Pudding is a popular Peruvian dessert made with Peruvian chicha morada and thickened with sweet potato starch (or potato starch). It's vegan, gluten free, low in calories, and the glorious purple hue makes a stunning presentation for special occasions, and while the name is complicated, making it is quite easy!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Recipe Inspiration
Admittedly, I have a love affair with Peru and all things Peruvian. This gorgeous royal purple Peruvian dessert looks and sounds. ROYAL. And probably intimidating? It's not.
Do you remember the Peruvian Chicha Morada recipe I posted a few weeks back? The base for this lovely, light pudding is chicha morada. As I suggested in the post, you can make a batch, and once it's made, you've got the foundation for both Mazamorra Morada and Chicha Morrada and Pisco Cocktail.
In an effort to make this recipe "stand alone," I have included the ingredients and instructions for making the chicha morada, but keep in mind that you can make it and have extra. I'd say that's a win!
🍐 What is Mazamorra Morada (Purple Corn Pudding)?
Mazamorra morada is arguably the most typical of Peruvian desserts. You will find it on the streets of Cuzco, on the menus of the finest restaurants in Lima, and even in the meal tent high in the Andes cooked by a Quechua chef for the Studies Abroad group from UTRGV where my husband is Dean of the Honors College.
This thick, delicious purple goo is made with Peruvian maiz morado, fresh and dried fruit, and spices then brightened up with fresh lime juice, sweetener, and thickened with harina de camote (sweet potato starch).
This light dessert is traditionally served warm - a welcome treat when shivering in the Andes - or cold. Just days ago, we had a reunion with our 2017 students, and I made it the day before and served it cold. I love it either way!
Lastly, you'll garnish the purple corn pudding with fresh fruit... pears and peaches are my personal favorite. A sprinkling of ground cinnamon is traditional. For more on Mazamorra Morada - Purple Corn Pudding see this article.
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- chicha morada - Make a big batch of chicha morada (mine yields 6 cups). You'll need 4 cups for your mazamorra morada, and you can use the rest in cocktails or on ice! Of course homemade is amazing, but you can start with pre-made chicha morada.
- dried fruit - I initially used dried pears. I recently started ordering from Imperfect Foods, and they had goldenberries - an ancient Inca super food that we've enjoyed on our Peruvian adventures. I love their tart flavor, and texture. When I recently re-shot the photos for this purple corn pudding, I used them in place of the dried pears. You can use just about any kind of dried fruit.
- harina de camote - Harina de camote is sweet potato flour. I can buy it at my local Asian market. If you can't find it, potato flour is a good substitute; corn starch is not!
- fresh lime juice
- fresh fruit - Garnish your mazamorra morada/purple corn pudding with fresh fruit. Our favorites are peaches and pears. Additionally, you may wish a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
As I mentioned above, I make the chicha morada (in my Instant Pot), and then have enough for a couple of different uses. Don't be scared off by the total time; the dessert only requires 30 minutes once the chicha morada is made.
- Make the chicha morada (steps 1 & 2) - Place the ingredients for the chicha morada in your Instant Pot or large pot on the stove. Cook 25 minutes (IP) or 60 minutes stove top. Strain and add fresh lime juice and sweetener.
- Make the mazamorra morada (steps 3 & 4) - Add 3 ¾ cup (reserve ¼ cup) chicha morada to a sauce pan with the chopped dried fruits. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes to soften the fruits. Whisk the reserved ¼ cup chicha morada with the harina de camote. When smooth, whisk into the pudding. Bring back to a boil. Cook 5 minutes at a low boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the lime juice. Taste for sweetening and adjust if desired. Cool (purple corn pudding will continue to thicken as it cools and if it's chilled).
- Serve - Pour into individual bowls or glasses. Garnish with fresh fruit and cinnamon as desired.
What kind of fresh fruit is good? Pears, peaches, plums, apples, etc. Slice thin to make them easy to eat!
If you can't find harina de camote at your local Latin foods market or Asian market, potato starch is more widely available. You can also order it on Amazon.
You can use a wide variety of dried fruit - prunes and quince are traditional. I had pears, apples on hand on my original photo day. Chop them fairly small. As I mentioned earlier, when I updated photos in 2020, I found goldenberries, and they're perfect! Raisins, currants, apricots, dried cherries, etc. will work well.
How long can I keep my purple corn pudding? It keeps well in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days (I've done it!). Reserve the fresh fruit garnish for just prior to serving.
What kind of sweetener should I use in the chicha morada - I like a liquid sweetener. My favorite is ginger syrup, but agave nectar, honey, simple syrup are all fine. It is important to check sweetness prior to making the pudding.
🌡️ Useful Stuff
If you're looking for a light, vegan, gluten free dessert ( or a new, delicious dessert), you really need to give this Peruvian Mazamorra Morada Recipe a try! The name may be intimidating, but it really is simple to make!