Chicha De Jora Recipe - A Traditional Peruvian Drink with White and Brown Sugar, Chili Pepper, and Lemon

Chicha De Jora

Chicha De Jora Recipe - A Traditional Peruvian Drink with White and Brown Sugar, Chili Pepper, and Lemon
Region / culture: Peru | Preparation time: 1 hour | Cooking time: 4.5 hours | Servings: 8-10


Chicha De Jora
Chicha De Jora

Chicha de Jora is a traditional Peruvian fermented corn drink that has been enjoyed for centuries. This ancient beverage is made from Maiz de Jora, a special type of corn that has been malted and fermented. Chicha de Jora is not only a delicious and refreshing drink, but it also has cultural significance in Peruvian society.


Chicha de Jora has a long history in Peru, dating back to pre-Incan times. It was traditionally made by the indigenous people of the Andes region, who used Maiz de Jora as the main ingredient. The fermentation process was believed to have been a gift from the gods, and chicha was often used in religious ceremonies and celebrations.


  • 1 lb (454 g) (4 full cups) of Maiz de Jora, purchased or homemade
  • 2 x 15 oz (425 g) cakes of chancaca (OR)
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 2 cups of packed brown sugar
  • +additional sugar for sweetening
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 dried hot chili pepper
  • 1 fresh stalk (about 36 inches) of sugarcane, cut into pieces and crushed
  • 1 lemon, sliced for garnish

How to prepare

  1. In a stainless-steel stockpot large enough to hold 2.5 gallons (9.46 liters) of liquid, combine the jora, chancaca or sugars, cloves, pepper, and crushed sugarcane with 8 qt (7.57 liters) of cold water.
  2. Allow the mixture to soak for 1 hour.
  3. Place the stockpot over high heat and bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon and scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent sticking and burning.
  4. Once the mixture reaches a full boil, reduce the heat and simmer it gently, covered, for 4.5 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove the stockpot from the heat and let it rest undisturbed for about 2 hours.
  6. Pour the mixture through a strainer to remove any solids.
  7. Press the liquid from the sugar cane and discard the pulp.
  8. Strain the mixture again through a double layer of cheesecloth into a ceramic, porcelain, or glass container, and tightly cover it with cheesecloth or a kitchen towel.
  9. Allow the mixture to sit for 3 to 8 days, depending on the desired strength and thickness of the chicha.
  10. The longer the chicha sits, the higher the alcohol content and the thicker it will become.


  • Some variations of Chicha de Jora include adding fruit juices or spices for additional flavor. You can also experiment with different types of sugars or sweeteners to adjust the sweetness level.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

When making Chicha de Jora, it is important to use Maiz de Jora, as regular corn will not ferment properly. It is also crucial to allow the mixture to ferment for the desired amount of time to achieve the desired flavor and alcohol content. Additionally, be sure to strain the mixture thoroughly to remove any solids and achieve a smooth consistency.

Serving Suggestions

Chicha de Jora is best served chilled, garnished with a slice of lemon. It pairs well with traditional Peruvian dishes such as ceviche or lomo saltado.

Cooking Techniques

The key cooking technique for Chicha de Jora is the fermentation process, which requires patience and attention to detail. It is important to follow the recipe instructions carefully to achieve the desired flavor and consistency.

Ingredient Substitutions

If Maiz de Jora is not available, you can try using regular corn or cornmeal as a substitute. However, the flavor and texture may be slightly different.

Make Ahead Tips

Chicha de Jora can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. The longer it sits, the stronger the flavor will become.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Chicha de Jora in traditional Peruvian clay cups for an authentic touch. You can also garnish with fresh herbs or edible flowers for a decorative presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Chicha de Jora pairs well with spicy or savory dishes, as the sweetness of the drink can help balance out the flavors. It also complements seafood dishes and grilled meats.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store Chicha de Jora in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. It can be served chilled or at room temperature, depending on your preference.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

The calorie content of Chicha de Jora can vary depending on the amount of sugar used and the fermentation time. On average, a serving of Chicha de Jora may contain around 200-300 calories.


Chicha de Jora is high in carbohydrates due to the Maiz de Jora and sugars used in the recipe. Carbohydrates provide energy and are essential for overall health and well-being.


Chicha de Jora is low in fats, as it is primarily made from corn and sugar. Fats are important for overall health, but in moderation.


Chicha de Jora is not a significant source of protein, as it is a beverage made from corn and sugar. Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, but other sources should be included in the diet.

Vitamins and minerals

Chicha de Jora may contain some vitamins and minerals from the Maiz de Jora and other ingredients used in the recipe. However, it is not a significant source of these nutrients and should not be relied upon as a primary source of vitamins and minerals.


Chicha de Jora does not contain common allergens such as nuts, dairy, or gluten. However, individuals with corn allergies should avoid this beverage.


Chicha de Jora is a high-carbohydrate beverage that is low in fats and proteins. It may contain some vitamins and minerals, but should not be relied upon as a primary source of these nutrients. It is important to consume Chicha de Jora in moderation due to its calorie content.


Chicha de Jora is a traditional Peruvian fermented corn drink that is rich in carbohydrates and low in fats and proteins. It has a long history in Peruvian culture and is enjoyed for its unique flavor and cultural significance. With the right ingredients and techniques, you can create a delicious batch of Chicha de Jora to enjoy with friends and family.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of discovering this recipe for the first time is a treasured one. It all started many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in a small village in Peru. My grandmother, who was known for her delicious cooking, taught me the art of making Chicha De Jora.

Chicha De Jora is a traditional Peruvian drink made from fermented maize. It is a staple in our culture and is often enjoyed during special occasions and celebrations. My grandmother learned how to make Chicha De Jora from her own mother, and she passed the recipe down to me with great pride.

I remember the first time my grandmother showed me how to make Chicha De Jora. We started by soaking the maize in water for several days, allowing it to ferment and develop its unique flavor. As the maize fermented, my grandmother would tell me stories about her own childhood and the traditions of our people.

Once the maize was ready, we would carefully grind it into a fine paste and mix it with water to create a thick, creamy liquid. My grandmother would then add in a touch of sugar and some spices to enhance the flavor. We would let the mixture sit for a few more days, allowing it to ferment further and develop its full taste.

Finally, the Chicha De Jora was ready to be enjoyed. My grandmother would pour the drink into small clay cups and offer them to our family and friends. The sweet, tangy flavor of the drink was always a hit, and I could see the joy on everyone's faces as they sipped on the Chicha De Jora.

As I grew older, I continued to perfect the recipe for Chicha De Jora, experimenting with different spices and techniques to make it truly my own. I would often share the drink with my neighbors and coworkers, who always marveled at the unique taste of the traditional Peruvian drink.

Over the years, I have made Chicha De Jora for countless gatherings and celebrations, from birthdays to weddings to holidays. Each time I prepare the drink, I am reminded of my grandmother and the special bond we shared over our love of cooking.

I am grateful to have learned the art of making Chicha De Jora from my grandmother, as it has become a cherished tradition in our family. I hope to pass down the recipe to future generations, so that they too can experience the joy of creating and sharing this delicious drink.

In a world that is constantly changing, it is comforting to know that some things remain the same. The recipe for Chicha De Jora has been passed down through generations, connecting me to my roots and preserving a piece of my cultural heritage.

As I sit here, sipping on a glass of Chicha De Jora that I made myself, I am filled with gratitude for the memories and traditions that have shaped me into the person I am today. And I am reminded once again of the power of food to bring people together and create lasting connections.


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