Chhena Poda Recipe | Traditional Odia Recipe

Chhena Poda is a popular and delicious dessert from the Indian state of Odisha. It's a type of cheesecake made with chhena (freshly made cheese from curdled milk) that's flavored with cardamom and caramelized to create a rich, slightly caramelized and crusty exterior. Here's a  recipe for making Chhena Poda:

Chhena Poda Recipe- Recipica

Ingredients require for Chhena Poda:

For Making Chhena:

  • 2 liters of full-fat milk
  • 3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar

For the Chhena Poda:

  • Freshly made chhena (paneer): from 2 liters of milk
  • Sugar: 1 cup (adjust to taste)
  • Sooji (Semolina ): 2 tablespoons
  • Ghee (clarified butter): 2 tablespoons
  • Cardamom powder: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Chopped nuts (cashews, almonds, etc.): 1/4 cup (optional)
  • Raisins: 1/4 cup (optional)

Instructions of making Chhena Poda:

For Making Chhena:

1. Heat the milk in a large pot until it comes to a boil.

2. Once the milk boils, add lemon juice or vinegar gradually while stirring. The milk will curdle, and the whey will separate from the curds.

3. Strain the curdled milk through a muslin cloth or a fine sieve to separate the curds (chhena) from the whey. Rinse the chhena under cold water to remove any traces of lemon juice or vinegar.

4. Squeeze out excess water from the chhena by gently pressing it with your hands. Your chhena is ready.

For Making Chhena Poda:

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).

2. In a mixing bowl, crumble the chhena and add sugar. Mix well until the sugar is fully incorporated and the chhena becomes smooth.

3. Heat a pan and add semolina (sooji). Roast the sooji for a few minutes until it's fragrant and lightly golden. Be careful not to burn it.

4. Add the roasted sooji to the chhena mixture and mix well.

5. Heat ghee in the same pan and lightly fry the chopped nuts and raisins until they are golden. Add them to the chhena mixture.

6. Add cardamom powder to the chhena mixture and combine everything thoroughly.

7. Grease a round cake tin with ghee or line it with parchment paper.

8. Pour the chhena mixture into the cake tin and press it down gently to form an even layer.

9. Bake the Chhena Poda in the preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes or until the top turns golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

10. Once done, remove the Chhena Poda from the oven and let it cool in the tin for a while.

11. Carefully invert the cake tin onto a plate to unmold the Chhena Poda. The caramelized bottom will be the top of the dessert.

12. Allow it to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Chhena Poda is enjoyed as a dessert after meals or as a special treat during festivals and celebrations in Odisha. Its unique caramelized texture and rich, milky flavor make it a favorite among those who love Indian sweets.

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