This is one of those humble dishes that in our country serve many purposes, Maiz Caquiao or Chaca (Cracked Corn Pudding) is truly delectable and comforting.
Maiz Caquiao can be served as breakfast, dinner, or dessert. It's also a popular dessert for Lent and made with common, easy to find, and inexpensive ingredients.
This is important in a country like ours.
And speaking of our ancestors, this is a dessert I saw my grandmother make, then my mother.
Names and regions
While it's called Maíz caquiao (cracked corn) in the northern and Cibao region, it is "Chacá" in the south.
There's a similar dish in Haiti, and another in Ecuador called Morocho, Mazamorra (Peto) in Colombia/Venezuela, Canjica or Munguzá in Brazil, Tujuré/Tojorí in Bolivia, Chicheme in Costa Rica, the Jamaican Hominy Porridge served for breakfast, as well as possibly other nations in the Americas (Thanks Layla for some of the info).
About our recipe
In the Dominican Republic, this is traditionally prepared using dry corn, the skin removed by mixing the corn with hot ashes, grinding the corn in a big mortar until the skin loosens. The corn is then washed and boiled for a few hours until tender.
Needless to say, that takes a great deal of time. I simply use cracked corn that I buy in the supermarket. I may be all about frugality and doingitmyselfness, but I am sure my neighbors will not appreciate my starting a fire to obtain hot ashes. If you can't find cracked corn where you live, dry golden hominy (link to affiliate store) would be your next best choice (though not the same).
Maiz Caquiao or Chaca Recipe (Cracked Corn Pudding)
- 1 cup of cracked corn (affiliate link)
- 1 galon water for boiling corn (about 3 liters)
- ¼ cup of rice (optional, if you prefer it pudding-like)
- 4 cups whole milk
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon of cloves
- 1 tablespoon of butter (optional)
- ¼ cup of raisins (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of brown sugar
How to boil dry corn
- Soak corn overnight.
- Place the corn in a deep pot, and add enough water to cover it plus a couple of inches. Boil corn until it is very soft. For this I highly recommend you use a pressure cooker (it will take 45 minutes in a pressure cooker, 2-3 hours or more in a regular pot). If you use a regular pot, keep an eye on it, and add water as it becomes necessary to keep the same level of liquid.
How to make chacá
- In a thick bottom pot add corn, rice, 1 ½ quart of water (better if it is the water in which you boiled the corn, add fresh water if needed), milk, cinnamon and cloves.
- Cook over low heat until the liquids reduce to half and the rice is cooked through, stir often to prevent it from sticking and scorching, especially if you have added rice. Once cooked through, add the butter, raisins, salt, and sugar to taste.
- Chill before serving.