The state of West Bengal in India is famous for its milk desserts like Rasgulla and Sandesh. Chum Chum is another prominent Bengali sweet dish that resembles Rasgulla, just that it’s oval-shaped and served without sugar syrup. The fundamental process of making both the kind is the same.
The good thing about Chum Chum is that it is a bit more decorative and elaborative than Rasgulla. In sweet shops, one can see this dessert in various colors, and you can make vivid variety at home too. You can go super creative with filling and use as many as you like to make Chum Chum different from each other. Use nuts, dried fruits, gulkand (rose petal preserve), cherries, tutti frutti, and even mawa or khoya, but mostly its coated with desiccated coconut first. And that’s how I like it the best.
In this post, I present to you the most common but the classic version of Chum Chum recipe. The base recipe is the same but you can customize the dessert with your unique style and taste preferences. You can check out my Mango Shrikhand with Pineapple recipe for a taste of Maharashtra.
Serving Chum Chum in different ways
Serving Chum Chum in varied ways is so much fun. Colors and stuffing are what makes this dessert more charming and enjoyable.
However, if you don’t like to stuff it, you can coat it with coconut flakes, chopped dry fruits, and nuts only.
You can choose the following alternatives for stuffing and garnishing:
- Milk powder stuffing
- Dry fruit powder stuffing
- Raw mawa/khoya (milk solids) stuffing
- Rabri Stuffing
- Tutti Frutti
- Grated Pineapple or other fruit stuffing
- Gulkand and Saunf (fennel seeds) stuffing
- Chocolate stuffing
You can pair up ideas as mentioned above or use the choice of ingredients to make your sweets stand apart. Many ingredients like coconut usually goes well with anything. So you can try combining chocolate and coconut whip or flakes as the stuffing and garnishing. Opportunities are endless when it comes to dessert making. Have fun, and let your creative side take over with the art of sweet making.
- For Chenna (Paneer):
- 1 Litre Full-fat Milk (Preferably Cow Milk)
- 1 Lemon
- Edible Pink Gel Coloring
- For Sugar Syrup:
- 3-4 cups Water
- 1 cup White refined Sugar
- rose essence or kewra
- 1 black cardamom or 2 green cardamom
- For Assembling Chum Chum:
- desiccated coconut, rose petals, edible silver foil or varq
- Add full cream cow milk to a thick bottom pan and boil it.
- Once boiled, add lemon juice to curdle it.
- When you see the greenish whey separated from the solids, then your milk is curdled. (You can use this whey for making chapati dough or soups and curries).
- Line a strainer/colander with a cheese/muslin cloth.
- Once the milk curdles, pass it through the lined strainer.
- After the above step, drain off the water on the muslin cloth.
- Rinse it thoroughly under cold running water.
- Now gather the cloth from the sides. Remove all the water by squeezing the cloth.
- Now you have your chenna/paneer ready.
- Chenna needs to be dried well.
- Hang the cloth for at least 40 - 60 minutes to remove excess water.
- CHENNA (PANEER) DOUGH:
- After excess water drains out from the hung chenna, remove the chenna out from the cloth and knead well for about 8-10 minutes or until dough forms.
- Knead well and add pink gel coloring while kneading the dough.
- You can also use a food processor for kneading.
- SHAPE CHUM CHUM:
- Divide the dough into 8-10 equal pieces.
- Take one portion between the palms of your hands and roll into a cylindrical or oval shape.
- Repeat the same to make more ovals.
- Smoothen the rolls and make sure that there are no cracks. Set them aside.
- SUGAR SYRUP:
- Add 1 cup sugar, 3-4 cups water, rose essence or kewra, and crushed black cardamom to a large pot and stir with a spatula.
- Let the water boil for 8-10 minutes or until sugar dissolves fully into it. (You don't need to look for any thread consistency.)
- Sugar syrup is ready for cooking Chum Chum.
- COOK CHUM CHUM:
- Once the syrup has boiled, gently drop the prepared rolls into it and cover it.
- Now cover and cook for 10 minutes on high heat.
- Turn the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes.
- Let them cool completely at room temperature.
- ASSEMBLE CHUM CHUM:
- Once the Chum Chum has cooled down completely, remove them from sugar syrup and squeeze gently to take out the extra syrup.
- Roll it over desiccated coconut and top with some rose petals and garnish with edible silver foil or varq.
- Serve chilled.
- Do not stir Chum Chum with a spoon while boiling, or else they will break.
- I did not add any binder (flour) to the paneer because I like spongy texture. However, sometimes, people add arrowroot powder, all-purpose flour (maida), cornstarch, or even semolina (suji) to get a firm surface. If you also want stiff texture of Chum chum, then add one tablespoon of any of the above binders to the crumbled paneer before kneading it into the dough.
- Here I have used a few ingredients to finish off my sweet dish, but you can stuff your dessert with anything you wish. Just make a minor slit in the center of it and fill with choice of ingredients like nuts, dried fruits, cherries, sweetened mawa, or khoya.