Cham cham sweet recipe – also known as chom chom or chum chum. It is one of the other Bengali delicacies apart from Rasgulla, sandesh and Rasmalai that can be found in Indian Sweet shops. Cham cham sweet is made with lot of fancy colorful stuffings and garnishing. I have shared a simple version in this post. Other variations are to serve with rabri or just with coconut garnish.
What is cham cham?
Cham cham is a Bengali sweet made by curdling milk and then shaping the coagulated solids to cylindrical shape pieces. These are cooked in sugar syrup similar to rasgullas to get a soft, spongy and light texture. Cham cham sweet is then garnished with mawa or coconut and pistas.
Cham cham is made almost on the same lines as Rasgulla and Rasmalai. So here are the tips to make the best cham cham sweet.
How to make the best cham cham?
Good quality milk, kneading the chenna well, cooking the chenna in sugar syrup at the right temperature for the right amount of time are the key points to make the best cham cham sweet.
Which milk should I use for cham cham?
Always use fresh full fat milk or whole milk preferably non homogenised. But if you are not accessible then you can also use homogenised milk like the way I have used. Low fat milk, skimmed milk, Toned milk or milk from tetra packs are not suitable.
How moist should the chenna be to make cham cham?
The right amount of moisture is the key to getting the correct texture of cham cham sweet, similar to rasgulla or rasmalai. Too little moisture in the chenna will make the cham cham flat & dense or shrunk after removing from heat. Excess moisture will cause a binding problem and the cham cham will break and disintegrate in the syrup while cooking.
So before removing the chenna from the cloth, make sure there is no excess moisture. Otherwise you can hang it for a little more time. Alternately you can add about 1 tsp corn flour, maida or sooji to absorb the moisture. I haven’t used any.
For how long should the chenna be kneaded?
To make cham cham, chenna has to be kneaded until the mixture turns soft, smooth without any lumps or grains.
If you do it with pressure 3 to 4 mins would be enough. Over doing may make it sticky. After this step it should be non sticky and become a mass without falling apart.
How to make cham cham sweet recipe
1. You can skip the first 5 steps if you have made paneer already. We need moist and fresh paneer for this recipe. Bring 1 liter milk to a boil. Mix lemon juice with equal amounts of water. Add diluted lemon juice to the boiled milk and stir well. It begins to curdle immediately. If it doesn’t curdle, add few more tsps of this juice. Then mix well.
2. When the entire milk begins to curdle switch off the flame.
3. Add ice cubes or ice cold water to stop cooking further and to keep the chenna soft. If you skip this, then chenna may not be soft.
4. Drain the whey and filter the chenna using a muslin or cheese cloth.
5. Rinse the chenna under running water to remove the lemon smell. Knot the cloth and hang it to drain excess water for around 45 mins. You can squeeze it and remove excess water.
6. Add 3 ¼ cups water to a deep and wide pot. Add sugar and bring it to a boil. While it boils proceed to the next step.
7. Chenna must be moist and non-sticky at this step. Knead the paneer till it becomes smooth. It takes around 3 to 5 mins. If the paneer looks very dry, you can just moisten your palm and knead.
8. After you finish kneading, Divide the dough to 8 to 10 balls and shape them to an oval shape. I made these in 2 batches, 5 in each batch.
9. Next add cardamom powder or rose water to the sugar syrup. Drop these carefully in the boiling sugar syrup. Cover & cook on a medium flame for 9 to 10 mins. In between, i.e after 5 mins just stir the syrup and flip the chum chum to the other side. Do not crowd the pot, there must be enough space for cham cham to cook and double in size.
10. Once it is done, you can see the cham cham sweet would have doubled in size.
11. After 20 mins, transfer the chum chum on to a plate to make the garnishing.
12. cham cham sweet can be served with just rabri/ rabdi. Or just roll them in coconut and serve chilled. For a classic chom chom, mawa stuffing is made.
To make mawa stuffing, mix 4 tbsp mawa with 1 tbsp powdered sugar. Mix lightly. Do not knead much it may turn soggy. You can add more or less sugar to suit your taste buds. But too much sugar can make the stuffing soggy.
13. Slit the chum chum length wise and stuff the mawa inside. Next top the mawa with chopped pistachios.
14. Lastly roll cham cham sweet in desiccated coconut.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
To make paneer or chena
- 4 cups milk
- 1 to 2 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar diluted with 4 tsp water
For the sugar syrup
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- 3 ¼ cups water
- ¼ tsp cardamom powder or elaichi or rose water
- 4 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 4 tbsp Milk solids – mawa or khoya
- 1 tbsp sugar (powdered, adjust to suit your taste)
- 4 tbsp pistachios chopped finely
How to make the recipe
- Boil milk on a medium flame. Add diluted lemon juice to the pot and stir. Use as needed until the milk curdles completely.
- Add ice cubes or ice cold water to the curdled milk. Drain it off to a muslin cloth.
- Rinse it under running water. Squeeze excess water from the chenna.
- Hang it for about 45 minutes.
- Knead it well for 3 to 4 minutes until smooth. Make 8 to 10 oval shaped balls.
How to make cham cham sweet
- Make sugar syrup by adding sugar and water to a pot. Bring it to a boil. When it begins to boil, then add cardamom powder and cham cham. The syrup must be boiling consistently.
- Cover and cook on a moderately medium heat for 8 to 9 minutes. The heat must be such that the syrup is boiling consistently.
- After a while, transfer the cham cham to a plate and cool completely.
- Slit them length wise .
- Make mawa stuffing by mixing mawa with powdered sugar.
- Stuff the cham cham with this mawa. Sprinkle chopped pistas on the mawa.
- Roll them in desiccated coconut.
- Serve cham cham sweet chilled.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
Do not overcook, they can turn rubbery and hard.
If you do not knead the paneer properly, chums chum might break while cooking in the syrup.
To make Rabri : boil 3 cups of milk with half cup sugar on a low flame till it reduces to half add saffron and cardamom powder and 1 tsp rose water to it. Sometimes i use 4 tbsps. badam drink mix to my condensed milk to flavor instead of sugar, saffron and cardamom pow, tastes very good. Set this aside.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips.