1 gallon whole milk
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 teaspoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons ravva (soji)
4 cups sugar
8 cups water
½ teaspoon crushed cardamom seeds
¼ teaspoon saffron soaked in a tablespoon of milk (optional)
Heat milk on medium high until boiling and remove from heat. In a separate bowl, mix 2 teaspoons vinegar with 2 teaspoons water. Add vinegar mixture to milk, stirring until the milk curdles. Line a colander with a cloth and pour the curdled milk into the colander. Run cold water over the curdled milk, which should now resemble soft cheese. Tighten the cloth with the cheese inside. Hang the cheese bundle or put some weight on it, until all the water has drained, for three hours.
Remove cheese from the cloth onto a plate. Mix in three teaspoons ravva and knead until very smooth for eight to ten minutes. Sprinkle a few drops of water if the cheese is too hard.
Make the cheese into 36 oval shaped smooth balls and flatten.
Divide 4 cups sugar and 8 cups water into two large pans. (2 cups sugar x 4 cups water each). Bring both pans to a boil on high heat, mixing until the sugar has melted into syrup. Slowly drop half the chum chums into one pan and the other half into the second pan. Reduce heat to medium low and cook chum chums covered for two hours manually rotating them periodically. Add more water if the syrup is getting too thick or reduce the heat.
Cook chum chums until they become light brown. Sprinkle with cardamom and saffron. Remove chum chums from the syrup when they are cold. Keep them in the refrigerator to make them crunchy.
I’d like to thank Mrs. Lakshmi Lakkakula (Chattanooga GA) for sharing this recipe.