Api Morado - Purple Corn Drink

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Api morado (purple api) is made from purple corn. Similar to api blanco (white api), it's served at breakfast time. It’s thick and hearty and can be served hot or cold. Customarily we accompany any type of api with a pastry called a "buñuelo" which is a deep fried but soft dough. White api is delicious, although I prefer the deep “grape-y” flavor of purple api. Api morado is prepared in a completely different way as you’ll see when you compare both recipes. Also be sure to see my recipe for chicha morada another drink made from purple corn!

Bolivian food recipes drinks beverages api morado

Ingredients (Serves 8)

2 cups ground purple corn (also called purple corn flour)
15 cups of water
2 sticks of cinnamon
5 whole cloves
Rind from one orange, finely grated (zest)
Sugar to taste


Purple corn is usually sold dried on the cob but you can also buy it in kernels or as purple corn flour. You need purple corn flour for this recipe. If you use whole purple corn or kernels, cut or break off the kernels and grind them or blend them in a blender or food processor with or without a little water (depending on your food processor). In Bolivia women used to use a mortar and pestle but this takes a long time. If you find purple corn flour (it's sold on Amazon.com), super! You just eliminated this step.

Purple corn or purple maize

Soak the ground purple corn flour in 6 cups of water for about 1/2 hour. Boil the remaining 9 cups of water with the cinnamon and cloves while you do this so the water will take on the flavor of the spices.

Add the six cups of soaked corn flour to the nine cups of boiled cinnamon water. Add the grated orange rind (zest).

If you used ground purple corn, strain the corn from the water, reserving the water and not the corn. Add this purple water and the grated orange rind to the boiled cinnamon water.

Cook together, stirring constantly until just a little thick. Add the sugar and serve. You can also refrigerate and serve it cold. Either way, it’s thick, hearty, healthy and delicious! It’s like drinking a little Andean history.

I love this YouTuber's video of api with buñuelos. In this video you can see what api and buñuelos actually look like. She is so much fun, right?


Bolivian Food   Bolivian Recipes   Bolivia Facts   Bolivia for Kids

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