What does ‘C’ stand for? Chhena Jhili!
Yes, today’s blog is about that pure and mouthwatering classic Odia desert made from Chhena (Cottage Cheese) soaked in sugar syrup which one bite literally takes you to another world of gratification. All I can say is that If you are planning to make a visit to Puri- Konark, your trip will be incomplete without tasting the world famous signature sweet dish Chhena Jhili of Nimapada (a small town which lies midway between Bhubaneswar and Konark). Actually Nimapada is the birth place of Chhena Jhili and this sweet recipe was first prepared by a confectioner, named Aartabandhu Sahoo from Shyam sundarpur village of Nimapada. I want to share A to Z about this appetizing dish as I personally belong to Nimapada. Although Konark is my hometown, I had spent 10 long years here in Nimapada (in my Uncle’s house). I really feel proud when my friends invariably ask me about our famous local sweet item Nimapada Chhena Jhili and force me to bring some for them. You’ll find shops selling Chhena Jhili along with other sweet items and snacks all around the town. So whether it’s a sweet-craving, a birthday, a house parties, an anniversary, a festival, a celebration_ in fact almost every time there is some Nimapada Chhena Jhilis in a bowl in our refrigerator. But Warm and soft Chhena Jhili has a separate fan base. I’m personally fond of gobbling it down warm and fresh from the sweet shop.
Compared to other regional Indian cuisines, Odisha is famous for its mouth watering sweets. There is a list of different types of sweet dessert dishes that have solely originated in Odisha such as: Rasagolla, Chhenapoda, Chhena Jhili, Rasabali, Chhena Gaja, Rasmalai, Kheer Sagar, Khher Mohan, Khaja etc. If you notice attentively You’ll find the chief ingredient in all of these dishes is Chhena (Cottage Chhese or Paneer). All knows that Paneer is a rich source of protein as well as tasty too. Therefore, this proves Odias are more concern about the dishes they make which is good for health. Chhena Jhili is a very well liked and traditional cheese dessert from the state of Odisha in the Eastern India . It is mainly a deep fried cottage cheese dish which is soaked in sugar syrup. Talking about world famous Nimapada Chhena Jhili; the actual recipe is a family secret that is still unknown and is being prepared by the heirs of Late Aartabandhu Sahoo. Still Chhena Jhili recipe is fairly simple to whip up and doesn’t consume more time too. Even beginners can easily make this dessert dish at their home and all the ingredients are easily available in market. With the guidance of detailed explanation of each step and tips given below, You will be able to prepare melt in the mouth Chhena Jhili at home in just 30 minutes. Sounds Unbelievable? Then let’s get into it.
- CHHENA JHILI RECIPE:
- Sample Ingredients:
- Chhena/ Cottage Chhese- 400gm (I would recommend using Fresh Chhena instead of store bought Paneer as a substitute )
- Pure Ghee/ Oil-500ml
- Wheat Flour-2 tsp
- Sugar-2 tsp
- Elaichi/ Cardamom Powder- 1/2 tsp
- Rawa/ Semolina-1 tsp
- Pinch Of Salt
- For Sugar Syrup:
- Preparation Time: 30 min
- Methods Of Preparation:
Take a bowl. Make a soft dough by mixing Chhena, wheat flour, semolina, sugar, elaichi powder and a pinch of salt into it.
On a flat surface knead the dough using your palm very well to get a smooth texture. Remember for this recipe, kneading is a very important process which will take approximately 15-20 mins.
Apply little oil in palm. Make small balls out of this dough and flatten these into thick patties. If at that time breaking or cracking occurs, then I would suggest you to knead more.
Now keep these cheese balls separately in a bowl and cover it with a lid for sometimes.
To prepare Sugar Syrup all you need is some Water and Sugar. Take same amount of water and sugar to prepare the sugar syrup. Stir it and boil this for 10 mins to make a thick syrup and now add some cardamom powder to it.
Now take another heating wok filled with Ghee or Oil (Ghee is more recommended) and deep fry the balls until the color turns into beautiful and rich dark brown color.
Once it done, remove it and straightway add it to the hot sugar syrup.
Stir it again and let it soak for 4-5 hours.
You can add some dry fruits and elaichi to garnish it.
Chhena Jhili is all ready to serve. Relish it with your near and dear ones.