Chena poda is a delicious cheese cake from Orissa(a province in eastern part of India where cheese deserts are pretty famous and they are simply awesome,there are numerous types of deserts just made from home made cheese).I love this desert a lot,,in my last visit to India I had 250 gm to 500 gm of chena poda almost everyday.Now that's not very healthy,,but I have a sweet sweet tooth and with the company of my husband,,,we give each other good company is eating kilos of sweets like this.So the other day we had this BIG craving for chena poda and he bought a gallon of 3.25% milk.So I had no way but to make it.Even though I was tired when the process was over and had a bite of this virgin Chena poda, I forgot all the tiredness..it was yumm,,the caramel that I poured was not as good looking but definitely that is a `must` for a beautiful looking and tasting crust.Ok,,now without wasting a minute I should jot down the process.
So here you go.....
Now there is two parts to the process
First ,The cheese making process.(It is basis of many more sweets like rasgulla,rasmalai,chenna jhilly,,,etc.)
Second, The Chenna poda baking.
As I will be posting the other deserts made up of soft cheese so I will keep the cheese making process separate here.
For making Cheese:
Ingredients:1. Milk- 4 Litres(I used 4 L this time coz I was baking in 9X9 inch dish,,this amount can varry as per your
requirements,if baking in a smaller dish you can reduce the amount or increase the amont,,the more the
2. Vinegar --1/4 cup
3. Water -- 1 cup(for diluting the vinegar )
4. Ice cube --2-3 cups
5. cheese cloth (to filter the cheese)
(Click on the picture to enlarge)1. Bring the milk to boil and let it boil for 2 minutes.
2. Dilute the vinegar with the 1 cup of water.
3. Pour the diluted vinegar over the boiling milk slowly....slowly because the cheese will be soft
this way,,,and when the milk cuddles and you can see the water and solid separated,,turn off the stove and pour the ice cubes so that the cuddling process stops immediately.
4. Filter through cheese cloth which will separate the solids from the liquid.
5. Hang the cheese for 15 minutes to let the water drain out.
Now the cheese is ready and this can be used for any purpose you want.I just eat few spoons at this time,,this fresh cheese tastes so good.
Now we will proceed to the Chenna poda making process:
Ingredients for Chenna poda:1. Fresh made cheese - 1.5 lbs(may be you can use ricotta cheese,,if you don't want to go through the cheese making process.I personally never tried,but the ricotta making process looks very similar.So if any one tries this alternative,,I would be happy to hear how it came out)
2. Semolina - 2 tb sp (soaked in 3 tb sp water)
3. Sugar - 1.5 cups(1 cup of sugar for the cheese cake and 1/2 cup for caramel that we will spread at
the bottom of the baking dish )
4. Cardamom powder -1 tsp
5. Raisin --2-3 tb sp
6. Cashew -- 2-3 tb sp
7. Oil/Ghee -1/2 t sp (for sauteing the dry fruits)
8. water -1/2 cup for caramel
9. Aluminium Foil - for covering the 9X9 inch baking dish
(Click on the picture to enlarge)
1. Pre heat the oven at 350 degree celcius.
2. Start with making the caramel.Pour 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan and make the
caramel(For detail you can refer the cream caramel recipe in my blog,,,
3.Once the caramel is ready,pour it on the baking dish .(just try to cover as much area you can spread
quickly,because it will get hard very quickly.it might not be very looking at this point of time,but when
you finish baking ,, this will impart the flavour to die for)
4. Fry the Cashew and raisin in oil/Ghee until they just get a light brown colour.
5. Now in a bowl, mix Fresh cheese,Sugar, Cardamom powder,soaked semolina very well and
knead for 5-10 minutes.
6.Spread the cheese mixture on the baking tray where you already have spread the caramel.Level the
cheese and cover the baking dish with aluminum foil ,make some slits on the foil with a knife.
7. Bake it for 30-40 minutes in 350degrees F.
8. Test the doneness by pricking a toothpick or knife.
9.Let it cool for sometime and you can munch on it,,It is also good when chilled.But i prefer warm so if i take it out of freeze then microwave for 10-15 secs and it melts in my mouth.
You liked or disliked.or a have a suggestion ...feel free to write back to me...
(Click on the picture to enlarge)