Another dish that is found on Goan tables on Christmas day is the bebinca : a sweet coconut based, baked, layered "custard". It is a bit time consuming to prepare, but it is worth it.

Recipe for

  • 600ml coconut milk, that you will extract from a large coconut
  • 400g sugar
  • 9 egg yolks
  • 150 g flour, sifted
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg powder
  • 100g butter or pure ghee
  • A pinch of salt
Extract only the thick juice from the coconut, using 600ml hot water. Then, pass it through a fine muslin cloth.

Add the sugar and stir until it has completely dissolved. Add the egg yolks, one at a time and mix thoroughly. Whisk in the flour and salt making sure that there are no lumps. Finish with the nutmeg powder.

Make a caramel with 1 tablespoon sugars and 2 table spoons of water on slow fire. Set aside too cool.

Take half a cup of coconut milk mixture, mix in the cooled caramel, then pour it back into the coconut milk mixture.

Once again pass the whole mixture through the muslin cloth. Heat the oven at gas mark 4.

Take a baking pan, preferably a round one. Put 2 or 3 heaped tablespoons butter or ghee into it.

Add half a cup of batter and bake it for 12 or 15 minutes. Spread a little butter on this baked layer, switch off the oven and grill the second layer for 3 or 4 minutes.

Repeat, greasing, layering and grilling till all the batter has been used up. Let cool down completely and turn on a large plate.

Lactose free, suitable for pregnant women, vegetarian.