Cham-Cham (Bangladesh)

READY IN: 2hrs 15mins
YIELD: 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.