It is said that Chhenapoda originated in the Orissan town of Nayagarh in the first half of the twentieth century. The owner of a confectionery, a certain Bidyadhar Sahoo decided to add sugar and seasonings to leftover cottage cheese one night, and leave it in an oven that was still warm from earlier use. The next day, he was pleasantly surprised to find out what a scrumptious dessert he had created. Chhena poda soon became popular throughout Odisha. Today, it is also made in West Bengal and elsewhere in India.
1 cups cottage cheese(chenna home made )
3 tbsp semolina (sooji)
1/2 cup powdered sugar(chini)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon cardamom powder(gujarati)
8 pieces chopped cashew nuts (kaju)
15 raisins (kismis)
2 tbsp sugar for making caramel
1 tbsp ghee/butter-unsalted (optional)
Once u make the chhena, u need not press it as u normally do.
Let it stand on the sieve for 15-20 min.
Roast the raisins and cashew n ghee and keep aside.
Mash the chhena thoroughly in a big bowl.
Use ur hand to mash it or u can try mixer to make a smooth batter.
Then add suji and sugar, mix properly till it turn soft and crumbly.
Mix it again with cardamom powder, roasted cashew nuts, and raisins.
For getting the caramelized effect on the top put ghee in the baking tin, sprinkle 2 tbsp sugar n the tin and hold it slightly above flame for few min to melt the sugar.
Shake the tin occasionally to make the sugar melt uniformly.
It will first become liquid, then slowly turn to golden brown.
Keep a close watch otherwise it'll burn.
Once caramelized to golden brown, add water, it will start bubbling and become more liquid.
Let it cool a bit and spread the chhena mixture over it uniformly and cover with foil.
Pre heat the oven at 180 ºC, bake the chenna mixture for 40-50 mins until the top turns light brown in color and a toothpick inserted come out clean.
Run knife through the sides and invert in the rack immediately, if delayed the sugar in the base of the tin becomes hard and chhenapoda sticks to the bottom.
Allow it to cool down. Cut into pieces and serve.
Note:- While cooling down the chenna podo, make sure to cover it , so that the chenna podo will remain moist.