Rice "Chicha"

Rice “Chicha” Recipe. A delicious summer drink with Asian origins.

The word “Chicha” usually refers to a fermented beverage made by the natives of Central and South America which in most cases incorporates a mix of spit (yeah, you read that right), fruit and/or grains, drank originally during ceremonial activities.

Even though the Rice Chicha, bears the same name, thankfully is much more appetizing, and it doesn’t involve spitting in it or any religious ceremonies of any kind.

The Origin of Rice Chicha

Rice Chicha, (called horchata in Mexico) or at least this particular recipe, became a staple drink in Venezuela, South America after colonization. Imported rice and cinnamon from Asia alongside sugar from Asia, milk from the newly brought cows from Europe/Asia and the original Asian recipe known as Rice Milk, was transformed into this sweet variation.

According to the Real Academia Española or RAE for short (Royal Spanish Academy) Spain’s official royal institution with a mission to ensure the stability of the Castellano (Spain’s official language) also but wrongly known as Spanish, the word Chicha derives from the Kuna word “chichab”, or “chiab” which means maize (corn). (1, 2)

Being Rice Chicha similar in consistency to the original chicha of the natives of the South of the Americas, the name of this beverage changed from Rice Milk to Rice Chicha or as it’s commonly known in Venezuela, Chicha de Arroz.

Rice Chicha is a very refreshing and filling beverage best enjoyed cold with ice cubes during the hot summer months. Because it isn’t fermented and has no alcoholic content is great for children and adults alike.

Rice “Chicha” Recipe.

Recipe by Manuela ValentiCourse: Food, Manuela’s JournalDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 cup of rice (Jasmine rice is better, otherwise any white rice will do)

  • 8 cups of water

  • 6 cups of whole milk (+2 cups optional)

  • 1 can of condensed milk (can be substituted with 1 cup of sugar)

  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

  • Cinnamon to taste

  • Ice cubes


  • In a large pan (large enough to fit all the ingredients) add the water and the rice and bring to a boil. Once it reaches boiling temperature, lower the heat and simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until rice is very soft.
  • Once the rice is fully cooked remove the pan from the heat and let cool down to room temperature.
  • Add the 6 cups of milk, the condensed milk or sugar and the vanilla to the rice. With a stick blender, blend on high until completely smooth. Depending on the type of rice used your might need to add more liquid. Use the 2 additional cups of milk if needed. The consistency of the chicha should be smooth but creamy. Not too thick nor too thin.
  • Serve in tall glasses with a few cubes of ice and sprinkle some cinnamon on top.

Happy Summer!

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