"Cham Cham" comes from a rich line of Bengali sweets from the Eastern part of India and is sometimes also called 'Chom Chom'. It is available in varied colors (pink, orange or white), shapes and garnished with a variety of toppings like heavy cream, desiccated coconut, nuts, cherries and spices.
Cham cham is made from homemade paneer. This Indian sweet is made or bought on special occasions or festivals but is available year-round due to its popularity and appeal.
Ingredients for homemade Cham Cham
2% milk works best for making cham cham. Full cream milk or whole milk paneer has more fat content due to which small globules of fat ('ghee') can form on the syrup after refrigeration.
Homemade paneer works well to make cham cham. Here is the link to my detailed recipe on how to make paneer in the instant pot. Try to squeeze out as much water as possible such that paneer is firm.
Also, refrigerate the paneer for a few hours or overnight to make it more firm. This also helps in kneading.
How to make cham cham?
The next important step is to knead the paneer to make it like a soft dough. It can be kneaded manually by hand or in the food processor, which is faster.
Knead paneer in a food processor
To knead the paneer in food processor press the pulse option, intermittently till it feels smooth, soft and does not stick to the palm while making a ball.
This should take about a minute or two, again it depends on the size of the food processor and the amount of paneer you are kneading.
The real test is it should feel really smooth and silky and should not stick to your palm when trying to make a ball.
How to make cham cham with different colors?
If you prefer, you can add the food color of your choice while kneading paneer in order to make various colors of cham cham.
How to make cham cham in instant pot?
Once the paneer is well kneaded in the food processor, make about 25 grams of paneer balls. A digital food scale is handy to weigh and make equal size balls.
Make elongated smooth balls by rolling in between your palms and applying slight pressure while doing so.
If you are using a 3 qt. instant pot, take 2.5 cups of water and one cup of sugar. You can cook about 5-6 cham cham balls in the 3 qt. instant pot at a time.
If you use a 6 or 8 qt instant pot, you can proportionately increase the amount of water and sugar.
Using white sugar results in white cham cham patties and using organic cane sugar will give an off white color.
To cook the cham cham balls, add the sugar, water and then the paneer balls and close the lid. Select the High-Pressure mode for 12 minutes followed by natural pressure release.
The same syrup can be used to cook the next batch of paneer balls. Do not use the same syrup for third round or beyond, the sugar will start caramelizing and will make the cham cham patties hard and dark in color.
Ricotta cheese topping for cham cham
Cham cham can be served with a variety of toppings like heavy cream, desiccated coconut, nuts and spices.
This is an easy topping recipe using ricotta cheese. Heat some butter in a skillet, then add the ricotta cheese, mix it for about 30 seconds. It will start melting.
At this point add the milk and sugar and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium flame. The mixture will start leaving the sides. Do not overcook, it should be semi-solid and not dry, since once cham cham is refrigerated, it can dry up further, which is not ideal.
Once cham cham balls are chilled in the refrigerator for a few hours, remove them and slice from the middle, you will have to discard the syrup. Apply about one and a half tablespoon of ricotta cheese topping and garnish it with a piece of cherry.
How to store and serve cham cham?
Refrigerate cham cham for about 2 hours before serving. If cham cham is refrigerated for long, keep it at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes.
This allows the ricotta cheese topping to soften in case it has become a little dry after refrigeration. Cham cham can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like below instant pot dessert recipes
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Instant Pot Cham Cham (Indian Dessert)
To make paneer
- ½ gallon Milk (2% Fat)
- ¼ cup Vinegar
To make the topping
- 1 cup Ricotta Cheese
- ¼ cup Milk
- ¼ cup Organic cane sugar
- 2 teaspoon Unsalted butter
- Cherries (For garnishing)
To make cham cham
- 2 ½ cup Water
- 1 cup Organic cane sugar
- 250 grams Paneer (homemade paneer with above ingredients)
Making Paneer in Instant Pot
- Heat the milk in instant pot on "boil" setting by pressing "yogt" button.
- Once done, stir in the vinegar, wait for 5-10 minutes and strain the whey out.
- Rinse the paneer with cold water, squeeze out excess water and keep weight on it for about 2 hours.
- Refer my blog on how to make paneer in instant pot for detailed instructions.
Making the cham cham topping
- Heat a skillet, add unsalted butter and ricotta cheese
- Cook for about a minute and then add milk.
- Mix well and then add sugar
- Cook the mixture for 2-3 minutes, the mixture will look crumbly and leave the sides of the skillet.
- Transfer to a bowl else it can dry up further.
Making Cham Cham in Instant Pot
- Make 25 gram oval balls by rolling paneer in your palms. Apply pressure while doing so to make it smooth.
- In a 3 qt. instant pot add sugar, water and 5 cham cham balls.
- Cook on high pressure mode for 12 minutes followed by a natural pressure release.You can cook the second batch of cham cham in the same sugar syrup.
- Refrigerate the cham cham patties once it is at room temperature for about 2-3 hours.
- Discard the sugar syrup and slice the patties.
- Apply 1 and half tablespoon of ricotta cheese topping on each slice and press it with a spoon.
- Garnish is with a cherry.
Also, don't forget to check out these yummy Rasgulla and Rasmalai recipes, both made in the instant pot.
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