Chum Chum is a popular Bengali (East Indian) sweet dish that is made with Paneer, (home-made cheese). It is a versatile dish that can be served in many different variations. Here is described 3 different ways to serve Chum Chum, either with Pistachios, or with Coconuts or with Malai (cream).
Paneer prepared with 4 cups or 1 liter of whole milk
2 cups of sugar
5 cups of water
1 tablespoon sliced pistachios
2 tablespoons finely shredded coconut/coconut powder
With Malai (cream)
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon cardamom powder
1. Prepare paneer. To test if sufficient water has been removed out of the paneer, take a little piece of paneer in your palm and rub with your fingers. You should be able to make a firm but smooth ball, after 15-20 seconds of rubbing.
2. Place the drained paneer on a dry, clean surface and knead it for 3 to 4 minutes until it rolls into smooth soft dough. If the paneer is too crumbly, add a teaspoon of water. Divide the paneer dough into 8 equal parts and roll each one into a smooth oval shaped ball.
3. For the syrup: In a wide saucepan, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add sugar and stir to dissolve completely. Use a large pan as the Chum Chums will double in volume while cooking in the syrup.
4. Add the paneer balls to the syrup and bring it back to a boil. Then turn down the heat to medium and cover the pot. Cook for 10 minutes.
5. Open the pot cover, turn the chum chums over and cook for another 15 minutes.
Check to see if the chum chums appear firm but sponge-like (with little holes on the surface). Turn off the heat and let sit for 10 more minutes. Remove the chum chums from the syrup. Serve chill!
1. With Pistachios - Cover every Chum Chum with a few pieces of sliced pistachios
2. With Coconut Powder - Roll the chum chums in dry coconut(cream)
3. With Malai - Boil the milk over medium heat until it reduces to ½ its volume. Stir the milk continuously so it doesn't burn on the bottom of the pot. Add sugar, and cardamom powder. Stir for 2 minutes, and then turn off the heat. While milk is still warm pour 1 tablespoon over every Chum Chum and top with a few pieces of pistachios.
4. Enjoy this soft, spongy, flavorful sweet Chum Chum!