Recipe: Chicha Venezolana | Venezuelan Chicha (Rice Drink)

1 Apr

Growing up in Venezuela is one of those things I would never wish to change about my life.  All the experiences, good and bad, are what make me who I am today.  Although there were some tough times, there were also plenty of great times that fill the good memories I have of Venezuela nowadays.

I was fortunate to have a loving family who valued education above all things.  I was fortunate to have parents and grandparents who made sure I could attend the best schools, private bilingual schools.  Attending a bilingual private school had advantages and disadvantages.  Of course, they were all advantages, but when you are 12 years old, you probably don’t think that having to take 16 subjects all year long (8 in English and 8 in Spanish) is an advantage at all.  Now I that I live in the US, and people can’t tell that I am from a different country, because I don’t have an accent, make me realize all the advantages.

One other advantage I remember fondly from being in a private school is definitely the food.  The school had what we call a “cantina escolar”, the school’s cafeteria.  And no, the ‘cantina’ did not serve any alcohol!  They sold anything and everything from arepas to empanadas, pabellón criollo, breakfast, tequeños, tequeñón, and anything else you might think of.

One year, my school hired a ‘carrito de chicha’, a little cart much like a hot dog cart that would sell chicha.  This tiny cart would be downstairs and my friends and I would run down during recess to get some chicha.  What is chicha? you ask?  Only the most refreshing drink you’ve ever had.  There is just something about the cold, creamy, sweet chicha that gave you enough energy to run all over during recess and still be awake for the next 4 class periods.

Venezuelan Chicha is a refreshing drink made with rice.  Back in the day, people used to soak the rice overnight, and then let it dry and grind it, then blend it and add sugar and sell it on the street as refreshment.  Nowadays, we even have commercialized chicha brands that you can buy at the store just like a carton of milk.

So now you can make your own chicha at home, and it’s very easy.  The best part is that you don’t have to wait a day while you soak the rice, or use a grinder.  Because let’s face it, who even owns a grinder?

Ingredients for Venezuelan Chicha

Ingredients for Venezuelan Chicha

What you need:

– 1 Cup White Rice
– 10 Cups Water
– ½ Teaspoon Salt
– ¾ Cup Sugar
– 1 Cup Powdered Milk
– 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
– Condensed Milk (optional)
– Ground Cinnamon
– Cinnamon Sticks
– Ice

Preparation:

1. In a large enough pot, bring the 10 cups of water to a boil.
2. Once the water is boiling, add the rice, the salt, and one cinnamon stick and continue to boil for about 30 minutes, or until the rice is quite mushy.

Boil the Rice

Boil the Rice

3. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside to cool.  At this point, also remove the cinnamon stick.
4. While the rice is still a bit warm, add the sugar and vanilla extract and stir by hand.
5. Add the powdered milk little by little so it doesn’t clump up, and stir by hand.
6. Let the mixture cool down a bit longer.
7. Using a blender, liquefy the mixture.  You will probably need to do this about 2 cups at a time, because the entire batch will not fit in an average size blender.

Blend

Blend

8. Put the mixture in a pitcher and in the fridge to cool down completely.
9. Once cool, you can serve it in many different ways.  You can serve it with crushed ice, like a smoothie.  Or you can serve it with ice cubes.  But it’s always served with ice.  You can sprinkle some ground cinnamon on top, and you can also add some condensed milk.

Venezuelan Chicha with Cinnamon

Venezuelan Chicha with Cinnamon

Venezuelan Chicha with Cinnamon and Condensed Milk

Venezuelan Chicha with Cinnamon and Condensed Milk

Chicha Venezolana | Venezuelan Chicha (Rice Drink)

Chicha Venezolana | Venezuelan Chicha (Rice Drink)

¡Buen Provecho!

33 Responses to “Recipe: Chicha Venezolana | Venezuelan Chicha (Rice Drink)”

  1. Felipe Ojeda April 2, 2013 at 08:13 #

    That “chicha”, your “chicha”, looks very atractive and must therefore taste delicious. I wish I could have some of it right now!!!

    • mwolowicz April 3, 2013 at 10:42 #

      Felipe,

      Thank you for visiting the blog, and thank you for your comment. I am glad that you enjoyed the post.

      MW

  2. Catherine April 2, 2013 at 14:15 #

    Thank you for having such a wonderful blog with great recipes and beautiful stories from our country!

    • mwolowicz April 3, 2013 at 10:43 #

      Catherine,

      Thank you for visiting the blog, and thank you for your comment and kind compliments. I am happy that you actually read and enjoyed the stories.

      MW

  3. golden0wl April 9, 2013 at 16:47 #

    How many cups of chicha does this recipe make?

    • mwolowicz April 18, 2013 at 06:18 #

      golden0wl,

      Thank you for visiting the blog, and thank you for you question. For this recipe it is hard to tell how much liquid you will end up with. It will all depend on how much liquid evaporates while you boil the rice. I ended up with about 12 cups.

      If you make the recipe, please let us know how many cups you were able to make.

      MW

  4. jaime perez July 29, 2013 at 14:05 #

    Just “The best of the best”. 100% guaranteed and recommended!

    • mwolowicz July 29, 2013 at 14:06 #

      Jaime,

      Thank you for visiting the blog, and thank you for your comment.

      MW

  5. Amelia November 23, 2013 at 21:13 #

    I am making this for my school project; how many cups does this make?

    • mwolowicz November 23, 2013 at 21:17 #

      Amelia,

      Thank you for visiting the blog, and thank you for your questions. For this recipe it depends on how much liquid ends up evaporating from the pot, but I ended up with about 12 cups.

  6. Platanos, Mangoes and Me! January 25, 2014 at 13:03 #

    I remember this drink when I was little and I never forgot it…thanks fr the memories and I might use this on my blog…giving you credit of course….

    • mwolowicz January 26, 2014 at 14:34 #

      Norma,

      Thank you again for visiting the blog, and for your comment. Please report back if you do make my recipe and let us know how it goes.

      Saludos,

      Melissa

  7. Tim February 16, 2014 at 21:38 #

    I lived in Ojeda way back in the early 70’s and chicha was one of my best memories of venezuela, well that and cacique:) thanks for the recipie I will reply once i have made it and let you know how it turned out for me.

    • mwolowicz February 19, 2014 at 13:55 #

      Tim,

      Thank you for visiting the blog and thank you for your comment. How long did you live in Ciudad Ojeda for? My Family’s last name is actually Ojeda.

      MW

  8. Tim February 17, 2014 at 15:39 #

    came out pretty damn good, same flavor, i think i made it a bit thick, but damn its good, havent had it in 30 years, so brings back lots of good memories. Now to find some cacique.

    • mwolowicz February 19, 2014 at 13:56 #

      Tim,

      Thank you for reporting back after making the recipe. I love to hear how it turned out. I’m glad you liked it. I actually like it thick. If it’s too thick you can always add a couple more ice cubes to each individual glass serving and as they melt down it will become less thick, but it won’t loose the flavor.

      MW

  9. Randy February 19, 2014 at 12:07 #

    Do you add the condensed milk to the whole chicha or do you add it to each individual cup? I remember the Chicha while in Venezuela and I have never been able to enjoy that drink since then (over 10 years ago). If you do add it to the whole at what point do you do that?

    • mwolowicz February 19, 2014 at 14:04 #

      Randy,

      Thank you for visiting the blog, and thank you for your comment and questions. It it best to add the condensed milk at the end (like a topping). Condensed milk is very sweet, and the chicha drink is sweet already, you don’t want it to be too sweet. And if it isn’t sweet enough then you can add condensed milk to taste at the end. This batch I made was sweet enough for me, and I just added a bit of condensed milk on top of my own glass and it was perfectly sweet. My husband on the other hand thought it wasn’t sweet enough, so he added more condensed milk to his glass.

      If you do wish to add it to the whole mixture, I would recommend doing it at the very end when you are cooling down the mix. You don’t want to heat up the condensed milk, because it will clump and turn into Dulce de Leche if you cook it.

      Please let me know how it turns out, if you end up making the recipe.

      MW

  10. Tim March 7, 2014 at 03:06 #

    I honestly think I might have boiled the rice overly long. I diluted the chicha abot 50/50 and didnt hurt the taste or consistency at all. As to how long I was in Ojeda going to school at Las Morochas from 1971 to 1981 or 82.

    • mwolowicz March 10, 2014 at 12:07 #

      Tim,

      Thank you for reporting back on your attempt to make chicha… I’m glad it worked out for you.

      MW

  11. Carina Khoury April 9, 2014 at 17:13 #

    Hello
    I made this recipe twice and it was great !!! I only added more sugar it was 1 cup of sugar in total because we like our chicha to be really sweet. Thank you so much for this tutorial!! I always thought it is impossible to make homemade chicha and my mother always told me it is made out of a rice dough :S By the way this recipe made about 10 cups i guess.
    Can you please make us a cachapa recipe… my brothers really like it and i would like to give it a try.
    Thank you

    • mwolowicz April 11, 2014 at 09:24 #

      Carina,

      Thank you for visiting the blog and thank you for your comment. I am glad you guys liked the chicha recipe. Thank you for letting us know how many cups did you get from the recipe. I will try to make cachapas from scratch soon and share the recipe with everyone, keep an eye out for it.

      MW

  12. sechaba May 18, 2014 at 01:35 #

    thanx for a great recipe, how long does it last in the fridge

    • mwolowicz May 26, 2014 at 09:47 #

      Sechaba,

      Thank you for visiting the blog, and for your question. Usually Chicha doesn’t last more than a day in my fridge (because everyone drinks it that same day). I wouldn’t keep it more than two days in there.

      MW

  13. sechaba September 17, 2014 at 00:30 #

    I would like to start a chichi business in my country ( south Africa ) can you give me advice how to go about it.

    • mwolowicz September 17, 2014 at 09:02 #

      Sechaba,

      Thank you for visiting the blog and thank you for your comment. Wow, that is very interesting that you wish to have your own Venezuelan Chicha Business in South Africa. I don’t know much about entrepreneur businesses in South Africa, if they have a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and regulations like here in the US, or business laws in that country. However, I can tell you how people go about it in my country, Venezuela. Venezuelan business laws are a bit more lenient when it comes to informal commerce, and there is no FDA. We have tons of Chicha Vendors on the streets. They just buy a ‘Carrito de Chicha’ (Chicha Cart) and they go around busy streets, like downtowns, and big universities and colleges, and they sell Chicha on the streets to anyone who wants one. A Chicha Cart is sort of like a Hot Dog Cart, except it has chicha, not hotdogs. They also have Chicha Stands, instead of carts, but those can’t be rolled around, they most likely stay in the same place all the time. The Chicha Stands are usually in the same location, such as a specific corner in a busy mall. I think for the most part the carts or stands consist of one or two big drink coolers to keep the Chicha nice and cold, and a small prep area to keep your cups, napkins, straws, and additional toppings like the condensed milk and the cinnamon. You would have to prepare big batches of chicha in advanced and then take it in the cart/stand to your selling areas. Eventually if your business does well, you can franchise your name, recipe and product.

      This is by no means a true and accurate account on how to make Chicha into a Business in South Africa, but it is a starting point. You can research a bit more on different types of chicha, different types of carts or stands and definitely research the business laws and food regulations in your country.

      Good luck with your venture and I hope to hear back from you soon.

      MW

      • sechaba September 22, 2014 at 09:04 #

        thanks for the advice

  14. Joy November 11, 2014 at 00:30 #

    I made this for my family tonight, very tasty! Mine came out too thick so I added some milk and a little water.

    • mwolowicz November 11, 2014 at 07:05 #

      Joy,

      Thank you for visiting the blog and for your comment. I am glad you and your family enjoyed the chicha.

      MW

  15. Kent September 5, 2015 at 10:29 #

    Any specific type of rice that works best?

    • mwolowicz September 5, 2015 at 13:43 #

      Kent,

      Usually people would use what they call white rice ‘broken’ grains for making chicha. Which is basically the grains that were left over from packaging because they were broken. However, I don’t think that you would find those being sold anywhere, because why would people buy only the broken grains of rice? Any plain white rice will do just fine.

      MW

  16. Ken Herrera October 16, 2015 at 11:36 #

    I lived in Venezuela for 4 years in the early 70’s and would spend summer’s in Choroni and Puerto Colombia…. where I drank this stuff like water! This recipe is exactly what I’ve been looking for for many years! We lived in Ciudad Ojeda and Las Morochas for those years, but my brother and I would always go to a summer camp in Puerto Colombia for a month or so each summer. (and spend most of our time at Playa Grande, which wasn’t crowded at all in those days!) Wonderful memories of a Venezuela that no longer exists… I am so sad to see how the country has crumbled in recent years. It was a fantastic place back in the 70’s! Thanks for posting this… I found your blog by using Google and the key word Chicha..happy I found it…I’m going to make this today! I still love Venezuela and hope that one day the country gets back on track so I can visit there again!

    • mwolowicz October 16, 2015 at 17:01 #

      Ken,

      Thank you for visiting the blog and for your comment. Thank you for sharing those wonderful memories with the rest of us… two of my favorite places, Choroní and Playa Grande. I am happy you enjoyed the post. Please let me know if you made the recipe and how you liked it… Share pictures too, if you can!… We all hope Venezuela can be as beautiful as it was before, or even better! Thank you for your wishes.

      MW

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