Delicious Chhena Poda

Delicious Chhena Poda

Delicious Secrets of Chhena Poda/ Cheescake: A Traditional Odia Sweet

If you’ve ever wandered through the enchanting state of Odisha, you’d know that the land is not only famous for its rich culture and heritage but also for its delectable cuisine. Among the plethora of culinary delights that Odisha offers, Chhena Poda stands out as a true gem. Odia people who have ventured far from their homeland often find themselves yearning for this unique sweet treat, as it’s a rarity outside the state’s borders. The art of crafting this sumptuous delicacy from pure cheese using traditional baking techniques has been preserved through generations in Odisha. However, we’re here to introduce you to a slightly modified method that maintains the essence of this exquisite dessert while making it more accessible for you.

The Essential Ingredients

To embark on your Chhena Poda journey, gather the following ingredients:

1. Ricotta Cheese or Homemade Chhena (3 cups, approximately 850 grams) Chhena, a type of homemade cheese, is the star of this recipe. You can opt for store-bought ricotta cheese as a convenient alternative.

Making Cheese/ Chhena

Prep Time: 10 – 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes in the pressure cooker or 200° C in the oven for 1 hours

  1. In a spacious saucepot, pour in the milk and bring it to a vigorous boil. Once the milk reaches a rolling boil, introduce lime juice while stirring continuously. You’ll notice the milk curdling as you stir.
  2. Once the milk has successfully curdled, carefully transfer it into a bowl that has been lined with a delicate cotton napkin or muslin cloth. Proceed to gently squeeze out any residual whey, and be sure to save this whey for future use.
  3. Semolina (3 tablespoons) Semolina, often referred to as sooji, adds a delightful texture to our Chhena Poda.
  4. Sugar (1 cup) The sweetness of sugar is crucial to achieving the perfect balance of flavors in this dessert.
  5. Brown Sugar or Jaggery (½ cup) For that authentic Odia touch, use brown sugar or jaggery (known as guda) to infuse a unique flavor and color.
  6. Cardamom Powder (1 teaspoon) Gujarati cardamom powder elevates the taste profile with its aromatic essence.
  7. Roasted Cashew Nuts (8 pieces) Add a delightful crunch to your Chhena Poda with roasted cashew nuts (kaju)
  8. Raisins (15 pieces) Raisins (kismis) provide bursts of sweetness and texture.
  9. Unsalted Butter/Ghee (Optional, 100 grams) For those seeking extra richness, consider adding unsalted butter to the mix.

Now that you have your ingredients in order, let’s proceed to create this delightful Odia dessert.

The Art of Making Chhena Poda

Follow these steps to create Chhena Poda that will transport your taste buds to the heart of Odisha:

Prepare the Batter: In a spacious bowl, combine the ricotta cheese (or homemade chhena), semolina, sugar, and brown sugar or jaggery. Use a hand mixer to blend these ingredients into a smooth batter. If you’re inclined to add a touch of richness, this is the time to introduce the optional unsalted butter. Mix it thoroughly until the batter achieves a uniform consistency. You can add little remaining whey water and prepare a smooth cake batter consistency.

Infuse Flavor: To enhance the aroma and flavor, incorporate the cardamom powder, roasted cashew nuts, and raisins into the batter. These elements will add depth and character to your Chhena Poda.

Preheat the Oven: Ensure your oven is preheated to 350°C (approximately 662°F).

Grease the Container: Grease a suitable baking container with butter to prevent sticking and to impart a delightful flavor to the dessert.

Baking Time: Pour the smooth batter into the greased container and place it in the preheated oven. Allow it to bake for approximately 40-45 minutes at 350°C (662°F) or until the top takes on a lovely dark golden color.

The Final Touch: To achieve that classic “podo” appearance, switch the oven to broil mode for an additional 2-3 minutes. This will give your Chhena Poda the perfect finishing touch.

Cool and Serve: Once done, remove the container from the oven and allow it to cool down. Cover the container with foil during the cooling process to retain moisture. Once cooled, cut the Chhena Poda into pieces and serve.


  • Add sooji/ rawa , ghee and chenna and mix properly till everything incorporates well.

  • In a separate pan fry the broken pieces of cashews and few raisins and add it to the chenna mix and mix it well with a spoon.

  • In a baking pan or a tin, add 1 tbsp of ghee and spread all over in the base.

  • Add sugar and hold the pan or baking tray firmly on the gas top and heat the pan base till the sugar starts to caramelize.

  • Turn off the gas and transfer the chenna mix over the caramelized sugar evenly.

  • Tap the pan to settle the mix well and bake the chenna in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree C for 40-45 mins or till the tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Take out the baked chenna poda and cool it on a wire wrack for 2 hrs approx.


  • Adding brown sugar or jaggery imparts a typical authentic look and taste to your Chhena Poda, enhancing the overall experience.

  • While cooling, always cover the container with foil to preserve the dessert’s delightful moisture.

Now that you’ve mastered the art of making Chhena Poda, savor this traditional Odia delicacy that encapsulates the flavors and warmth of Odisha. Whether you’re in the heart of the state or miles away, you can now relish this sweet masterpiece that celebrates the essence of Odia cuisine. Enjoy! You can use other traditional way to bake the Poda.

Here are some additional tips:

• Use good quality cream cheese. This is the most important ingredient in cheesecake.
• Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature before you start. This will help it blend smoothly.
• Don’t overmix the batter. Overmixing can make the cheesecake tough.
• Be careful not to overbake the cheesecake. An overbaked cheesecake will be dry and crumbly.
• Let the cheesecake cool completely before serving. This will help it set properly.
• You can also add toppings to your cheesecake, such as whipped cream, fruit, or nuts.
• If you’re making a cheesecake in a springform pan, make sure to grease and flour the pan well. This will help prevent the cheesecake from sticking.
• If you’re making a cheesecake in a regular pan, line the pan with parchment paper. This will also help prevent the cheesecake from sticking.
• If you are a pro then you can add different flavors to your cheesecake, such as lemon, chocolate, or fruit.
Cut into slices and serve!