Chenna poda |ଛେନାପୋଡ଼ is a cheese dessert from the state of Odisha in eastern India. Chenna poda literally means Roasted Cheese in Odia. It is made of well-kneaded homemade fresh cheese chenna, sugar, cashew nuts and raisins, and is baked for several hours until it browns. Chenna poda is the only well known Indian dessert whose flavor is predominantly derived from the caramelisation of sugar. Chhena poda is usually made at home during traditional festivals in Odisha, such as Durga Puja. It is also served in small traditional roadside stalls and confectioneries throughout the state along with other delicacies such as rasagolla. Since the mid-1980s, it has gradually found its place in restaurant menus across Odisha. After losing out to another traditional Odia sweet, rasagolla to West Bengal, the Odisha Milk Federation is investing heavily in mass-producing and popularizing this delicacy, determined not to let this happen again.
It is said that chennapoda originated in the Odia town of Nayagarh in the first half of the twentieth century. The owner of a confectionery, a certain Sudarshana Sahoo decided to add sugar and seasonings to leftover cottage cheese one night, and left 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. Today, it is also made in West Bengal and elsewhere in India. Also it is a very famous and popular desert in coastal Odisha, India. [ source – Wikipedia ]