Horchata is a staple drink in Honduras.
Horchata originates from Egypt & Sudan where they originally used the chufa nut (also called nut grass, yellow nutsedge, tigernut, or earth almond) to make Horchata de Chufa. During ancient times, the chufa nutk was brought to Spain and cultivated in the province Valencia. When the Spaniards brought the drink to Latin America, where tiger nuts are not cultivated, the natives used pulverized rice to make the drink.
Each country has its own particular version of this recipe. In general, the rice, nuts and/or seeds are ground and mixed with water, spices and sugar to make a milky looking drink.
Horchata drinks differ in flavor across Spain & Latin America. Despite them sharing the same name, the taste of each is exclusive to its country of origin.
- Spain: Horchata de Chufa is made from chufa nuts (tiger nuts)
- El Salvador: Made with ground morro (jicaro) seeds and several different spices.
- Nicaragua: horchata is known as semilla de jicaro and is made from the jicaro seeds blended with spices, rice, cold milk and sugar.
- Mexico-Oaxaca: Tinted pink with pureed fruit of the prickly pear cactus.
- Mexico and Guatemala: horchata is made of rice, always with cinnamon and sometimes with vanilla.
- Puerto Rico: made with sesame seeds ground with vanilla, rice and cinnamon with milk, evaporated milk or water. Some recipes ask for allspice, coconut milk and rum.
- Venezuela: horchata is generally called chicha, and the alcoholic version is called chicha andina.
- Ecuador: horchata is a clear red blend of 18 herbs.
- Goa: horchata is called Orchat and is made from cashew extract or ground almonds and mixed water with sugar.
The horchata found in south of Honduras is primarily made from morro/jicaro seeds, not rice. Other typical ingredients include ground sesame seeds, cocoa, nutmeg, cinnamon, tigernuts and vanilla. Other nuts like peanuts, almonds and cashews can also be used. Using these ingredients means that the horchata nneds to be strained before serving.
Soak uncooked rice for few hours, toast or roast the morro seeds with cinnamon sticks, then blend all three together. Add water, blend some more and strain out any chunks left, then add sugar and lime to taste.
- Ground allspice or nutmeg, a squeeze of lime juice.
- Substitute milk for water or evaporated milk for a creamier version.
- Use a coffee or spice grinder to first pulverize the rice and then soak in water. This way soaking will take half the time.
You can find more about Honduran recipes in my Honduran Cookbook.