Pamonha (Sweet Corn Mush)

The "pamonha" is a very healthy recipe made with grated sweet corn wrapped in corn husk - a heritage of the Brazilian native people, evolved with the Portuguese and African contribution. The word "pamonha" derives from the “Tupi” dialect word "pamunha". “Tupi” is the native language spoken by the tribes on the Brazilian coast before the colonizers arrival. 
Nowadays it is a spread recipe all over the country, especially in the northeast region, Minas Gerais and São Paulo. It is a typical dish of Goiás, and it is one of our traditional "festas juninas" dishes, celebrating St. Anthony's, St. Peter's and St. John's Day. The majority of this production, such is the case with typical products, is still a handmade production. 
Traditionally "pamonha" is served with a black coffee cup, but it can be served at any time - hot, warm or cold - or during the meal. 
In rural areas there is an old tradition - unfortunately almost disappeared - known as "pamonhada”. It is a family corn harvest to make "pamonha", with good music. (Source: "Do milho to pamonha" Potira Morena de Souza Benko Uru, 2007) 
A variation of “pamonha” is the “curau”, a sweet corn pudding.

Ingredients

  • • 4 sweet corn cobs, around 400g sweet corn kernels
  • • 75 ml milk, approximately
  • • 150 g sugar
  • • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • • a pinch of salt

Preparation method

1. Using a sharp knife cut off the end of the cob, shuck the corn and clean off the silk threads. Set aside the most beautiful husks to "wrap" the "pamonha". 
2. Remove kernels from the corn cob with a knife and blend kernels with the milk to a paste. In the traditional recipe kernels are grated off the cob and the pulp is passed through a sieve (large aperture). 
3. Pour the corn pulp in a bowl and add the sugar, the melted butter and the salt. Mix well. The mixture should be thick. If necessary add a little more milk. 
4. Wash the corn husks and blanch them in boiling water for a few seconds - to make them more malleable. 
5. To "wrap" the "pamonhas" with the corn husks follow the video instructions sequence. Finally, tie the "packet" with a string or with a small strip of corn husk. 
6. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Place the "pamonhas" inside the pot (they must be covered with water). Cover and cook for about 45 minutes, until husks turn yellowish. 
7. Drain the "pamonhas" and serve. It can be heated with a water bath or using steam. 

Variations:  
• To make the salt "pamonha" use just a teaspoon of sugar, salt to taste and, if you want, add a piece of fresh cheese before closing the "pack". 
• In the recipe of "pamonha" (sweet) you can replace milk with coconut milk, and you can add to the mixture a little grated coconut. 
• Instead of "wrapping" the "pamonha" with the corn husk you can make little "bags" sewing 2-3 corn husks together. Fill with the mixture and finally close the "bag" by tying with a string. 

Yield: 5-6 small "pamonhas".
Posted on: 29 July 2013
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