Canjica (Creamy Hominy Pudding)

There is some controversy over the origin of "canjica" - whether it is an African or a native American preparation - but it has certainly become a traditional Brazilian sweet. It can be served as a dessert or a snack all year round, and it is a traditional "festas juninas" (June festivities which coincide with the corn harvest) dish, celebrating St. Anthony's, St. Peter's and St. John's Day.  
It is a cheap, healthy and very easy to make recipe, although the cooking time is long. This recipe has been enriched with grated coconut, but you can also add coconut milk (to replace an equal volume of milk), sweetened condensed milk (instead of sugar and half normal milk) and a handful of roasted peanuts. It's delicious eaten still warm right through the winter!!

Ingredients

  • • 500 g hominy
  • • 2 litre water
  • • 2 litre whole milk
  • • 400 g sugar
  • • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • • 8 dried cloves
  • • 100 g dry grated coconut, optional
  • • cinnamon powder to garnish

Preparation method

1. Wash the hominy and let it soak overnight. 
2. Discard the soaking water, pour hominy into a pressure cooker with a lot of water and cook for about 40 minutes after the pressure is reached, or cook slowly with the lid until the hominy kernels are very soft. 
3. Drain hominy kernels and discard the water. Combine milk, sugar, cinnamon sticks, dried cloves and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 - 45 minutes, until the desired consistency is reached. Remember that it will thicken a little more as it cools. 
4. Add the coconut halfway the cooking time.  
5. Serve sprinkled with cinnamon powder. 
6. Store in fridge. 

Yield: 12 - 15 servings.
Posted on: 09 January 2012
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