We bongs have a circular relation with Puri…. No I am not talking about a plate of fried Poori but about the popular sea beach and Jagannath Dham i.e. Puri Dham from the state of Odisha 🙂 . It’s started from visiting Puri dham along with parents and big fat family and then with friends which leads to a 5 days honeymoon at Puri and finally visiting Puri Dham after retirement and obviously many times within 😉 ! I personally visited Puri 7 times and my parents don’t even want to count how many times they’ve visited Puri Dham! Our Puri visits were not only limited to the Sea Beach and famous Jagannath temple but every time it was celebrated with amazing food ranging from the Bhog Prasad from the temple to superb Sea Food and some over the top sweets that include famous “Khaja”, “Rosogolla” and “Chhena Poda”. I almost forgot the taste of Chhena Poda until I tasted the Baked Chhena Poda last month! My landlord is from Odisha and Aunty bought some baked Chhena Poda while returning from their ancestral place. While having it I was discussing with hubby about my visits and revisits to Puri! However, I was not been there after marriage and now feeling like revisiting Puri again and this time obviously with Hubby and Pasta…
Anyway….I am distracting from the topic … Let me come back to Baked Chhena Poda… a divine Cottage Cheese Cake or it is better to say true Indian Cake, Chhena Poda is a classical Sweet from the state of Odisha! Originally Chenna Poda was prepared by Steaming Cottage Cheese or Chhena (or Chana; see my previous post on Chanar Dalna) after mixing it with sugar and Cardamom powder along with little Semolina. However, I’ve tried making or rather baking it using the same ingredients but the end result was a disaster since I got a flat Chhena Poda after baking! Then I thought of adding a bit Baking Powder to the mixture to raise the cake properly and it works! Last but not the least I’ve used homemade Chana for preparing Chhena Poda…
- Full Cream Milk: 2 Liter
- Lemon Juice or Vinegar: 3 Tbsp. (I prefer to use Lemon Juice for curdling the milk)
- Cottage Cheese/ Chana/ Chhena: 2 Cup (Prepared from 2 litre of milk)
- Sugar: ⅔ Cup
- Semolina: 2 Tbsp.
- Ghee/ Clarified Butter: 1 Tbsp.
- Green Cardamom: 8-10
- Baking Powder: ½ Tsp.
- Chenna Water: ½ Cup
- Cashew Nut: Handful
- Raisin: Handful
- Start boiling entire milk in a deep vessel till bubble comes from the milk and then reduce the flame.
- Start adding Lemon Juice or Vinegar to the milk and stir with a ladle to mix the souring agent properly to curdle the milk.
- The Milk will start curdling within ½ minute or so and the water will also start separating from the Curdled milk.
- Switch the flame off and cover the vessel with a lid and wait for 5 minutes.
- Strain Chhena using a strainer but keep ½ cup of the water separated from the Chana for future use.
- Don't squeeze the Chhena much since we need a soft mixture for making Chhena Poda.
- Take warm Chhena in a bowl and add Semolina, Baking Powder and Sugar and mix lightly and leave the mixture for 5 minutes. This will help the semolina to absorb water from Chhena.
- Preheat the oven in 180 degree C for 10 minutes.
- Now start kneading it using your hand. I've kneaded the Chenna for about 5 minutes to make a smooth paste until Sugar dissolve completely.
- Make a Powder of Green Cardamom Seed and mix with the Chhena Mixture.
- Now add little Chhena water to the mixture. I've added around 3 Tbsp. water to make a semi-thick mixture like a cake mixture.
- Now fry Cashew Nut and Raisin in little Ghee and add those to the Chhena mixture and mix lightly.
- Take a baking tin and line it with a parchment paper and pour the mixture in the baking tin and bake it in 180 degree C for 30-40 minutes. It took me 40 minutes to bake my Chhena Poda.
- After 30 minutes of baking insert a toothpick in the middle of the cake and check whether it is done or not and if required bake for some more time. The toothPick should come out clean when the Chhena Poda done completely.
- Take the tin out of the oven and then using a knife open the sides of the Chhena Poda from the Tin and then just upside down it remove from the tin.
- Let it cool for 30 minutes in room temperature and transfer in to refrigerator if required however we prefer to have it a bi hot.