"Colada Morada", a drink with a lot of meaning
La "Colada Morada" (Porridge of purple corn) is a traditional dish in Ecuadorian gastronomy. It is consumed mainly in the months of October and November. Its origin is prehispanic, the Kitu-Kara, culture that inhabits the Pichincha region in Ecuador since before the arrival of the Spaniards and even before the Inca empire, celebrated the 'Festival of Rains' in the same season as their deceased with "Colada Morada" made from the blood of Andean camelids.
Later the drink was transformed: For several centuries its main ingredients have been the purple corn flour , the mortiño (Andean blueberry) and the Ishpingo (andean cinnamon). They give aroma other plants of the mountain range like lemon grass, cedrón, arrayán and ataco, also takes orange leaves , anise and cinnamon. After the arrival of the Spaniards, this preparation was complemented with new fruits on the continent such as blackberries and strawberries.
The Kitu-Kara descendants today consume "Colada Morada" on November 2 in the cemeteries, next to the tombs of their deceased. Also in the urban population the tradition of preparing the "Colada Morada" and share it with the family remains very current.
This drink is accompanied by "wawas" bread (wawa in the Andes means 'baby'). Some chroniclers say that wawas bread began to prepare after the Catholic Church sanctioned the natives because they walked their mummified dead. For this reason they began to make bread with human form to remember the deceased. When they prepare at home the children like to participate in the decoration, it is a very colorful and beautiful family celebration. Currently the wawas are filled with sweets, milk or chocolate and it is a pleasure to go to Quito bakeries looking for where the best are.
It is my second year in Ecuador and this time I wanted to prepare my own "Colada Morada". It is not my intention in this publication to give a recipe because it is quite complex and the grannies know how to do it better than me! But I can tell you, basically, that the purple corn flour is soaked, apart from preparing an infusion of herbs and sweet spices, once sifted this infusion is mixed with the flour and cooked until it "has the cooking point". Finally fruits are added, some liquefied and others cut into pieces. The variations depend on the region and the taste of the person who prepares it.
I leave some images that show details of the preparation.
I am happy to have done it, it was my simple way of thanking my ancestors for all that I am and for inheriting this country where my present is, where I live and I learn. I will tell you that it was delicious, with the love I gave it and the advice of my Ecuadorian aunts and my neighbor from the greengrocers, the result was splendid. The wawas bread is a pending task, I will have the opportunity to learn them to do.
You can read my previous publications in these links:
If you liked, do not forget to leave your comments, that make my day =).