Sunday, August 26, 2007

Chennapoda - Odiya Cheese Cake

It is customary to take sweets as a token of love when visiting friends/relatives back home. Chennapoda is one such common item. It is very popular back home. One of the most authentic Odiya milk-based sweet-dish.

Anytime we travelled between Cuttack and Bhubaneswar on National Highway 5, we used to stop by Pahala village. On the side of the freeway is a set of eating places where they serve fresh rasagolla and chennapoda. A nice detailed article on Pahala sweets is available here. This place has not changed a bit in past years, irrespective of their popularity and demand.

Miss the earthen pots in which they serve the sweets :( In the present age of recycling, aren't these earthen pots real cool? And they add such a nice grandeur and ethnic feeling to the food.

This is a modern version of the age-old recipe adapted to the NRI-Odiya's kitchen. :) I learnt this recipe from my SIL first. After a series of mishaps and experimentation failures, I finally found the correct proportion of the various ingredients. A sweet-dish that you can easily prepare irrespective of the number of people. Just mix everything and let it bake! Here you go...

Ingredients (makes 2 cakes, about 25-30 pieces)

Ricotta cheese - 3 lb
Sweetened Condensed Milk - 14 oz
Light brown sugar - 15 tbsp
Butter - 4 oz (1 stick)
Semolina\Rava - 10 tbsp
Cashewnuts - 1\2 cup or as per your taste
Raisins - 1\2 cup or as per your taste

Melt the butter.

Mix all the above together by spatula. Keep moving the spatula in either clockwise only or anti-clockwise direction only.

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line the baking tray with butter paper or spray on lightly with canola oil before pouring the mixture. Fill the baking tray to 3/4th of its height with the mixture to let it rise. Bake for 1hrs. (2/8/08 -- Better texture if cooked for 1 hr instead of the earlier post requiring 1.5 hrs)

Let the trays remain in the oven for another 10 mins so that the outer crust gets time to burn lightly and become dark-brown in color while the inner stuff remains white.

Poke a knife or pointed edge into the cake. If the knife comes out clean, the cake is ready. Else let it bake for a few more minutes.

Note - Once cold, store in the refrigerator. Before eating, if you want it warm, microwave the piece for a few seconds.


Rajitha said...

what an easy recipe..must try

Tee said...

The cake looks divine...have bookmarked the recipe. :)

TBC said...

That is such a nice cake/sweet. Good to learn a little bit about Oriya cuisine through here.
Thanks for sharing.

Raaga said...

Looks lovely.

Asha said...

Great recipe, I love the cheese cakes in any form:))

Saju said...

Lovely recipe, it is on my list to do. thanks for sharing

Pragyan said...

Rajitha, Tee, TBC, Raaga, Asha, Saju -- Thanks for the lovely comments. You made my day. Do let me know how it turns out. Have a great Labor day break.

Anita Nair said...

Hey, you're from my home town girl! And I did the exact same thing while on NH 5. blink and you miss this tiny village, don't you??

But its been ages since I've been there.

I've bookmarked this recipe for this holiday season.

all the best,

Pragyan said...

Hi Anita, Great to hear from a fellow Bhubaneswar-ite :) I is so easy to miss Pahala! It's still the same, don't worry. Only that I saw it 3 years back..but NH5 has become so so so much better now. Keep visiting. Hope you enjoyed this during the holidays.

SS said...

Wonderful recipe Pragyan, tried it again and loved it!:)

Pragyan said...

Hey Siri - Great to hear from you online! :) Glad you loved it! :)

Divya Pramil said...

Thank you for linking such a yummy recipe to my collection!!!

You have a lovely space!!

Pragyan said...

Thanks, Divya! You have a nice blog too!