Curau is a Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

ian sweet custard
Custard is a variety of culinary preparations based on a cooked mixture of milk or cream and egg yolk. Depending on how much egg or thickener is used, custard may vary in consistency from a thin pouring sauce , to a thick pastry cream used to fill éclairs. The most common custards are used as...

-like dessert
In cultures around the world, dessert is a course that typically comes at the end of a meal, usually consisting of sweet food. The word comes from the French language as dessert and this from Old French desservir, "to clear the table" and "to serve." Common Western desserts include cakes, biscuits,...

 made from the expressed juice of unripe maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

, cooked with milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

 and sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...


The term curau is used mostly the southern states such as São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

, Mato Grosso
Mato Grosso
Mato Grosso is one of the states of Brazil, the third largest in area, located in the western part of the country.Neighboring states are Rondônia, Amazonas, Pará, Tocantins, Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul. It also borders Bolivia to the southwest...

 and Mato Grosso do Sul
Mato Grosso do Sul
Mato Grosso do Sul is one of the states of Brazil.Neighboring Brazilian states are Mato Grosso, Goiás, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Paraná. It also borders the countries of Paraguay and Bolivia to the west. The economy of the state is largely based on agriculture and cattle-raising...

. It is also called corá (koˈɾa) in Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais is one of the 26 states of Brazil, of which it is the second most populous, the third richest, and the fourth largest in area. Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the largest number of Presidents of Brazil, the current one, Dilma Rousseff, being one of them. The capital is the...

, papa-de-milho ˈpapɐdʒiˈmiʎu "corn porridge" in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

, and canjica kɐ̃ˈʒikɐ in the northern half of Brazil (Northeast and North regions).

Typical recipes

Curau recipes typically call for about 1/2 to 2 liters of milk and 1 to 3 cups of sugar for 10 ears of unripe maize or sweet corn. Other ingredients may be added, such as a pinch of salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

, a tablespoon
A tablespoon is a type of large spoon usually used for serving. A tablespoonful, the capacity of one tablespoon, is commonly used as a measure of volume in cooking...

 of butter
Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying...

, etc.. The milk may be replaced in part by coconut milk
Coconut milk
Coconut milk is the water that comes from the grated meat of a coconut. The colour and rich taste of the milk can be attributed to the high oil content. In many parts of the world, the term coconut milk is also used to refer to coconut water, the naturally occurring liquid found inside the hollow...

 or condensed milk
Condensed milk
Condensed milk, also known as sweetened condensed milk, is cow's milk from which water has been removed and to which sugar has been added, yielding a very thick, sweet product which when canned can last for years without refrigeration if unopened. The two terms, condensed milk and sweetened...


To prepare the curau, the corn kernels are grated off the ears and put into a cloth bag. The bag is then squeezed while adding the milk little by little, so as to extract as much juice as possible from the ground corn mass. Alternatively, the ground corn and milk may be processed with a blender
A blender is a kitchen appliance for chopping or liquefying food.Blender may also refer to:Media:* Blender , a music-themed magazine* Blender , a free and open-source software program for 3D modeling, animation, and rendering...

 and then passed through fine sieve
A sieve, or sifter, separates wanted elements from unwanted material using a woven screen such as a mesh or net. However, in cooking, especially with flour, a sifter is used to aerate the substance, among other things. A strainer is a type of sieve typically used to separate a solid from a liquid...


The extracted liquid is combined with the sugar and any other ingredients, and thickened to a creamy consistency by cooking on the stove for about 45 minutes (or in the microwave oven
Microwave oven
A microwave oven is a kitchen appliance that heats food by dielectric heating, using microwave radiation to heat polarized molecules within the food...

 for 12–15 minutes), stirring frequently. The cream is then poured into appropriate containers (dessert cups, muffin molds, shallow baking pans, etc.)

The curau may be served warm or cool (when it acquires a firm custard-like consistency). It is typically dusted with powdered cinnamon
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savoury foods...


Curau in popular culture

A giant canjica has been prepared every year since 1999 in the town of São João de Caruaru in northeast Brazil; the 2008 issue was 35 meters long and used 4,500 ears of corn.

In the southern states, the word canjica is used for a different dessert, made with ripe unground white maize kernels
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

, cooked in milk until soft, and which is called mungunzá doce in the northern half of Brazil.
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