Prep 45 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
This recipe is from week 21 of my food blog, Travel by Stove. I am attempting to cook one meal from every nation on Earth, and Bangladesh is my 21st stop. This mildly sweet dessert is made with a homemade farmers cheese called "paneer," (instructions included)
For the cham-cham
- 8 1⁄2 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon semolina
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 1 tablespoon self raising flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 4 cups sugar for syrup
- 4 tablespoons caramel syrup
For the mawa
- 1⁄2 cup powdered milk
- 1⁄4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- Mix together the powdered milk, milk and ghee.
- Put the mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds. Take it out and stir it. Let it cool down for another 30 seconds.
- Put the mixture back in the microwave for another 15 seconds. Take it out and stir. Let it cool for 30 seconds.
- Repeat 15 second intervals in the microwave, followed by stirring and 30 seconds of cool down for a total of eight cycles.
- Reduce the microwave time to 10 seconds, stir and let cool down for 30 seconds.
- Repeat until the mawa becomes dry and grainy.
- If the grains aren't powdery enough, when cool you can transfer to a food processor and grind to make smaller grains.
- Ready a fine mesh strainer by lining it with cheesecloth.
- Bring the milk to a boil (take care not to let it boil over) and add the lemon juice. You will almost instantly see curds begin to form.
- Pour the curds and whey (the liquid) into the strainer.
- When the curds have cooled enough to be handled, knead them with your hands for about two minutes, or until there isn't any more liquid coming out.
- Transfer to a large bowl and mix in the semolina flour and the other two types of flour, along with the sugar and the cardamom powder.
- Knead the mixture with your hands until it starts to feel a little greasy, then divide the dough into 20 equal parts and shape them into ovals. Note: I made a mistake converting liters to cups and I ended up with too little milk for this recipe, so my cham-cham were small and probably a little more doughy than they should have been.
- Dissolve the sugar in the water and bring to a boil. Gently drop the cham-cham into the syrup and continue to boil for an hour and 20 minutes. You will need to add about a half cup of water every 10 minutes or so to keep the syrup at the right consistency.
- At the end of the hour and 20 minutes, add the caramel syrup. Keep boiling for another 10 minutes, then turn off the heat. Add a cup of hot water and let the pot cool down.
- When the cham-cham are cool enough to handle, take them out and roll them in the mawa.