Cham Cham Pops

Chamcham pops or you might want to call them rasgulla pops going by their look. Its an east meets west experiment gone right. Cham cham is a famous sweet in India. It is made with fresh chenna and cooked in sugar syrup. This is my idea of dressing up the traditional Indian sweet as cake pops. Chilled cham chams iced with khoa cream taste just perfect for people who like sweets with a twist. The same taste and texture but without the mess of sugar syrup and overdose of sweetness.Chenna

Fresh and full fat milk makes the best chenna. Make sure there is no water left in the chenna otherwise it will be very difficult to roll the chenna balls. You can add colors of your choice to the chenna. I used the gel colors and added them just before mashing the chenna.Cham Chams

Do not over boil the sugar syrup. Add the chenna balls as soon as the syrup starts boiling and do NOT touch the cham cham unless it is cooled and chilled. Let it sit for at least 6 hours or more if possible.Khoa Cream

For the icing, you can be as creative as you want. You can just simply dip the cham cham in khoa cream and roll it in dessicated coconut, coarsely  ground dry fruits, sprinkles etc. Or you can just fill the icing in a piping bag and ice it as you want.

As this is made with fresh milk, the shelf life of this dessert is not as long as other sweets. Two days is the max this can stay in the fridge. Chill it well before serving.

Cham Cham Pops

Ingredients

  • 3 cups milk (preferably full fat)
  • 2-3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1-2 pinches food color (optional)
  • 1 tbsp plain flour or corn starch for dusting

For the khoa cream

  • ½ cup khoa
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder (Ilaichi powder)
  • 1-2 pinches food color (optional)

Recipe

Bring milk to boil. Switch off the gas as soon as the milk starts boiling. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Keep stirring in between. Dilute the lime juice with some water. Start adding 1 tbsp lime juice at a time. Stop adding the lime juice when the milk curdles. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Take a white cheese cloth and spread it in a deep bowl. Put the curdled milk and tie the cloth. Now run the tied cloth under fresh water for 2-3 minutes so that the chenna (curdled milk) gets washed and gets rid of the lime flavour. Hang it over a sink or any clean place  where water can drip. Let it hang for 20-30 minutes so that all the whey is strained out.

Transfer the chenna to a flat surface or a wide plate. Mash the chenna well using the heel of your palm. If you wish to make colored cham cham, add color at this point and mash the chenna well. Divide the chenna into 16 portions and roll them into smooth balls without any cracks. Keep these chenna balls on a plate dusted with plain flour or corn starch.

Combine sugar and water in a pressure cooker and bring to boil. As soon as the sugar syrup starts boiling, add the chenna balls. Close the lid and cook on high heat for 1 whistle. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 8-9 minutes. Switch off the heat and put the cooker under running water to release the steam. Open the cooker and transfer the chamchams and the sugar syrup to a bowl. Do NOT touch the cham cham until they are completely cooled. Let the cham chams cool down and refrigerate them for 7-8 hours.

To make the khoa cream, blend the khoa, icing sugar, milk, and cardamom powder to a smooth paste. If you want to add color to your icing, add color at this point. You can change the consistency of this icing as desired. Add or reduce milk based on the how you want to ice the pops. If you want to dip the pops in khoa cream, keep the consistency runny. Keep the consistency stiff if you want to ice it using a piping bag.

Put a cham cham in cocktail stick and ice it as you like. You can dip it in the icing or put the icing in an piping bag and ice it as you like. Serve chilled.

szechwan Rice

Szechwan cuisine is known for its liberal use of garlic and spices and what more do we Indians need to like Chinese cuisine or any other cuisine for that matter :-).  Indian streets are dotted with number of Chinese street food stalls. They sell all kinds of spicy and colorful Indian Chinese dishes (it’s kind of new cuisine now). Szechwan rice is the Indianized spicy version of the Szechwan rice.

ingredients for szechwan rice

Again, there are different versions of this recipe. You can add celery, spring onion, Sichuan peppers too. Some people add ajinomoto (MSG) to get that “Chinese food taste”, but I prefer it without the MSG. You can also add a little orange color for that street food look. As the dish is cooked on high heat throughout, chop the vegetables very fine so that the vegetables are cooked well. Cooking on high heat also adds a smoky flavor to the dish.

szechwan sauce

This is one of the best recipes that my aunt makes. She always prepares the sauce in advance and whips up this spicy dish every time we crib about the dinner being too boring. You can prepare the sauce in advance and keep it in fridge in airtight container. Make sure the rice is not over cooked. you can also use the sauce for stir fries.

You can serve Szechwan rice with a sauce of your choice or it tastes good just by itself.

szechwan rice

 

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 10-12 dry red chillies (tops removed) soaked in hot water for 10 mins
  • 3 inch piece of ginger
  • 5-6 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup onions finely chopped
  • ½ cup finely grated cabbage
  • ¼ cup beans finely chopped
  • ¼ cup carrots finely chopped
  • ¼ cup capsicum finely chopped
  • ¼ cup celery finely chopped
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil/any other cooking oil
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

Szechwan Sauce

Grind tomato, ginger, garlic, and red chillies to a smooth paste.  Heat 1 tbsp oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add onions and cook for few minutes (1-2) till they are translucent and pink. Add cabbage and cook for 2-3 mins. Add the tomato chilli paste and mix well. Keep mixing it every 30-40 seconds. Cook till oil separates. Transfer this sauce to a bowl and keep aside.  This sauce can be used for stir fries too. Once it is completely cooled, you can store it in fridge for upto two weeks in an air tight container.

For rice

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok/kadhai.  Add finely chopped celery and sauté on high heat for 30-40 secs. Add carrots and beans and sauté for 1-2minutes on high heat. Add capsicum and sauté for 1 minute. Add salt and cook for 1-2 mins. Add the schezuan sauce and mix well. Add this gravy to the cooked rice. Mix well and serve hot.