I love cottage cheese. Call it chenna or paneer or ricotta. This is one yummy ingredient. 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, it is also used to make exquisite and delicate Odia sweets like Chhena poda, chhena jhili, chhena gaja.
Chenna pudo or Chenna poda recipe is basically Indian baked cheese cake. It looks quite exotic but it is very easy to make chhena poda recipe at home. Very delicious and full of nutrition. It has a beautiful crust outside and a delicate soft texture inside.
- Fresh cottage cheese chenna / paneer , freshly prepared.
Remaining ingredients for chenna pudo
- sooji or semolina
- grated jaggery or palm sugar/ sugar, adjust sugar as per your taste
- baking powder
- ghee or clarified butter
- cardamom powder
- cashews chopped
- 4 tbsp. whey or paneer water/ chenna pani
What can be made from Chenna or Chhena ?
Most of us end up eating cottage cheese or 'paneer' in curries or starters. However, many households in Orissa and Bengal, use channa to make sweets. They may use only sugar or add it along with a base of jaggery. I have had a pleasure to eat the varied cuisine.Khaja,Rassogullas, chhena Jhili,rajbhog and chhena poda sweet at various local sweet shops. Many sweet shops in small by-lanes of Orissa serve these sweets daily to general public. They also cater to 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. Usually they drive for long hours. It is a sight you may never forget for the rest of your life. However, you can bake Chhena Pudo easily at home while if you are not in Odisha.
How to make Chhena Pudo recipe?
Learn to make the Original Indian cheesecake in easy steps.
1 Make the fresh paneer by adding lemon juice to hot boiling milk. It will coagulate and separate. Use a muslin cloth to separate it from water.
2. Mix sooji or semolina and cardamom to fresh paneer.
3. Add sugar or jaggery to the paneer mix.
4. Bake in a pre-heated oven in a greased oven.
Chhena poda recipe | Indian cheesecake recipe
- stand mixer for kneading optionally
- 500 gm fresh cottage cheese chenna / paneer , freshly prepared.
- Mash the chenna/fresh paneer 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.
- Preheat the oven for 10 min.
- Bake a 170 degrees for around 30-45 minutes.
- 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 1-¼ cup jaggery with 1 cup sugar +¼ jaggery.I like the jaggery version as it is healthier.
Chhena poda and Odisha sweets
Orissa or Odisha has great locales and beaches. 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 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 been fortunate to visit this many times, since my lovely aunt at Bhubaneshwar stays there. Consequently, I have been able to enjoy its exquisite cuisine. You can also prepare this at home. You may make chhena in advance or buy paneer from the market.
Chhena is fresh paneer which has more moisture. Once pressure is applied, paneer cubes are created.
Chenna poda involves cooking of chhena/paneer i.e. fresh cheese with sugar/jaggery in an oven. We add a bit of sooji/semolina to it to that helps to absorb that extra water from the paneer/sugar.
Once cooked it can be eaten warm or store in the refrigerator for few days. The extra caramelization of the paneer makes it black but enhances the taste.