Ecuadorian Colada Morada
Day of the Dead is celebrated with a purple-colored drink called colada morada, and it’s most often accompanied by a spongy sweet roll called guaguas de pan. Colada morada has a lengthy history of popularity dating back to pre-Hispanic times.
Note: This recipe yields about 12-14 servings, so it works great for a small gathering. The recipe is easily scalable, so add or divide as you see fit.
- 1 ½ gallons water (plus extra for mixing and rinsing)
- 1 large bundle of herbs: You can use lemon verbena, lemon balm, lemon grass, rosemary, or anything else you can find.
- 2 cups lulo fruit pulp (Or passionfruit or pineapple puree)
- 2 cups blackberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 orange (peel and fruit)
- 1 cup purple corn flour (Bob’s Red Mill) or 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 5 cloves
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 pineapple (using the fruit, skin and core)
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- Lemon balm or mint for garnish
Fill a large pot with 5 quarts of water, adding brown sugar, bundle of herbs, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, pineapple skin and core, and the peel of one orange. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes, adding the lulo fruit pulp about 7 minutes in. Simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and strain.
Blend the blackberries and raspberries with 2 cups of water until the mixture is smooth. Strain the berry pulp into the pot of brown sugar and herb water. Use a spoon to scrape the bottom of the strainer to dislodge any seeds creating blockage.
In a medium sized mixing bowl add 2 cups water. Sift the purple corn flour into the water, stirring to prevent clumps. Once the mixture has fully dissolved, add it to the mixture in the large pot. Add an additional quart of water and place the pot over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Add the remaining pineapple (reserve 1/2 cup for garnish) and cook for 30 minutes, constantly stirring. Remove from the heat and cool.
Enjoy the Colada Morada hot or chilled, garnish with sliced strawberries, pineapple chunks and a sprig of mint.
Day of the Dead in Ecuador
Ecuadorians travel to their family cemeteries every year on November 1st to honor their deceased relatives. It is believed the spirits of their loved ones return each year on this date. Families bring food and drink, and offerings to the cemetery as part of the celebration. Families take much pride in decorating the graves in the cemetery with flowers and assorted decorations.