Chucula (choo-COO-lah) is an Ecuadorean dessert made using sweet plantains. Traditionally chucula has the consistency of a banana smoothie and it is drunk cold. I remember having it more in the consistency of a pudding, and I ate it warm. If you like to have it the traditional way, double the amount of milk on this recipe.
I like to serve it with some crumbled queso fresco on top – the combination of the sweet with the savory is delicious. However, you may opt out of the queso fresco and make it a true dessert by topping it with a little bit of whipped cream and a sprinkle of ground cinammon.
3 ripe sweet plantains, peeled and chopped in thirds
2 cups water
1/2 tbps ground cinammon
5 whole cloves
2 cups milk
2 tbps brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbps unsalted butter
In a pot, cook the sweet plantains in the water with the cinammon and the whole cloves until the plantains are soft, about 10 minutes. Drain the plantains and reserve about 1 cup of the water, making sure the cloves are removed. In a blender, blend the plaintains with 3/4 cup of water, milk, sugar and vanilla extract, until a smooth, pudding-like consistency is achieved. If it is too thick, add the remainder of the water. If you like it as a smoothie, add two more cups of milk and blend.
Pour the mixture back in the pot, add the butter and cook it for about 5-7 minutes in medium heat.
Serve warm with crumbled queso blanco, or with whipped cream and ground cinammon instead.