Chena Poda (चेना पोड़ा, চেনা পদ) Chena poda(baked cottage cheese) is a sweet dish from the state of Orissa, India. The literal meaning of Chena poda is burnt cottage cheese; Chena is cottage cheese and Poda means burnt. The procedure is simple, home-made cottage cheese is well-kneaded along with dry fruits and sugar, then it is slowly baked till the caramelized brown color appears. What makes this sweet dish different from other Indian desserts is the flavor of caramelized sugar. Chena poda is usually made at home during traditional festivals and as offerings to the God. It is said that Chena Poda is Lord Jagganath’s favourite dessert.
Regional Dish: Orissa, Bengal
Cuisine Style: Oriya| Cooking Time 60 mins| Take it as such| Type Sweet| Shelf Life: 1 week if refrigerated| Quantity: 10 Servings.
Appx. Nutritional values calculated for 1 serving:
Calories (180 Kcals), Carbohydrates (30g), Protein (8 g), Fat (10g).
Ingredients to make chena:
- Milk: 1. & ½ liters of milk
- Lime juice: 2-3tbsp.
- Boil the milk in a heavy bottom pan in medium heat. Stir in between to prevent from sticking it to the bottom.
- As the milk boils, gradually add the lime juice and stir. You will notice that the milk gets curdled into white solids and whey gets separated now turn off the heat.
- Strain the curdled milk through a sieve lined with cheese cloth or a piece of muslin cloth.
- Press the chena to take out the whey. Now the chena would be very hot. Run cold water through the chena. It helps to remove the smell of lime juice from the chena as well as prevent the chena from getting hard.
- Tie the chana in the muslin cloth and hang it for 15-20 min, so that the water drains out.
- But make sure you do not drain it for too long and the chena does not get too dry. It should be moist enough to knead it smoothly.
Ingredients to make Chena Poda:
- Home made cottage cheese: 1&1/2cup
- Suji/ semolina:1tbsp.
- Powdered Sugar:1 &1/2cup
- Raisins (chopped): 2tbsp.
- Cashew nuts (chopped): 2tbsp.
- Pistachio (chopped):1 tbsp. (optional)
- Cardamom (powdered): 1 tsp.
- Baking powder: ½ tsp.
- Brown sugar to dust the greased pan ( if not available add ordinary sugar)
- Ghee/ butter for greasing
- Take the home made chena (after draining out the water) in a flat plate and knead with your palm till it is soft.
- Add suji (semolina), sugar and powdered green cardamom to the kneaded chena. Mix them well. As you will mix the sugar you will see the chena will become wet. It will take a moist smooth soft texture.
- Add the chopped dry fruits and mix again.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400F/300C.
- Take baking tray grease it with ghee and dust it with brown sugar. This brown sugar will caramelized to give a brilliant brown color to the chena poda.
- Add baking powder to the chena just before putting it inside the oven. Mix baking powder well and put the mixture evenly in a baking tray or oven proof bowl. Flatten the surface with a knife or spatula.
- Bake for 30min at 400F/300C. The chena will rise just like a cake.
- Grease an aluminum foil with butter and cover the baking tray and keep baking at 200F/100C for 20min. But be very careful when you are doing this, the baking tray would be very hot.
- Insert a toothpick or a knife at the center of the baked chena, if it comes out clean then your chena poda is done. If you found sticky chena mixture on the toothpick or knife then bake it for some more time.
- Let it cool down, take it out on a plate, cut into slices and serve.
Variations: Add some saffron, Add some cinnamon powder