Pululo - Plantain Juice

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Bolivian Drinks | Food Home Page | Tourism | Plan Your Trip | Español

Pululo in Spanish means short and fat. It is also the name of a town in Mozambique. But here in Bolivia it’s a really interesting drink.

Bolivian food recipes drinks beverages pululo

The first time I tried this was in Trinidad, in the state of Beni (Northeastern Bolivia). I had no idea what it was. I just knew I liked it and that it was immediately refreshing (and it gets HOT up there in the Amazon!) I searched everywhere for this recipe for you and finally found out that it is traditionally from our northernmost state of Pando.

Ingredients (Serves 8)

7 cups of milk
3 sticks of cinnamon
1 cup of green plantain flour
Sugar to taste


If you don’t live in South America, the problem may be finding plantain flour, but in every other sense this is one of the easiest recipes in the world! You can substitute plantain flour for 2 green plantains, peeled. You can usually purchase plantains at your local supermarket, Mexican food store, or Whole Foods (or similar) market. Make sure your plantains are green, not yellow. Once they get yellow they become sweet.

If you can find green plantains, peel them with a knife and blend them with a little water (just a little, enough to blend), then strain them and throw out the pulp – what you want to keep is the thick water that is left over. It should be whitish and thick. If it's not, blend one more time with the plantain pulp until it does come out thick when you strain it. Let’s just call it “goo” for lack of a better word.

Boil the milk and cinnamon sticks in a pot. After 10 minutes add the plantain flour (or strained plantain goo) and allow to continue boiling on very low heat (you don’t want to scald the milk or allow it to flow over). You also don’t want to let it get too thick so if it does, add a little milk or water.

After the plantain flour (or goo) has boiled in the milk for 10 minutes, add sugar to taste. Some people drink this hot. Others cool it and serve it very cold over ice.

Bolivian Drinks | Food Home Page | Tourism | Plan Your Trip | Español

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