Cham cham is a Bengali sweet which is prepared on special occasions and festivals. The main ingredients of the cham cham recipe are milk, sugar and lemon juice. It is usually stuffed with mawa and garnished with dry fruits. Many people even roll the cham cham in desiccated coconut. It is available in a variety of colours and flavours. Think colours such as light pink, yellow and white, and flavours like rose water and cardamom. The process of making cham cham is like that of rasgulla, however, the cham cham recipe makes use of khoya too.
Cham Cham Recipe
Cham cham is an easy-to-make Bengali sweet, provided you have patience. The cham cham recipe is divided into three major steps – making of chhena, which is the base of the sweet; then the sugar syrup, and last, the garnish.
Ingredients for Cham Cham Recipe:
For chhena or paneer:
5 cups full-cream milk
2-3 tbsp of lemon juice
For sugar syrup:
1 ½ cup sugar
4 cups water
2-3 drops rose water
5 tbsp khoya or mawa
1 cup dry fruits, finely chopped
Method for Cham Cham Recipe:
- The cham cham recipe begins with making paneer which is called ‘chhena’ in Bengali. Bring the full-cream milk to a boil and turn off the flame.
- Add the lemon juice and stir gently for a few minutes. Leave it aside for about a minute to curdle. When this happens, the milk and whey will separate.
- Strain the whey with a muslin cloth. Squish the excess whey by twisting the cloth gently .
- Pour some fresh water over the fresh chhena to wash off any hint of lemon juice. Strain all the water in the same way you removed whey. Hang it for an hour and your chhena is ready.
- Transfer the chhena onto a plate and knead it for about 5 to 7 minutes to make a smooth dough. Once done, make 10 to 12 small oval-shaped balls.
- Making the sugar syrup is simple. All you need to do is, in a vessel, mix the sugar and water and bring the mixture to a boil. When the sugar dissolves completely, add rose water and let it cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Once the sugar syrup begins to boil, gently add the chhena balls. Cover and cook these for another 10 minutes. Keep checking to make sure it is boiling.
- After 10 minutes, the chenna balls will more than double in size. Transfer them onto a plate and let it cool.
- Slit the chhena balls length-wise and stuff them with mawa.
- Garnish it with chopped dry fruits and keep it in the refrigerator for a while.
- Your cham cham is ready to serve.
Cham Cham Recipe – Tips
1. Do not cook the chhena balls on a low flame. If you do so, they will not puff up.
2. Ensure to not overcook the chhena balls since it will end up being rubbery and hard.
More Bengali Sweet Recipes
Another popular Bengali sweetmeat is the sandesh, a dessert made with paneer and sugar. Chef Gautam Mehrishi can show you how to make pistachio, cardamom and rose water-flavoured sandesh at home in this Hindi recipe video.
Looking for the ingredients list? Click here for one and a step-by-step recipe.
Are you a fan of mini desserts? Whip up this angoori rasmalai recipe by LF expert Gurdip Kohli Punj. These are soft and spongy chenna milk cakes floating in a milky syrup. Read all about its ingredients here.
Bhappa Doi, which literally means steamed yogurt, is a simple and easy-to-make dessert recipe. Trust Chef Ranveer Brar to give a modern twist to traditional recipes. In this bhappa doi recipe, he serves the doi on a bed of pickled apple. Not just that, he plates the dessert by sprinkling a generous amount of brown sugar on top and caramelises it with a blow torch to give it a crème brûlée feel.
Check out the step-by-step bhappa doi recipe here.
Paneer Sandesh Pudding
While Bengali desserts in themselves are exquisite, if you want to give them a twist with a novel experiment, LF host Maria Goretti uses the quintessential sandesh to make a pudding, spruced with stewed green apple and fresh blueberries
If this cham cham recipe has whet your appetite for more Bengali desserts, head to Kolkata. Once there you must go on a rosogolla trail, reminiscing the history of the soft spongy and syrupy dessert! Here's where you can find the juciest rosogollas in Kolkata.
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