Chek Chheung – Khmer Dessert made of Banana
There are so many Khmer dessert made of banana and this is another popular Khmer dessert made of Namva banana too. It’s called Chek Chheung (ចេកឆឹង). Chheung means to cook sugar until it becomes thick or turns into syrup. So Chek Chheung is a kind of dessert which banana is cooked with thick sugar. Chek Chheung is easy to cook, we can do it at home. Would like to know how?
- A hand of banana of about 14 bananas, peel of the skin. Choose the green-yellow banana, means that not so ripe. Too green or too ripe are not accepted.
- 250g of palm sugar. Using palm sugar for Chek Chheung is more suitable than refined sugar made from sugarcane. Because palm sugar have a yellow-red color which would give banana a great color, and the sweet taste is thicker.
- A small piece of lime, of about equal to the finger head. Lime (កំបោរ) that Cambodian old ladies chewing with areca (ស្លា) and betel (ម្លូ).
- 0,5 gram of fried sesame, use as decoration and good smell ingredient after Chek Chheung is cooked.
Melt the piece of lime into a container with an amount of water in which can soak the 14 bananas. Leave the water for a while, then the lime would sink into to the bottom of the container, and the water become clear. Now transfer the clear water into another container and put in those peeled banana to soak. The bananas must be soaked in clear lime water for one hour, so that the lime would make the bananas become tough and not easily break up while cooking. After soaked for three hours, take out the banana from the lime water and wash out with clean water.
Put a big frying pan onto a fire with moderate heat, pour in 500ml of pure water, then put the palm sugar and melt it in the water. When the sugar water is boil, we can put bananas in. Now lower the heat and cook it until the sugar become thick while the bananas must be turned from time to time.
We can do the same way for yam or sweet potato, but don’t need to soak in lime-water because yam is hard enough. In contrast, it need more time on the fire to turn into soft.
Chek Chheung (banana) Damlong Chheung (yam) are normally sell together at the food courts in Phnom Penh. But I like the Chek Chheung my mom cooked, the banana is always soft enough, it’s so nice to eat with sugar as much as I want. The Chek Chheung selling in the food court is harder and they sell with less sugar and mixed with tiny coconut meat.