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This month we are exploring Peru with Around the World in 12 Dishes. Now for Peru, I e-mailed my friend, Daria for recipe advice. Daria actually lived in Peru for part of her childhood. She suggested we make a mazamorra morado or Peruvian purple corn pudding. She even suggested a recipe for us. But before we get into our delicious recipe, let's talk about Peru. Now we discussed a little of Peru awhile ago when we reviewed Daria's A Child's Life in the Andes and the companion CD Little Songs of the Andes. Both are available for sale at Daria's Little Village Store.
Peru is a country in western South America and was home to many ancient civilizations including one of the oldest in the world, Norte Chico, and the Inca, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered Peru in the 16th Century and Peru gained its independence from Spain in 1821. Peru has the peaks of The Andes as well as the rainforests of the Amazon Basin. Spanish is the main language in Peru, however many Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages. (Source)
Now let's talk about our mazamorra morada. If you want a wonderful scent in your house, I suggest you cook this pudding. I can still smell the sweet pineapple, cinnamon and cloves in the air a day after making it. Now we used this recipe found on About.com. Normally I post my Around the World Dishes on the third Tuesday of the month, however I had some trouble finding purple corn. Daria had suggested a Hispanic market. I called six I found on-line. Only one answered (and one had been disconnected). The one that answered did not have purple corn, so I goggled it and found it at Amazon. I didn't get it until after the third Tuesday and then I had to get the other fresh ingredients.
Mazamorra Morada or Peruvian Purple Corn Pudding
1 pound dried purple corn
1/2 pineapple (including rind)
1 quince (or a green apple if quince is not available)
1 teaspoon whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1 cup dried fruit: prunes, apricots and/or cherries (we used prunes)
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
juice of 1 lime
The first step is to put the dried fruit in a heat proof bowl and cover it with boiling water. Then set aside to cool.
Next put the purple corn in a large pot and add 10 cups of water. Then cut the pineapple into small bite sizes. Put the cut pineapple aside but add the rinds to the pot. Quarter the quince and add it to the pot with the cinnamon sticks and cloves. Bring the water to boil and boil uncovered for about 30 minutes until the water is purple (which it is almost instantly) and the quince is very soft. While it was boiling, Hazel juiced the lime and we took a pineapple break with the other half of the pineapple. It was the first time Hazel liked a fresh pineapple though she did get a hurt tongue from eating too much of it.
Once the mixture is done, strain the liquid and return the liquid to the pot. Throw away the corn, pineapple rinds, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Take 1/2 cup of the liquid and put it in a small bowl with the cornstarch. Set it aside for later. Peel and cut the apple into small bites. Add the sugar, pineapple, apple, dried fruit (strained from the water), and a pinch of salt to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for about 20 minutes until the apple is soft. Stir occasionally.
Add the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil again. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice. Cool. Serve room temperature or chilled. Sprinkle with cinnamon when serving.
We loved it!! Steve thought it was a bit spicy, but he enjoyed it.
We of course enjoyed some stories from Peru. Hazel really loves hearing the different stories from all the different cultures.
We also listened to some Peruvian music with songs from these CDs.
We also looked at some resource books.
Now a few of these books are craft books. The textile book suggested a Peruvian weaving as a craft. Since we did a weaving recently, I decided not to attempt this right now. We did however try the Peruvian clay whistle from the World Crafts Musical Instruments book. Ours did not turn out well though. (It was suppose to look like the yellow one on the cover.)
So that is our exploration of Peru. Have you explored Peru or made a Peruvian dish? Feel free to link up here and visit the others to see more dishes and explorations!! Also print out the Peru Placemat and Passport Pages to have explorations with your own kids.