a melange of recipes, cuisines and food stories and my adventures in the culinary world

Chenna Poda…the king of Odia desserts

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The mother child bond is an eternal one; distance, time not even death can shake it’s rock solid existence and essence. My memories of my mother evokes feelings of contentment, safety and warmth. Its been twenty long years that I have been away from her but I always feel her comforting presence by my side. Even years after moving away from home, getting married, having children I always refer to my parents home as my home. My mom’s arms is a place that makes me feel carefree and childlike again. Home is where Mom is!!

 

The food that I had during my childhood and growing up years, the dishes cooked by mom, the street food from my hometown or my college canteen ….every single one of them makes me extremely nostalgic and finally reminds me of one person, my Mom. One of those nostalgic foods is the king of Odia desserts the quintessential Chenna Poda.

 

 

Chenna Poda in Odia literally means burnt cottage cheesecake and that’s why it has got a lovely smoky flavour to it. The Chenna Poda authentically is made of cottage cheese, semolina, sugar, cardamom, ghee, cashews and raisins mixed together very well and then wrapped in Sal leaves and baked in a charcoal or wood fired oven for 2-3 hours and that gives the burnt caramelised look to the crust though it’s divinely melt in the mouth texture inside. It is believed that Chenna Poda has its origins in the Nayagarh town of Odisha in the early half of the 20 th century by a man named Sudarshan Sahu.

 

 

After few attempts I have finally nailed the texture and taste of  this mind blowing dessert and what better day than Mother’s Day to share the recipe of one of the best desserts of my home state Odisha with you all.  Enjoy our very own desi Cheesecake on this very special day with your Mom !

A very Happy Mother’s Day to all !!

 

Chenna Poda
Print Recipe
A delectable and melt in the mouth Odia dessert made with Chenna or Cottage cheese and baked to perfection...our very own desi Cheesecake.
Servings Prep Time
6 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time
40 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time
40 Minutes
Chenna Poda
Print Recipe
A delectable and melt in the mouth Odia dessert made with Chenna or Cottage cheese and baked to perfection...our very own desi Cheesecake.
Servings Prep Time
6 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time
40 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time
40 Minutes
Ingredients
For the Caramel
Servings: People
Instructions
  1. Mash the Chenna or cottage cheese well with the heel of your hands on a plate till there are no crumbs left, approximately for 5-6 minutes .
  2. Add the sugar, semolina, milk, ghee and the cardamom powder and mix well till incorporated.
  3. Fry the cashews and raisins in 1/2 tbsp ghee in a frying pan till light brown in colour and add to the mix.
  4. Take ghee and sugar for Caramelising in a loaf pan or round pan in which you are going to bake the Chenna Poda and heat on a gas stove till the sugar caramelises and turns golden.Make sure not to caramelise it more than golden brown as the crust will taste bitter.
  5. Arrange the Chenna mix on the caramelised ghee and sugar and even out the surface.
  6. Bake at 180 deg C for 35-40 minutes in a preheated oven till a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 2-3 hours and then unmould it gently and carefully.
  8. Cut in slices,serve and enjoy!
Recipe Notes
  • This dessert can be made from store bought Chenna but homemade and from fresh milk imparts a much softer and smoother texture.
  • The quantity of sugar mentioned here is according to my taste, you can increase or decrease the quantity according to yours.
  • Do not caramelise the sugar more than a golden brown colour as it will make the crust bitter.
  • Do not overbake the Chenna Poda as it will turn dry , keep checking after 30 minutes of the oven time is over.
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