cham cham is a popular sweet from bengal made by curdling milk. cham is also called as chum chum. this recipe will help you in making spongy & soft cham cham since a lot of tips and suggestions are included in the recipe post.
Course: desserts, sweets
Servings: 9cham cham pieces
Author: Dassana Amit
1 litre milk
2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice or add as required
1 teaspoon maida or all purpose flour or rava (sooji, cream of wheat) or corn flour
for sugar syrup
2 heaped cups sugar or 400 grams
4 cups wateror 1 litre
1 tablespoon rose water or kewra water or ½ to 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
for sweet filling
6 tablespoons milk powder
2 tablespoons malai or cream
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
7 to 8 strands saffron
¼teaspoon cardamom powder
2 to 3tablespoonsdesiccated coconut
1 to 2tablespoonschopped or sliced blanched almonds or raw almonds
1 to 2 tablespoonschopped or sliced pistachios
few strands of saffron- optional
begin to heat 1 litre milk in a thick bottomed pan. stir at intervals when the milk begins to get heated.
when the milk comes to a boil, you will see a layer of malai or clotted cream which forms on top. remove this layer of malai. you will get about 2 to 3 tablespoons of malai. we will be using this malai to make the sweet filling for cham cham.
switch off flame when milk comes to rolling boil.
add 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice. you can even add 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice. the amount to be added will depend on the quality of milk.
mix very well and let milk curdle.
wait for 4 to 5 mins and let the heat reduce a bit. then strain through muslin lined on a top of a bowl or pan.
bring the edges of the muslin together, straining all the whey. be careful as both the chenna and whey will be hot.
rinse the chenna very well in running water. this removes the lemony flavor and tangy taste from the chenna. then gently queeze the muslin with your hands, so that any extra water is drained from the chenna.
keep a heavy weighted bowl or mortar-pestle on the chenna for 8 to 10 minutes.
after 8 to 10 minutes remove the chenna from the muslin. place on a tray or a plate. sprinkle 1 teaspoon maida or all purpose flour. you can even add 1 teaspoon rava (sooji) or corn flour instead of maida.
mix and begin to knead this mixture. knead very well till some greasiness is felt in your palms. just a bit of greasiness is required. knead to a smooth ball of chenna. if mixture looks dry and crumby sprinkle some water – about 1 to 3 teaspoons or more and continue to knead. the mixture should be able to come together without breaking or falling apart. for a dry chenna a bit of moisture helps in binding the mixture.
then roll the chenna ball into a log. cut in equal pieces.
take each piece and roll them between your palms to a smooth cylindrical or oblong shape. pinch the edges.
make oblong shaped cham cham with the entire kneaded chenna. keep them covered with a moist muslin cloth.
making sugar syrup for chum chum
take 2 heaped cups sugar (400 grams) in a large pan. please use a large pot or pan so that there is enough space for the cham cham to cook and increase in size.
pour 4 cups water (1 litre) in the pan.
place the pan on a medium-low to medium flame. with a spoon stir non-stop and mix so that all the sugar is dissolved.
when all the sugar is dissolved, remove 1 cup of sugar solution and keep it aside. let the sugar solution come to a boil on a medium-high flame.
cooking chom chom
when the sugar solution starts boiling, carefully place the chum chum in the sugar solution. gently shake the pan holding the handles at the sides.
cover the pan with lid and boil chum chum on medium-high flame for 5 minutes.
after 5 minutes in a gentle stream, slowly add the 1 cup of reserved sugar solution. hold the pan at the handles and gently shake it.
cover again with lid and cook covered for 7 minutes. i cooked for a total of 12 minutes. the cooking time will vary with the intensity of flame, pan type and size etc.
to check if the cham cham has cooked, take one piece and place it in a bowl or mug of water. it should settle down at the bottom. if it floats then the cham cham needs to be cooked for a few more minutes.
once the chum chum are cooked, switch off flame. keep the pan down and remove the lid.
after five minutes add 1 tablespoon kewra water or rose water. you can also add ½ to 1 teaspoon cardamom powder. shake the pan gently. let cham cham cool completely.
making stuffing for chum chum
in a heavy kadai or pan, take 6 tablespoons milk powder, 2 tablespoons sugar, 7 to 8 strands saffron and ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder.
next add 2 tablespoons malai or cream reserved from the milk when we had boiled it. also add 2 to 3 tablespoons milk.
mix everything and keep pan or kadai on a low flame.
stirring often begin to cook this mixture.
the mixture will begin to thicken. stir continuously and cook till the mixture leaves sides of pan. let this mixture cool completely.
making chum chum
place them on a tray and board. with a knife make cut each cham cham on top. do not cut the cham cham entirely.
place the stuffing in the cham cham sweet carefully without breaking them.
stuff all the pieces this way.
take desiccated coconut in a plate and gently roll cham cham sweet so that the desiccated coconut sticks to the cham cham.
do this with all the cham cham pieces.
place them on a serving plate or tray. garnish with sliced pistachios and almonds.
serve cham cham. or you can chill them and then serve later. refrigerate any leftover pieces.
this cham cham recipe can be easily halved or doubled.