Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Chhena Poda - Uncommon Food

The state of Odisha in India boasts of many unique dishes. Chhena Poda is such an uncommon food that interests the foodie in me. Not just to mere mortals, Chhena Poda appeals even to Lord Jagannath of Puri as it is the Lord’s favorite sweet! 

(From L to R)- Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra & Lord Jagannath
In Odia language, Chhena means ‘cottage cheese’ and Poda means ‘burnt’. Chhena Poda literally means ‘burnt cheese’. When one thinks of home-made soft cottage cheese, one can never think such an uncommon dish can be prepared out of it, unless one has tasted Chhena Poda and the other similar uncommon foods. While Chhena Poda is available in many places in Odisha, it is yet to have a national presence and identity unlike the Rasagola that was born in Odisha too and has links with Lord Jagannath, Maa Lakshmi & the Puri Temple, but is very famous.

Chhena Poda looks like a soft, caramelized pudding or cake with brownish black covering. Don’t go by its burnt looks as it tastes divine. Some prepare it traditionally, baked with coal. Many places in Odisha still follow the same centuries-old recipe and process. These days, Chhena Poda is even prepared using the modern gadgets- microwave, oven & pressure-cooker...

Ingredients for the Chhena Poda:

For the Chhena or Cottage Cheese:
1.5 Litres milk
Curd or Lemon juice

For the Chhena Poda:
2 cups Chhena or Cottage Cheese
2 cups Sugar powdered
4 tbsp Semolina/Sooji
4 Cardamoms powdered
1 tbsp Cashew nuts
1 tbsp Raisins
1 tbsp Sugar for Caramel
2 tbsp Ghee

Preparation of Chhena:
Boil milk. When it starts boiling, simmer and add curd or lemon juice. Milk curdles and Chhena separates. Boil for a minute and switch off the flame. Sieve the Chhena through a strainer. Tie in a muslin cloth and let the water drain out.
Preparation of Caramel:
Melt Ghee on a low flame, add the sugar and twirl the pan around to spread the Caramel evenly.
Add the Sugar, powdered Cardamom, Raisins & Cashew-nuts to the mashed Chhena. Knead them all together. Place the mixture on the Caramel, and bake. 

Method of Preparation of the Chhena Poda:
Knead the Chhena and Semolina (added to bind the dough.)
This uncommon soft food is the result. 
Slice and serve it hot or cold & eat!

I feel Chhena Poda needs to graduate from being uncommon to being available everywhere. An enhanced shelf-life will help. With its great taste, Chhena Poda has a great potential to entice all and earn the adulation and fame it deserves.

I went on a trip down the memory lane recollecting uncommon foods thanks to the culinary stars, Vikas & Vir, talking about their #FoodventuresVir’s video featuring Nakchi Bokum and Vikas’s video with Shankalu Salad inspired me to embark on my #Foodventures. You too can share your #Foodventures and stand a chance to feature in a video with the celebs.

Have you ever tried Chhena Poda? Which is the uncommon food that you have experienced? Please share your views in the comments below.


  1. Good information about chenna poda from odisha,the land of many more unique dishes.but birth place of rasogolla is orissa,is still a tussle between WB and odisha,so it is better to avoid such tera mera jagdha choro.

    1. Thanks for stopping by & reading.
      There is much about Odisha that many of us do not know, including existence of such delightful sweets like Chhena Poda & origin of sweets like the Rasagola.
      As per practice, these have been offered to the Lord in the Puri Temple since centuries.
      As per latest evidence & research, the mention of Rasagola exists in the ‘Dandee Ramayana’ composed by Odia poet Balarama Das in the fifteenth century i.e. Rasagola existed in Odisha at least 300 years before Bengal's claims.
      Read this- New evidence on Rasagola's Odisha origins found.

  2. Looks yummy! I am going to try this! Thanks a lot for the recipe, Anita :-)
    Tc, keep smiling :-)

    1. Yes Sindhu! It tastes yummy too :)
      My pleasure! Tc, keep smiling :)

  3. Replies
    1. Indeed Uppalji.
      Hope you have tried it :) You are most welcome to Odisha.

  4. Interesting and a delicious post. Have to try this recipe someday in my kitchen. :)

    1. Sure Meera.
      But, the best are available here in Odisha in the shops. The makers have the practice, thus they are perfect :)

  5. This surely looks interesting... and not so difficult! I am going to try this :)

  6. Looks yummy.. I am sure it tastes yummy too....


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