Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6 servings (12 pieces)
1 liter milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1½ cups sugar
4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon green cardamom powder
1/4 cup mawa (khoya), grated or crumbled
1 teaspoon powdered sugar (more or less to taste)
4-5 saffron strands (kesar), dissolved in 1/4 teaspoon of milk or a pinch of yellow food color, optional
1/8 teaspoon green cardamom powder
2-3 tablespoon sliced pistachio
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
Follow steps 1 to 5 of chenna recipe and make fresh paneer (chhena) using 1-liter milk and 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
Tie chhena in a clean muslin cloth and squeeze it gently to drain excess water.
Hang tied chhena for around 30-45 minutes or keep it under heavy weight for around 7-8 minutes to remove excess moisture.
Untie it and transfer to a large plate. Crumble it using hand.
Mash it and knead it until it starts to turn like dough. Stop kneading when it starts to release the fat (your palm will turn greasy).
Divide it into 10 equal portions.
Take each portion and make oval shaped thick pattie (as shown in the picture) from it.
The oval shaped patties should not be more than 1 inch as its size will double after boiling in sugar syrup in next step.
Take a deep pan (or a pressure cooker) and add 1½ cups sugar and 4-cups water in it to make sugar syrup.
Heat it over medium flame and stir to dissolve the sugar.
When it comes to rolling boil, gently drop oval shaped patties (one by one) from side of the pan.
Cover it with a lid (if using pressure cooker, remove whistle from the lid and then cover it) and boil for 12-miutes over medium flame.
After 6-minutes, open the lid and flip each pattie gently with a spatula.
Again, cover with a lid and cook for another 6-minutes.
Turn off the flame and transfer it to a large bowl. Add 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder to it and let it cool to room temperature.
Cham Cham is now ready, however, we will make it little more tastier with saffron flavored mawa stuffing. See tips and variation mentioned below for other serving options.
Prepare stuffing for chum chum – take 1/4 cup mawa (khoya), 1 teaspoon powdered sugar, 1/8 teaspoon cardamom powder and dissolved saffron strands in a small bowl.
Mix well using a spoon.
Drain the excess syrup after cham cham cools down to room temperature.
It should be cool enough otherwise it may break while stuffing.
Take one oval shaped pattie in hand and cut horizontally from one side using a knife, keep another side connected.
Take desiccated coconut and pistachio in two different plates.
Gently stuff it with mawa – approx. 1-teaspoon and roll it in desiccated coconut.
Sprinkle pistachio over stuffed mawa and press with hand.
Transfer it to the plate and repeat steps 11 and 12 for remaining ones.
Bengali cham cham is ready. If you like, you can garnish it with dissolved saffron strands or chopped pistachio.
Keep it in a container and place it in refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Serve chilled.
TIPS AND VARIATIONS:
Cool the cham cham completely before stuffing otherwise it will break into pieces while stuffing.
Add a pinch of yellow food color or pink food color in chhena while kneading it (in step-3) to make a colorful chom chom.
You can prepare and serve it in three different ways 1) with stuffed mawa as mentioned above, 2) with simple grated coconut coating (without mawa stuffing) and 3) with thick creamy rabri (malai rabri) and pistachio garnish.
SERVING IDEAS: Serve cham cham as a sweet dish with meal in lunch or dinner. It can also be served as a party dessert, according to Foodviva.com.