Chenna poda/Chhena poda is an utterly delicious cheese dessert from Odisha. It is one of the typical and unique of its kind Odia Dessert for its making process. It is basically the roasted/baked form of the cheese in a special way. Chhena poda is known as one of the Indian Odia dessert whose flavor is predominantly derived from the caramelization of sugar.

It is also said that Chhena poda is the favorite sweet of Mahaprabhu Jagannath. Chena poda is available in almost every sweet shop across Odisha.

Chhena poda originated in the Odia village of Dasapalla, Nayagarh in the first half of the twentieth century. Basically, the man behind this dessert, Sudarshan Sahu calls it as an accidental invention. He used to run a confectionery near Kacheri road, Nayagarh those days for a living. One day he had left with some cottage cheese (Chhena) while closing his shop. So decided to try something unique and new, which he has never done with his dessert making. He added some sugar and seasonings (Cardamom, cashews) and mixed them well. Then he put them in a bowl (dekchi) and left it on Chulha (Soil Stove) that was still warm from earlier use on that day. The next day, he was delectably surprised to find out what an exquisitely delicious dessert he had created. Then he gave his family and friends to taste the invented dessert and to his surprise everyone just loved it and requested him to make it again. Then to make the dessert evenly roasted and to keep flavors intact he started to wrap them in Sal leaf and place them in Dekchi. And the process continues till date.

It will not be wrong if we call Mr. Sudarshan Sahu as the father of ChhenaPoda. He had served his handmade ChhenaPoda to the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Chief Minister of Odisha, Prabada Purusha Biju Patnaik too. And got great appreciation for the same. To mark his Birthday, ChhenaPoda Dibasa will be celebrated on 11th of April from this year (2022) for this beautiful invention of the delicious Dessert. And it will be a justified tribute to Late Sudarshan Sahu.


  • Chenna squeezed (freshly curdled cottage cheese) – 1 kg
  • Suji / Semolina– 1/2 cup
  • Sugar – 2 cups
  • Ghee – 3 tbsp
  • Milk – 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
  • Raisins – 1/2 cup
  • Cashew nuts – 1/2 cup (Broken pieces)


  • Take fresh paneer or homemade chhena in a bowl and mash it well with hands.
  • Add powdered sugar and cardamom powder to the mashed Chhena and mix them all together thoroughly.
  • Add Suji/rawa, ghee and milk too and mix them properly till everything incorporates well.
  • In a separate pan fry the broken pieces of cashews and few raisins and add it to the chhena mixture as well.
  • In a baking pan add 1 tablespoon of ghee and spread all over the base.
  • Add sugar and hold the pan or baking tray firmly over the gas top and heat the pan base till the sugar starts to caramelize.
  • Turn off the gas and transfer the chhena mix over the caramelized sugar evenly.
  • Tap the pan to settle down the mixture well and bake the chhena in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree C for 40-45 mins.
  • A toothpick test can be done to check if properly baked or not. Insert a toothpick to the ChhenaPoda. If it comes out clean, then the baking process is completed.
  • Take out the baked chhena poda and cool it on room temperature for 2 hours approximately.
  • Hold the pan upside down over a serving tray and remove the chhena poda carefully.
  • Cut into slices and serve.

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