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Rice chicha: a nourishing South American beverage

White rice Chicha is a traditional South American, non-alcoholic beverage. Its appearance is thick, almost like eggnog. It has a sweet flavor and a scent with a mixture of vanilla and cinnamon. The origin of its name is unknown, however, it’s part of the diet of South American indigenous communities since the16Th Century.

Its main ingredient is rice, a cereal with great nutritional benefits: it promotes muscle growth, regulates digestion, improves the immune system and fortifies your bones.

Chicha is a refreshing beverage, so it’s served with ice and a dash of cinnamon on top to enhance its flavor. You can drink it at any time of the day, but it’s usually served in the morning for breakfast or with mid-afternoon snacks.

Rice Chicha is pretty easy to prepare, however as rice grains must soak in water overnight, it’s best to start preparing it the day before.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup of whole white rice (not parboiled)
  • A stick of cinnamon
  • A can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 T. of powdered milk or 1 cup of liquid milk
  • 1 ½ liters of water
  • 1 t. of vanilla extract
  • 1 t. of ground cinnamon
  • Ice cubes

Preparation

  1. Wash the rice, place it in a pot with ½ litre of water and let it soak overnight.
  2. Over medium heat, cook the rice in the same water it soaked in overnight and add the cinnamon stick.
  3. Cook the rice until it has a soft, creamy and even sticky consistency.
  4. Remove the cinnamon stick. Let it cool.
  5. Combine the rice with the condensed milk and the regular milk (liquid or powered), place in a blender and blend well.
  6. Add the vanilla and blend again.
  7. Place the drink in the fridge to cool.
  8. Serve the chicha with lots of ice and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Enjoy!