I love ‘Chhena’/’Paneer‘ or cottage cheese.First of all,it is one of the most versatile ingredients to cook with.You might have heard of Paneer tikka, bhurji and Paneer butter masala.However, Paneer or chhena is also used to make exquisite and delicate sweets like Chhena poda and chenna jhilli.Chenna pudo or Chenna poda is basically Indian baked cheese cake.It is very delicious and full of nutrition.It has a beautiful crust outside and a delicate soft texture inside.
Chhena poda and Odisha
Orissa or Odisha as it is called now, has great locales and beaches.While this land is famous for its mines,monasteries,beaches and temples,it is also home to great cuisine. Both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes are a delight.I have been fortunate to visit this many times,since my lovely aunt at Bhubaneshwar stays there.Consequently I have been ableto enjoy its exquisite cuisine.
Most of us end up eating cottage cheese or ‘paneer‘ in curries or starters.However,many households in Orissa and Bengal,use it to make sweets. They may use only sugar or add it along with a base of jaggery.I had some fantastic trips to Bhubaneshwar-Konark-Puri temple and the villages along this triangle.You get to enjoy the natural beauty, architecture and locales.I have had a pleasure to eat the varied cuisine like Rassogullas, chhena Jhili and chhena poda.
Many sweet shops in small by-lanes of Orissa serve these sweets daily to general public even while catering huge orders to big restaurants across Bhubaneshwar.There is a huge demand for these sweets for weddings,hotels and various functions.
Most noteworthy,this pit-stop may brighten up any driver,even after long day on the road.It is a sight you may never forget for the rest of your life.However,you can bake Chhena Pudo easily at home whileif you are not in Odisha.
Watch the video by clicking this Chenna poda link below:
Scroll down for a written recipe of ChhenaYou can prepare chhena in advance or buy paneer from market.
Scroll down for a written recipe of Chhena poda
- 500 gm chenna
- 4 tbsp. sooji or semolina
- 1- 1/4 cup grated jaggery(or 1 cup sugar+1/4 cup jaggery)
- 1/3 tsp. baking powder
- 1-1/2 tsp. ghee or clarified butter
- 1/2 tsp. Cardamom powder
- 1/4 cup Raisins
- 1/4 cup Cashews
- Mash the chenna in plate for 4-5 minutes until smooth.
- Add remaining ingredients with chenna water to the cheese.
- Mix well with a spoon.
- If you are using sugar, it will turn a bit watery and semolina will balance it.
- Line a baking tin with a baking sheet at the bottom and the sides.
- Bake a 170 degrees for around 1 hour.
- Adjust the baking time if the top of the chhena poda has not turned brown yet.
- Allow the chhena poda to cool down before removing from the tin.
- Overturn the baking dish on a plate.
- Let it come out on a plate.
- However,allow it to further cool for 15-20 minutes so that it gets a bit firm in texture.
- You can buy also use paneer from dairy.
- You can also replace 1-1/4 cup jaggery with 1 cup sugar +1/4 jaggery.I like the jaggery version as it is healthier.