CHHENA PODA/ BAKED COTTAGE CHEESE CAKE – If cheesecakes were the domain of the western world ,Well, let me  introduce to you the quintessential Odia dessert called CHHENA PODA – the only well known Indian dessert which derives its flavor primarily from caramelized sugar.

CHHENA PODA is  made of a  few basic ingredients but yields a smoky, nutty flavored sublime dessert that is infinitely rich and intense. I particularly love it’s texture, it certainly looks like a cake but tastes like a slightly grainy pudding. How much I try to put my feelings in words,  I don’t think I can truly describe in words what a wonderful dessert I am talking about. The proof of this dessert  is totally in it’s eating. and considering how easy it is to make, you might start to making it now.

CHHENA PODA

CHHENA PODA or baked cottage cheese is a sweet dish from the state of Odisha, India. The literal meaning of Chhena poda is burnt cottage cheese; Chhena is cottage cheese and Poda means burnt. The procedure is simple, home-made cottage cheese is well-kneaded along with dry fruits and sugar, then it is slowly baked till the caramelized brown color appears. What makes this sweet dish different from other Indian desserts is the flavor of caramelized sugar. Chhena poda is usually made at home during traditional festivals and as offerings to the God. It is said that Chhena Poda is Lord Jagganath’s favourite dessert.

It is said that CHHENA PODA had originated in  Nayagarh, a small town in Odisha in the first half of the twentieth Century by Bidyadhar Sahoo , the owner of the confectionery, who one day decided to add sugar and certain seasoning to the leftover cottage cheese and leave it in the oven which was warm from earlier use. The next day he was surprised to find out a dessert  which in the coming years would become so popular throughout Odisha.

Traditional method of baking

Once the baking tray is ready with the mixture, cover it with 4/5 layers of plantain leaf or an aluminium foil.Put burning charcoal over that. Else, you can put a lid on the tray and then put burning charcoal.

Put the tray on earthen oven with low intensity flame. Let it be there for 1½ – 2 hours. You can check the status of baking by piercing a small knife or a clean toothpick. If it is done, the toothpick/knife would come out clean.

Modern method of baking

Once the baking tray is ready with the mixture, put it in the microwave oven. Set the cooking time to 30-45 minutes.After the baking time is over, open the over door. Leave the tray in the oven to cool down.

CHHENA PODA

 

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CHHENA PODA- BAKED COTTAGE CHEESE CAKE
CHHENA PODA
Votes: 2
Rating: 4
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Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
CHHENA PODA
Votes: 2
Rating: 4
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Fry cashew nuts and raisins lightly to give a richer taste to the preparation.
  2. Boil the milk in a deep vessel. Simmer and add lemon juice when the milk starts boiling.Turn off the heat.
  3. Curdling will happen and you will see the chhena separating from the water. Turn off the flame. Sieve the chhena through a strainer lined with muslin cloth. keep the whey aside.
  4. Crumble and mash the chhena when it is still warm with the help of a spatula till smooth. Add semolina, cardamom and mix well.
  5. Add  sugar, 1 tbsp ghee, and knead it till sugar dissoves compleely. Add 3 tbsp Chena water to make the consistency a little runny.
  6. Line a parchment paper in a baking tin and brush with with ghee . Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar and heat the pan. Once the sugar starts getting caramelized, switch off the flame and tilt the baking pan so that its base is well covered with caramel syrup.
  7. Now pour the chena over it and spread evenly using a flat spatula. Keep aside for 5 minutes.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree Celsius for 45 to 50 minutes till the top turns brown or in  Microwave in convention mode at 180 degree for 40 to 45 minutes .
  9. Insert a tooth pick in the center. It should come out clean. If it is wet, bake for 5 more minutes.
  10. Run a knife through the sides and invert the cooking tin on a plate as soon as it is out of the oven. Any delay will make the sugar at the base of the tin harder making it difficult to come out intact.
  11. Slice the Chhena Poda and serve hot or cold.

2 thoughts on “CHHENA PODA- BAKED COTTAGE CHEESE CAKE”

  1. This is a great recipe! It uses no flour or eggs – thanks for submitting to Yum Goggle but next time, just use one picture – in the space we have, it doesn’t look good once it’s on the site because you can’t see either one very well! now following on Google+ and FB – if you have Instagram, let me know and I will follow there too!

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