Chum Chum is a just a variation of the Bengali Rasgulla and Rasmalai. Chum chum too is cooked in sugar syrup like rasgulla. The Main difference is the way they are served, rasgolla is served with the sugar syrup and rasmalai with condensed milk, while Chum Chum can be served as it is without any sugar syrup, after garnishing it with a dash of coconut or pistachios or sweetened milk cream (also with condensed milk). This is what makes me adore this sweet. Not much of sugar in it and the syrup can be reused for other recipes like jamuns . Some cook cchum with milk & sugar and some with thickened sugar syrup. I find those processes very lengthy. My recipe is a simple one.
Commercially sold Chum Chums are colorful as food colors are used while preparing. Since I do not prefer colors, I have not used. If you want to make your chum chum colorful, then you can add few drops of it while kneading the paneer.
Ingredients (makes 10)
To make paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese)
1.5 ltrs whole milk
30 ml lemon juice diluted with 30 ml water
For the sugar syrup
1 ½ cups of sugar
3 ½ cups of water
¼ tsp cardamom pow
1 tbsp dessicated coconut
Few pistachios roasted and powdered coarsely
1 cup of condensed milk (boil 2 cups of milk 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)
1. Bring 1 ltr milk to boil and add the diluted lemon juice to it and mix well. It begins to curdle immediately, if it doesn’t curdle, add few more tsps. Of this juice and mix well. When the entire milk begins to curdle switch off the flame , allow it to settle for 2 to 3 mins.and drain the whey and filter the paneer using a cheese cloth.
2. Rinse the paneer under running water to remove the lemon smell and to stop the cooking process as it tends to become harder if overcooked.
3. Knot the cloth and hang it to drain excess water for around 30 mins, you can squeeze it and remove some water. Make sure there is no excess water before you proceed to the next step
4. Take a deep and wide pan and add sugar and water, bring it to a boil. While it boils, proceed to the next step
5. Knead the paneer till it becomes smooth. It takes around 3 to 5 mins. If the paneer looks very dry , you can just moist your palm or sprinkle 1 tsp water. After you finish kneading, you must be able to make smooth oval shaped chum chums.
6. Drop these carefully in the boiling sugar syrup, cover & cook on a medium flame for 15 mins. In between, i.e after 7 mins just stir the syrup and flip the chum chums to the other side.
7. Once it is done, you can see the chum chums would have doubled in size.
8. After 20 mins, transfer the cchums on to the serving tray, add the desired garnish. If using condensed milk or milk cream, make sure your chum chums are hot, pour a tbsp. of the milk or cream on the hot cchums, as they absorb the milk faster.
Garnish with saffron, pistachios or coconut and Serve Chilled
1. do not boil the chum chums on a low flame, they may not puff up in size.
2. Do not overcook, they can turn rubbery and hard.
3. If you do not knead the paneer properly, chums chums might break while cooking in the syrup.
4. If you are skeptical about the chum chums getting cracked or falling apart or broken while cooking in the sugar syrup, then you can use. ¾ tsp of plain flour per 1 liter of milk. Just mix the flour to the kneaded paneer and knead again. These days I have stopped using plain flour to this as iam sure they will not break, if kneaded well.