When RCI: Bengal was announced the first thing that came to mind was the juicy Bengali sweets. I had two favourites as a kid (and still do), Champakali (Cham Cham) and Malai Sandwich. I googled to find out which sweets are actually possible to make at home and to my surprise came across a recipe for Cham Cham. A few months ago I had tried to make Rasagollas at home, and they were perfect.I was pleasantly surprised that the method was so simple and easy.

Most Bengali sweets have Paneer as the starting base. Like so for the Cham Cham, which also has a mawa filling in between. Making this mawa/khoya was another procedure. More on that later. Now back to the juicy yellow Cham chams.

You will need:

For the outer layer:

5 cups Whole Milk
2 tbsp Lemon juice
1/4 tsp Lemon Yellow food colour
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Sugar

For the filling:

1 Cup Plain Khoya
3/4 Cup Heavy Whipping cream
3 tbsp Powdered Sugar

Bring milk to a boil on the stove top. Stir frequently to prevent burning. When the milk begins to boil add the lime juice, this will curdle the milk and the whey will begin to split. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Strain into a colander lined with a double layer of cheese cloth or any thin cloth. Run under cold water to rinse off the lemon residue.

Squeeze the cloth to drain as much water as possible. Place in the colander for 20 minutes to allow all the water to drain.

Once the water has drained, transfer Paneer to a smooth, clean kneading surface. Add the food colour and knead the paneer for 5-7 minutes till it comes together into a soft dough. As you knead the ball should give off fat, this is the time to stop. (Over kneading makes the end product very chewy)

Set water to boil in a pressure cooker. Stir in the sugar and bring to a full boil.

Divide the kneaded paneer into equal parts, and shape into long oblong pieces. Remember to make the pieces small,because they will double in size once they are cooked.

Once the syrup comes to a boil, slowly add the pieces into the cooker. Make sure your cooker is big enough to accommodate all the pieces without being too crowded. Close lid, place weight on cooker and pressure cook on high for two whistles. Reduce heat to low, cook for 5 minutes and then turn off heat.

Do not handle the cham chams when they are hot, they are very delicate. This holds true if you are making Rasagolla or Rasmalai too.

This is how they will look once pressure cooked. Let cool and refrigerate overnight or for alteast 6 hours before u make the filling.

In a pan on medium heat, mix cream, plain khoya and the powdered sugar. Stir till it thickens. Let cool well and then knead into a dough. This is the filling.

Slice each cham cham lengthwise, place a long piece of filling in between and press the two pieces together. Top with a halved cherry and serve. Keep chilled. The sugar syrup can be refrigerated and stored for a good while. Use it instead of sugar in milkshakes or anything else.

The same procedure goes for making Rasagollas, except that you don't need to add food colour, make round balls instead of oblongs and of course no filling is necessary.

Note: I probably cooked the filling more than required hence the brown colour, it should remain creamy white.

These yummy Cham Chams are headed over to the event RCI: Bengal hosted by Sandeepa of Bong Mom's Cookbook.


  1. Lovely look of cham cham..iam learning many bengal sweets this goes too RCI:Bengal.

  2. Nam , so tempting got 2 prepare champakali soon in my kitchen. Really Lovely Dear.

  3. Wow tht looks very nice !

  4. Omg..we just love bengali sweets and i never even thought that we can make chamcham in the house...thanks a lot for sharing

  5. I use to make rasagollas in same way except that I use cube sakar (small one which you find with fennel at indian restaurant, also this sakar cubes are offered as prasad during diwali time) as feeling. Logic is that when you pressure cook rasgolas due to high heat sakar cube gets melt and makes most inner part of rasgola perfect sweet.

  6. that looks like what we get at Haldirams here... you've made my mouth water!!

  7. My mouth is watering just looking at the pics!!!! Great work.Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  8. This looks so yummy!!!! will be trying it soon:)..

  9. If i show this to my hubby and daughter theu would ask me why am i not preparing such a delicious Indian sweet.

  10. Never made at home.Beautiful.going to try it soon

  11. oh my! they look soooooo tempting, N!
    love those s/w cham chams :)
    very well done !

  12. Oh my god these look just like what you get at stores! I'm a big fan of these bengali sweets - so beautifully done Namratha.

  13. "awesome to the power of N"
    i dunno what else to say.. its just perfect :)

  14. hi i really like the recipe, but can tell me how long you have to boil panner ball if you use big pot instead of pressure cooker?

  15. Hi Nams,
    I love ur site all the more now that u've taken the slideshow off! That used to take a while to i can visit more often:) the sweets look so yummy!

  16. wooooooooooow..lovely photo & nice entry..
    I am drooling here..
    Happy Holi

  17. Absolutely professional looking, Namratha!! Perfect entry for RCI. :)

  18. Namratha, such perfect looking cham chams. never heard of recipe thanks for sharing, will give this one a try. One question when u kneed does it become powdery and crumble is there any thing i need to add to make it stick

  19. Such a great entry.....So good,wonderful.

  20. That looks so pretty! I am not too fond of Bengali sweets.

    You changed your header! Yay! I used to have such problems getting here:-(

  21. They look delicious!! I just love bengali sweets. There is this famous Mathura dairy in Mumbai. and you can get wonderful chamchams and malai sandwiches there. and urs looks so perfect. I wish I could eat them right now!! Awesome job. You are inspring me to try these at home. but i am so scared to try them. I feel what if they just dissolve?

  22. Thanks Lavi :)

    Thanks Cham dear:) Do try it, its easy!

    Thanks Raks:)

    That's gr8 E, do try this then :)

    Thanks Jayashree:)

    Hi anonymous, yes that's one way my mom had learne
    d long ago, but that was in the open pan method, with the sugar cubes inside the rasgolla. This is another version. Thanks for stopping by!

    That is a wonderful compliment Raaga, thanks! :)

    Thanks Homecooked:)

    Thanks Chandani, do try them. Glad you stopped by:)

    Hehe, you make so many other yummy stuff H, I'm sure they are satisfied with that :D

    Thanks Kamala, do try it.

    Thanks Richa dear:)

    Thanks Laavi dear:)

    Hahaha, thanks Suman :)

    Thanks Deep, I haven't tried it in an open pan yet. Usually with an open pan, there is more evaporation so you will need more liquid, also try doing it on a low flame till the balls double in size.

    Haha, thanks G, I understand...a lot of others had the same problem too hence removed it. Been so busy took me this long to make header! :D

    Thanks Trupti, a very Happy Holi to you too! :)

    Thanks Kalai dear:)

    Thanks Sreelu :) when the paneer is made(after draining) its in the crumbly form. When you knead, it should all come together to form a ball. You should be easily able to shape it into a roll, if its falling apart then you have to knead more.

    Thanks Annu:)

    Thanks T! LOL...yes my dear, changed it just for you...I had told you I would ..hadn't I? :) IT took me this long to finally create another header...phew. Hopefully you won't have loading troubles from now on :)

    Thanks Meera :)Oh don't let them intimidate you, it really won;t dissolve dear. If you do the kneading well enough, they will hold shape inspite of the pressure. Do try it and when you plan to, let me know so I can walk you through it. :)

  23. You made theses !!!! You are a genius. I love ChamCham but never tried making them, this is awesome
    Thanks for this delightful mishti entry

  24. Namratha! I'm literally drooling..cham chams are one of my favourite sweets too...thanks for sharing the recipe :-)

  25. Namratha, in reply to your qn about the rice for Tomato Dosas, I mean the sona masuri rice/raw rice (the one we use for normal cooking not idli rice). Btw, the chilli proportions in my recipe give a rather spicy dosa, so please adjust accordingly :) Hope you get a chance to try.

  26. I too loved cham cham and love it now too. I can gulp them from you platter right away namratha.

  27. Your cham cham looks perfect. Mouth watering recipe. Even I googled for this recipe for RCI. My attempts with rasgulla and rasmalai has been successful. Your post gives the boost to try it.

  28. wow, this is really cool. I ve never even heard of cham cham. I like it, looks like a little hot dog ;-)

  29. These are so cute, I had them once and thought they were really yummy!

  30. OMG!!!! u made these at home??? hats off to u girl:)

  31. Hi namratha
    nice recipe and the pictures looks perfect. The cham chams muct have been very soft and not too much sweet. Thansk for sharing the recipe.

  32. Perfect cham chams. I too am a great fan of champakali but never dared to make these paneer sweets though.

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