When the neighbour comes and hands me a big bag full of substantial sized overripe guavas, I knew, it is going to be a strenuous task. I need to deal with my mindset of ‘no wastage.’ First thing, came to my mind was my favourite Guava cheese.
When I was reading about the guava cheese, its origin, it traces back to Portuguese settlers in Brazil where it’s known as Goiabada. I am guessing that is how this recipe landed with them in Goa and is known as Perad/Peraad.
In simple terms, guava cheese is nothing but guava halwa. It doesn’t taste like cheese. Its texture is something you can easily bite into, yet is slightly chewy, somewhat like our Banana halwa, with a grainy texture, of course with added guava taste. Colour of the cheese depends on the variety of the Guava. If it is white, the colour turns our light brown, like mine. I usually mix a half red and half white variety of Guava to get beautiful hue.
Overripe Guava – 2kgs
Sugar – 800 grams to 1 kg (acc to your palette)
Salt – ½ tsp
Butter – 3 tablespoons
Lemon juice -1 tablespoon
-Wash, chop the fruit into quarters—Cook with sufficient water for two whistles, cool.
-Pulse it in a mixer jar along with cooked water, sieve the Puree, separate the seed and its roughage.
-Weigh the pulp. For 2 kgs of pulp, I have taken 800 grams of sugar. You can take up to one kg if you prefer sweeter.
-Take one thick bottomed Kadai, add the pulp and boil for 20 minutes or until it starts boiling. Allow 10 minutes more to boil and add sugar and salt, continue to cook in a low flame.
-When the mixture turns pinkish brown add butter and proceeds to cook further. When it starts leaving the sides, add lemon juice, cook ten more minutes.
-Remove the mixture to the greased plate, leave 4 to 6 hours and then cut.
-Stays good for 3 to 5 months without any problem, at room temperature, stored in an airtight container.
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