Cham-Cham (Bangladesh)

"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)"
photo by GiddyUpGo photo by GiddyUpGo
photo by GiddyUpGo
Ready In:
2hrs 15mins
20 Pieces




  • 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.

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I am a mother of two with another one on the way! I am married to an Englishman and we own a small business in our local area. We live in a very small town called Rough and Ready (yes there really is a place called Rough and Ready!) I am a part-time writer and full time mom. My kids were born 15 months apart and keep me so busy I barely have enough time to cook and no time at all for my other passion, horseback riding. I once had four horses but am down to two; my Arab mare Argo and old Denver. Both of them spend the vast majority of their time standing around in my back yard eating hay. I get to feed them and look at them, but until my kids are all in school (and I stop having more kids) that's about it. <img src="" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket">
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