The dish is a porridge made with white de-germed whole maize (canjica), cooked with milk, sugar and cinnamon until tender. Coconut and coconut milk as well as some cloves are also added, mainly in the northern variety of this recipe (northeastern variety). Other ingredients may be added, such as peanuts and sweetened condensed milk.
The name canjica is prevalent in southern Brazil, while mugunzá is used in the northern states (where canjica means a different dish, made with unripe cooked corn juice). This food is of African influence, firstly created by Brazilian black slaves during the colonial times.