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. 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!
So if you are wondering what sweets to make this Christmas, try out the recipe below. It’s pretty easy…
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.
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 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. Then pour the cooked mixture onto the thali and flatten it.
We use another small steel toap (vessel) that has been buttered 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 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!
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.
FAQ’s About 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.
Yes, Guavas have many health benefits.
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.
The Goans call Guava cheese Perad or Perade, while the Portuguese called it Goiabada.
Other Recipes you might like
- East Indian Marzipan Dessert
- Bottle Gourd as a delicious dessert
- Traditional Vanilla Cream
- Gluten Free Rice Cake
- Christmas Cookies
- East Indian Date Rolls
- Walnut Fudge
- Beef Tongue Roast
- Sugarfree Anjeer Barfi Recipe that’s also Glutenfree
- Custard Powder Halwa
- Boiled Egg Salad
- Corn and Cabbage Vegetable
You can print off the list of ingredients and instructions to follow for making this recipe via the recipe card below (for home use only).
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East Indian Guava Cheese
- 350 g Guava Pulp From about 4 Guavas
- 350 g Sugar
- 1 Pinch of Salt
- 3 drops Sour Lime Juice
- 1 tsp Butter
- 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 on the base of it and keep aside for later. Also, butter 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 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.
- Flatten it with another steel buttered 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.
- 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 the knife before you use it to cut the diamond shapes so that you have straight lines.