Bengal is famous for its huge collection of sweets among which those made from Indian cottage cheese or ‘chena’ are the special ones. When my friend Chitra of Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen fame asked me to share a recipe of sweet dish as a guest post, I decided to share something which is a delicacy of Bengal and I chose ‘Malai Chomchom’.
Chomchom is nothing but Rasgulla of different shape, either flat or cylindrical. When it is dipped into a thick concentrated gravy of milk it is called Malai Chomchom.
You are already aware of my indulgence in Chitra’s healthy and everyday recipes. I am a big fan of her innovative ideas and really glad to connect with her in person. It is worth visiting her blog,Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen, where she shares her recipes and ideas. I am really grateful to her for giving me this opportunity.
Ingredients for 12-14 pieces :
For Chomchom :
- Milk (full fat) – 1 litter
- Vinegar or Lemon juice – 2½ tbspoon (I used vinegar)
- Fine semolina – 1 teaspoon
- Powdered sugar – ½ tbspoon (optional)
For Sugar Syrup :
- Granulated white sugar – 1 cup
- Water – 4 cup
For Malai :
- Milk (full fat) – 500 ml. or 2 cups
- Granulated white sugar – 3 teaspoon (adjust to your taste)
- Few strands of saffron
- Sliced pistachio for garnishing
The recipe consists of two major steps –
1. Making of ‘Chomchom’ which is similar to that of ‘Rasgulla’ but of different shape.
2. Making of ‘Malai’ which is a thick gravy for ‘Chomchom’, made from concentrated milk and its yellowish fat layer (called ‘shor’ in Bengali and ‘malai’ in Hindi).
Step 1 : Making of ‘Chomchom’
At first prepare “chena”or Indian cottage cheese with 1 lit. of milk and vinegar or lemon juice. To do this look into the page entitled Chena/Indian cottage cheese under the “Useful Supplementary” tab in my blog.
In order to squeeze out the excess water from ‘chena’ or cheese either hang the cheese cloth containing the cheese for at least 30-40 minutes or keep it under heavy pressure for approx. 10 – 15 minutes. You can use any heavy material even a heavy book as I often do.
Now place the cheese on a clean flat work surface and knead with your palm for 7 minutes. Then add semolina and powdered sugar and again knead for another 5-7 minutes or until you get a smooth dough and your hand feels little oily. Leave the cheese dough for 1o minutes so that semolina can absorb the water from the cheese and mingle well with it.
Out of this dough, make 12-14 smooth balls. First make them round and then give them a cylinder shape. Then press them by your hand to flatten which gives oval or ‘Chomchom’ shape.
Take sugar and water in a pressure cooker to make the sugar syrup. Put the pressure cooker on medium flame and let the sugar dissolve. Boil the mixture for 2-3 minutes then put the flat cheese balls into it and cover with the lid. Cook for 5–7 minutes over low flame or until you get the first whistle. Don’t uncover it immediately, let it come to the room temperature, otherwise the cheese balls will shrink and you will not get the desired sponginess. In the meanwhile let’s make the ‘Malai’.
Step 2 : Making of ‘Malai’
Heat 500 ml. of milk in a pan over medium flame. As the milk starts boiling, put the gas on low. Wait for a while and as the yellowish fat layer (‘shor’ or ‘malai’) separates from the milk, skim it off to preserve. Repeat the steps for 7-8 times and accumulate the ‘malai’.
Now put the gas off, leaving the concentrated milk in the pan. Put the collected ‘malai’ in a food processor, add 1 teaspoon of sugar and process to a smooth paste.
Now add this paste back to the concentrated milk in the pan and put the gas on. Also add the saffron strands and remaining 2 teaspoon of sugar. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes and then put the gas off.
Your gravy for “Chomchom” is ready to be used.
Assembling of ‘Malai’ & ‘Chomchom’ :
Now squeeze the sugar syrup form the flat, oval cheese balls and place them on a serving dish.
Pour the ‘malai’ or thick milk gravy over them using a tbspoon. Garnish with sliced pistachio.
Let the cheese balls soak the ‘malai’ for 1 hour and then serve the supar delicious ‘Malai Chomchom’.
- Don’t add lemon juice or vinegar in very hot milk. The result would be a hard cheese which is not desirable for this recipe.
- Don’t overcrowd the vessel/pressure cooker with cheese balls. There should be enough space left in the vessel for cheese balls to turn double in size. So if you have quite a large number of cheese balls then divide them into batches before putting them into the pressure cooker.
- One can make ‘Chomchom’ also in cylindrical shape and garnish with ‘khoa’ or ‘mawa’.
- Malai Chomchom can be stored in refrigerator for 2 days.