Guava Cheese is a tasty East Indian sweet dish especially prepared around Christmas time! Both chewy and fudgy, there’s a mouthful of Guava in every bite.
For people who like Guavas but do not like eating them because of their seeds, this is a really great sweet. Don’t believe me, just ask my Dad. He will at any given time, choose Guava cheese over a fresh Guava.
East Indians and Goans in India usually make this guava sweet for Christmas, the Goans call it Perad. We East Indians usually just say Guava Cheese or Goiabada. It’s a common dessert among most ex-Portuguese colonies around the world, where quinces were replaced by Guavas. Growing up I remember eating Guava Cheese made by our Aunty Diana at Christmas time. She was the neighborhood sweet specialist and Guava cheese was always ordered from her. We’ve been making loads of Christmas sweets at home – namely – vanilla cream, mass pav, or walnut fudge, and many others – but we never tried making our own guava cheese until much much later.
Turned out it was pretty easy to make and does not take up much time too! Guavas are available around November and December in winters, so it’s easy to find in the markets during the Christmas season and they are also available in March April which is summertime, so you could try it for Easter too! Just keep in mind that you get a different type of guava in both seasons.
The recipe below is using the winter season guavas that are yellower, but this is what the summer season guava looks like. You can still use summer guavas to make the recipe, it will just take a bit longer on the stove since the summer guavas contain more water.
So if you are wondering what sweets to make this Christmas, try out the recipe below. It’s a pretty easy perad recipe aka guava cheese recipe to follow…
Note: You’ll find many foreign sites have created copies of the East Indian guava cheese recipe and call it an Indian recipe. Is guava cheese an Indian dish? No, guava cheese is not an Indian dish, it’s an East Indian dish and a Goan dish made only by the Christian or Catholic community in India. For someone to just throw a wider classification onto this cultural dish and call it Indian is like calling the rare Sardinian su filindeu pasta simply Italian. Please don’t do it!
What Ingredients do you need to make Guava Cheese?
All you need is fresh ripe guavas, sugar, salt, sour lime juice, butter and pink food colour. You can use pink or white guavas. (Make it dairy free by replacing the butter with coconut oil.)
How to make Guava Cheese?
Rinse the Guavas to wash off any dirt. Boil them in water for about 15-20 mins on a high flame. This will make them mushy and easy to turn into a pulp. Open them up and make smaller pieces. Separate the seeds and move them into a strainer. Strain the seeds and make sure you get as much of the pulp that surrounds the seeds, this part is quite important because the part around the seeds contains more pectin. The pectin allows the guava cheese to thicken and get firm naturally. So you don’t need any gelatin or thickening agents. Isn’t that great?
If you are wondering, pectin is naturally found in most fruits such as apples, guavas, lemons, plums, currants and other fruit. When the fruits are ripe they produce pectin that we need to convert the fruits to jellies and jams. But we need to make sure the fruits are not too ripe, because if they’re overripe the pectin changes to peptic acid, which is of no use in jelly formation.
Once this is done, make a pulp of the entire mixture using a hand mixer or blender. Then add in the sugar along with the salt and sour lime. Put the vessel on the stove and start cooking the mixture.
The sugar will melt to give you a more liquid texture. Keep this guava mixture on a medium flame and stir every few minutes so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Once the mixture thickens, you will need to stir continuously till it starts to leave the side of the vessel. Be careful of the mixture splattering when it boils, it can get quite hot.
When your guava cheese mixture starts to thicken, add in butter or coconut oil and the pink food colour and continue stirring. It will keep getting thicker until it leaves the sides almost completely, and you won’t see anything sticking. See the gradual changes below.
To test if the guava cheese is ready to be taken off the heat and moulded, take a little of the mixture on a small teaspoon and drop it into a bowl of cold water. If it forms a soft ball the mixture is ready to be removed. If not, keep stirring and check the consistency every few minutes as you do not want it to get too dry.
Take a glass or steel plate or thali and grease with a thin coating of butter or coconut oil. Then pour the cooked mixture onto the thali and flatten it.
We use another small steel toap (vessel) that has been buttered /greased on the underside to flatten it. Keep flattening till the guava cheese layer is about 1/2 inch thick and then allow it to cool. It usually takes an hour or so to cool. You can lightly touch the guava cheese with your fingers to check if it has cooled and hardened.
Once the perade aka guava cheese is cool and set, take a knife, butter/grease it on both sides, and use it to cut diagonal slices into the guava cheese. After this, cut out diamond shapes by slicing it diagonally the other way. The leftover side slices can be eaten to test the deliciousness of the guava cheese. Consider it a reward for making the Guava cheese; that’s what I do 😉 And the rest can be kept safely stored in an air-tight container for Christmas time.
And voila! Serve on a nice plate and your Guava cheese will vanish in no time!
East Indian Guava Cheese
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- 350 gms Guava Pulp From about 4 Guavas
- 350 gms Sugar
- 1 Salt
- 3 drops Sour Lime Juice
- 1 teaspoon Butter Or coconut oil to make it dairy free.
- 5 ml Pink Food Colour Add more if you prefer it pinker.
- Rinse the Guavas and boil them for about 15 – 20 mins on a high flame.
- Once the Guavas are cool, open them and separate the seeds.
- Sieve the seeds through a strainer and collect the pulp, then discard the seeds.
- Use a hand mixer and make a pulp of all the guava pieces and seed pulp and keep aside.
- Take a thali (tray) and spread butter/oil on the base of it and keep aside for later. Also, butter/oil the underside of another small flat steel vessel.
- Also keep a bowl of cold water ready for later.
- Place the guava pulp in a vessel on the stove and add sugar, salt and sourlime juice.
- Stir this mixture every few minutes so it does not stick to the bottom on the pan.
- As the mixture thickens, add the butter/oil and pink food color.
- Keep stirring continuously and the mixture will thicken even more.
- To check if it is ready, take a small amount of the mixture on a teaspoon and drop into the bowl of cold water.
- Remove it and if you can form a soft-ball, the mixture is ready. If not, stir a bit longer until its drier and test this way after a few minutes.
- Once you have the right consistency, pour the mixture into the thali that was earlier buttered/greased.
- Flatten it with the greased steel vessel into a 1/2-inch thick layer and allow to cool for about 1 hour.
- Once cool, butter a knife on both sides and cut the guava cheese into diamond shape pieces. And that's it! The guava cheese is ready to serve!
- Store these diamond shape pieces of guava cheese in an air-tight container and serve when required.
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- Rinse the Guavas and boil them before you start the cooking process. You can do this a few hours or even a day before.
- The pulp around the seeds is important to the dish because it contains pectin. So remember to strain the seeds and keep this pulp.
- Butter/grease the knife before you use it to cut the diamond shapes so that you have straight lines.
Nutrition (Per Serving)
Disclaimer: Nutrition Information per serving is estimated by a third party software based on the ingredients used, and is for informational purposes only. It will vary from product to product, based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients. Please consult the package labels of the ingredients you use, or chat with your dietician for specific details.
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What’s perfect about this Guava Cheese recipe
- It is easy and quick to make.
- Guava has many health benefits and is a good source of Vitamin C.
- This gluten-free and vegetarian dessert requires just a few ingredients.
- The guava cheese can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks in airtight containers.
Cooking Tips & Tricks
- Rinse the guavas and then boil them before you start cooking this dish.
- Separate the seeds and strain the pulp from them so you can use it. This step is important.
- Keep a bowl of cold water on hand for the consistency test later.
- Make it dairy free by replacing the butter with coconut oil.
Answers to Your Questions About Guava Cheese
What Is Guava Cheese?
Guava cheese or Goiabada is a dessert made of fresh ripe guavas that is fudgy and chewy. Originally made by the Portuguese while in Brazil as a replacement for quince jam, it’s now a popular dessert in most erstwhile Portuguese colonies. The East Indian and Goan communities assimilated the recipe into our culture when we were ruled by the Portuguese, but changed it to a sweeter dish minus the dark hue and we cut it into much smaller shapes.
What Are Guavas?
It is a tropical fruit, in India, where it is called Amrood in Hindi and Peru in Marathi. It can be pink or white inside. Being a tropical fruit, guavas are found in many regions of Central America and Asia. India leads the production of guavas across the world at about 22 million tonnes a year.
What Are The Other Names For Guava Cheese?
The Goans call Guava cheese Perad or Perade, while the Portuguese called it Goiabada.
When Are Guavas In Season?
It varies from country to country, but in India, guavas are usually available in winters and summers. They are harvested year-round, except May and June in different regions of the country.
If you want our traditional East Indian recipes on hand, the Abby's Plate Cookbook Series books are available online or in-store in most countries.
Christmas with the Rebellos:
East Indian Meals & Desserts from Abby's Plate
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Other Recipes you might like
- Unusual Vanilla Cream
- East Indian Date Rolls
- Walnut Fudge
- Gluten-free meat muffins
- Homemade Enchiladas
Although Sarah has worked in travel for 15 years and specializes in Africa, she loves music, wine, food, and travel. Armed with her Canon, she’s on a mission to photograph food showcasing her East Indian community’s traditional recipes on the blog. And Abby is forever grateful!