Jan 19, 2008

Chennapoda (Cheese Cake from Orissa)


When it comes to having feast, we Oriyas are highly enterprising in cooking. We are very elaborate and simple daily menu would consist of plenty of side dishes. Mustard, posto, panch puton are special ingredients are exclusively to Oriya cooking .

When it come sweet dishes, fresh Chenna (Paneer or Ricotta cheese) plays a very significant role. Many yummy dessert are made from chenna as their main ingredient. The most famous one needs no introduction to many sweet lovers. Rasagulla is very much loved by Oriya people and also admired world wide. The delicious warm Rasagullas melts in the mouth. Another very special and native to Oriya dessert is Chena poda pitha (cottage cheese cake) which is slowly baked in earthen fire for few hours and then cooled down for hours before serving.These cakes are very famous through out Orissa. The cakes are purely made of chenna with small amount suji (semolina) to bind. This is said to be the favorite dessert of Lord Jaganath.

I was also curious to make this wonderful dessert. On tete o tete with a vendor who specialize in making these cakes, I tried to make this lip smacking dessert following his recipe, the results were baffling. Since I was holidaying in my home town I had plenty of people to taste it and relish it.

It is so simple, easy and absolutely delicious.

Here is the recipe

Chenna poda

Chenna squeezed (freshly curdled) – 1 kg
Suji ( semolina) – ½ cup
Castor Sugar - 2 cups
Cardamom powder - 1 teaspoon
Raisins - 1/2 cup
Broken pieces of Cashew nuts (optional)

In a big bowl mash Chenna thoroughly. Add Suji and sugar and rest of the ingredients. Mix it well using hands.

To get a caramelized effect on the top. Apply a tablespoon of ghee to the baking tin. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar on the tin. Hold the tin slightly above gas stove for few mins to melt the sugar. Spread the melted sugar evenly.

Then pour the chenna mix over the caramelized sugar. Bake on preheat oven of 180 ' C for one hour. Insert a toothpick to check. It is cooked well if the tooth comes out clean.

Cool it for 2 to 3 hours and then turn it upside down. Slice and serve. It stays fresh for a week in the refrigerator.



Anonymous said...

I have tried it and it was superb.

Roopa said...

Lovely blog and recipes you have here:) All new and lovely recipes for me:)

Arfi Binsted said...

please... i'm lost. what is chenna and what is orissa? if chenna is cheese, then poda is orissa? i want to learn more about indian food. i shall go to an indian restaurant :)

meenu said...

I love chena poda like anything.
i love to cook it but i have one question is soji is necessary?

Pearlsofeast said...

Thank you so much Meenu for visiting my blog.yes suji is necessary because I had asked the vendor .He had recommended to add suji to get a grainy taste and bit to bind.

Pearlsofeast said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mallugirl said...

feels horrible and shocked, right..how can anyone just copy???

soma said...

This reminded me of our visits to puri... every evening someone would come to sell the fresh chennapoda ... :-))

your blog is just awesome. I went thru' some recipes.. what gorgeous pics and presentation.
Soma Rathore(www.ecurry.com)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this recipe. I had followed your instructions & the results were wonderful. My husband & me liked the chenna poda a lot.