Malai Chop and an aunt's love
I can just call this my Calcutta Connection. Well I'l be honest once you start making sweets at home it becomes an addiction. I am passionate not just about sweets but about cultures because for me it through food that I can communicate with the entire world.
'Malai Chomchom' is a much loved sweet dish from Bengal where flattened or cylindrical shaped cottage cheese is boiled in thin sugar syrup and then soaked in slightly thickened milk. It is an absolute delicacy but then the recipe I am sharing today is extra special for me. I have a beautiful aunt who would often come over to our place with a big case of delightful white Malai Chomchom but these malai chom choms had a coat of milk which was thickened enough to stay put on the white beauties. Now that I think about it I haven't ever paid attention to the name of the shop from where my darling aunt would bring one of my favourite sweets but now I can easily make it at home and so can anyone who is reading this.
Sitting in Bombay I miss Kolkata and so on an ordinary Saturday I decided to make these sweets from my memory. Having previously made roshogollas , pantuas, chanar jilipi , jalebi I was more or less confident enough to not consult any recipe and my confidence was well rewarded with a husband who usually doesn't like sweets yet gobbled up 3 and 3/4th malai chomchoms out of the 5 that I made
Makes 4 Malaichochoms and a semi mini malai chomchom
1 litre full fat milk and it must be full fat
7 tbsp sugar
3/4th tbsp vinegar diluted in 3 tbsp water
1 tsp sugar
3/4th tsp semolina
tiny pinch of bi-carbonate of soda
For the syrup
1/2 cup sugar granules
5 cups of water
2 green cardamom
2 tbsp pistachios blanched and finely chopped
Start a day ahead by first making the condensed milk. Simply take 500ml of the milk and 7 tbsp sugar in a heavy bottomed pan and simmer it on low flame stirring it from time to time. Once the milk turns beige , thick and starts bubbling you must keep stirring it continuously and then cool it and blend it in the food processor / mixer grinder. Chill it in the refrigerator. The process takes about 45 minutes to 50 minutes.
The next day bring the milk to a roaring boil and lower the heat and add the diluted vinegar and let the cottage cheese form well so that in the end you have snow white cheese floating in a green liquid. It takes 2 minutes. Now switch off the gas-stove and cover and leave for 5 minutes . Then gather the cheese in a cloth and drain it for 15 minutes to 20 minutes and then take the cheese on a wooden board and knead well rubbing the cheese against the wooden board and gathering it and kneading it. After 3 minutes of kneading add the semolina , baking powder and 1 tsp sugar and knead well. Knead well for a good 15 minutes. The softness of the dessert depends entirely on the kneading. Make a large ball and divide it into 5 parts and make discs out of them.
Now bring the sugar and water to a boil and add the green cardamom . make sure that the pan is large enough to hold all the cheese discs side by side. Lower the heat and add the discs and cover and boil on medium heat for 15 minutes. It is essential that you keep lowering the temperature and increasing it in-between. Once done keep it covered for 10 minutes to 15 minutes and then take off the cover. Once the discs cool down place them on a tray and soak them with the thick condensed milk and garnish with pistachios and chill for 4 hours to 5 hours before serving.
Enjoy these soft milky creamy delights.
Very important tips :-
- It is extremely important that you use the tiniest pinch of bakign soda else your discs will break when they are being boiled in the syrup.
- The softness of the discs depends entirely on the kneading , so knead as much as possible , your dough should be melt in the mouth and ultra soft
- When you make the syrup remember that it is the thinnest syrup possible so once the sugar gets dissolved in the water after you have started boiling it immediately lower heat and add discs.
This is part of Kolkata Food Blogger's Ongoing event 'Deepavali, Festival of Lights with Sweets and Savouries'