Monday, June 28, 2010

RECIPE - Creamy Corn Pudding (Canjica)

One of the most traditional foods of the festas juninas celebrations in Northeastern Brazil is a creamy dessert pudding made from grated fresh corn called canjica. (In other parts of Brazil, canjica may refer to other dishes entirely).

It's made by grating a dozen ears of fresh corn to extract the juice and then, after adding milk, sugar and spices, cooking down the liquid until it reaches the consistency of a thick pudding. It's served at the community fairs and street stalls that are an integral part of the festa junina tradition. It's also quite simple to make at home, though it requires a commitment of a considerable amount of time and elbow grease. But it's well worth the effort as it's comfortingly delicious.

If you click the link at the end of this paragraph, you'll be taken to the site of Folha de S. Paulo, one of Brazil's major national newspapers. On the page that's displayed you can click on a short video which is entitled "Master pamonha chef teaches how to make Northeastern canjica." The cook in the video, a charming woman named Dona Antônia, won a pamonha-making contest at the festa junina fair in Campina Grande, one of the largest such fairs in Brazil. (Click here to learn about pamonha). In this video she demonstrates how to make canjica. Although it's in Portuguese, the video shows the simplicity and charm of this country cook. The recipe below duplicates the recipe she details in the video.

RECIPE - Creamy Corn Pudding (Canjica)

12 ears of fresh corn
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
pinch of salt
powdered cinnamon to taste
Grate the 12 ears of corn, saving the liquid in a large bowl. Pour the liquid through a sieve, pressing down on the solids to extract all the juice.

Put the liquid in a large, heavy saucepan, add the milk, sugar and salt. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then heat the mixture on the stove top over medium heat. Bring only to the simmer, stirring constantly, then reduce heat to maintain the simmer. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for one and a half hours, or until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of pudding (or an English custard).

Pour into individual serving bowls, and sprinkle each serving with powdered cinnamon. Let cool, and serve at room temperature, or chilled if preferred.


  1. This recipe it's not for canjica,it's curau!!

    1. HI Rita - I don't know where you are from, but I checked this out on the internet after receiving your comment, and it appears that what certain regions of Brazil call curau, others call canjica. Perhaps you're from the south. In any case, as someone said in one of the notes I found on the internet - "Aqui no sul essa canjica a que vc se refere como canjica daí é chamada de curau rsrsrsr".

  2. I know this food as canjica. My fiance introduced me to it and he is from Recife. Delicia!

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  4. I'm a native Brazilian and I can assure you this is not canjica. It's another dish .

  5. Canjica is white and if you want its recipe go to

  6. Canjica is white and if you want its recipe go to

  7. I'm a native Brazilian and I can assure you this is not canjica. It's another dish .