You read that correctly. This post will feature not one but 2 holiday treats. I’ve missed out on week 5, 6 and 7 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies blog hop hosted by Brenda from Meal Planning Magic
, since I was busy enjoying my holiday. But I intend making it up to you by posting 2 treats this week, the next week and the week after that as well.
The first treat I’m going to share with you today is a traditional Goan Christmas sweet called Perad (pronounced Peraad)or Guava Cheese. This is one of my favorites. But then again, I think I enjoy all the traditional Christmas sweets. I hope to share a few with you this year. What I love about this is the same recipe can be used to make the most amazing guava jam as well. As you cook this recipe when its still a loose consistency, you can use it as a guava jam and on cooking it further, what you end up with is guava cheese. When I was younger, my grandmother would faithfully make both, the jam as well as the sweet every year. We would have it with bread, chapatis and even spoonfuls of it just by itself. I haven’t made the jam for quite a while so I don’t have a picture. But I do have a picture of the guava cheese or Perad from 2 years ago – before my blogging days. I will try and get a few better pictures this year. Don’t let the pictures fool you, this is good stuff.
Perad (Guava Cheese)
250g ripe guavas (Guavas should be ripe but slightly firm, not mushy)
Juice of 1 big sour lime or 2 small sour limes
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
Red color / caramel color (optional)
Wash the guavas and cut out the stalk portion. Take off any brown portions of the skin as well. Cut into halves breadth-wise.
Bring some water to a boil in a steel vessel. Add the guavas and make sure that the water covers the guavas after you put them in. Cook till the seeds are just about popping out.
Drain and keep aside. Scoop the seeds out. Dice the fruit into cubes. Weigh it and grind it to a pulp.
Sieve the seedy portion to extract some more pulp. Place the pulp, sugar and lime juice in a thick bottomed vessel on a slow flame and cook till it starts leaving the vessel. You have to stir continuously and thoroughly, making sure none of the mix is sticking to the bottom of the vessel. If you stop stirring, the mix gets agitated and you’ll end up with a bubbling mix that is difficult to handle and may burn.
(If you want to make guava jam, when it has taken on a good jam like consistency, you can take it off the fire, cool and bottle it. If you’re making Perad or guava cheese, continue cooking.)
Test to see if done. (Use water test – Place some cold water in a small bowl and drop a teaspoon of the sweet on it. If it firms up on cooling it is done. If it is still soft or too sticky, it needs more cooking).
When done, add ghee and color (if using) and mix well. Addition of the ghee adds sheen to the end product.
Grease a cookie pan (or thali) with ghee and pour the mixture on it. Use a palette knife to smoothen it out. Spread while still warm. Leave it to cool a little and set. Cut into pieces after it sets.
When it has cooled off completely, you can store it in a container.
NOTE: If you want to make a larger quantity, DO NOT double this recipe. If the guavas weigh 500gms., use 650gms. sugar. Whatever the weight of the fruit add 150 grams to it to get the sugar quantity.
These traditional Goan sweet dishes are usually passed on from one generation to the next and there usually aren’t too many written versions of the recipe. Also, it takes a couple of attempts to perfect. But if you follow the instructions closely, you shouldn’t have any trouble. In any case, don’t hesitate to clarify any doubts you may have.
The second treat I have lined up for you today, is much simpler in comparison. So if you don’t have the time or inclination to whip up a labour intensive guava cheese, try these no bake cookies. It takes 5 minutes to make them and about an hour of refrigeration is called for.
Choco-Caramel Crispy Cakes (No bake cookies)
4 (2oz.) Mars or Milky Way candy bars
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups corn flakes
Approx. 40 mini cupcake paper liners
Break the candy into smaller pieces and place it in a saucepan along with the butter on low heat, stirring frequently.
When everything has melted, add the cornflakes and mix well, until it is well coated with the chocolate mixture.
Scoop out the mix into the mini cupcake liners.
Place them on a tray in the refrigerator to set for at least an hour.
Note: I made both sizes, but in hindsight I would strongly recommend going with the mini liners, the regular ones are too big.
Join me next week for 2 more treats and don’t forget to check what the others have brought to the table this week.