1 to 2teaspoonsGhee or as needed for greasing tray/pan
Firstly line a baking pan with some chopped banana leaves. Grease the banana leaves with some ghee.
You can also use butter paper or parchment paper instead of banana leaves. Or you can skip everything and just grease the pan with ghee on all sides.
Also preheat oven at 180 degrees celsius for 15 minutes.
making chhena poda mixture
Then take the 250 grams fresh paneer or chenna and crumble it very well.
Then add ½ cup sugar. You can also use ½ cup jaggery powder instead of sugar.
With clean hands mix sugar with the chenna.
Then continue to mash and knead the paneer or chenna like the way you would knead a chapati dough.
The paneer mixture has to become loose, light and with a cake batter like consistency. The more light and softer the consistency, the better the chhena poda tastes.
I have not added any milk or water. In case the mixture looks dry, then you can add a few tablespoons of milk or water. Some amount of fat is released while mashing chenna and thats fine.
Once you get a cake batter like consistency in the paneer mixture, then add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder and ½ tablespoon rice flour. Optionally a pinch of baking soda can also be added, but does not make any difference. Instead of rice flour, you can also use fine rava (sooji). Some chopped dry fruits like cashews, almonds and raisins can also be added.
baking chhena poda
Pour the chhena poda mixture in the pan. Shake the pan gently so that the chenna poda mixture spreads evenly. Level the top with a spatula.
Place the pan in the oven and bake chena poda for 30 to 45 minutes. If using otg, use the toast mode and keep pan in the center. Bake chena poda till the top crust gets a dark golden color. Oven times vary, so do keep a check. In some ovens this paneer cake can even take less time. I am giving an average time that will work for most ovens.
Remove from the oven once done.
Then check with a bamboo skewer or toothpick and it should be clean. There should be no sticky batter on the toothpick.
Let the paneer cake cool completely in the pan. Then remove it.
You can slice and then serve chenna poda. Leftover can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.
Serve chhena poda as dessert after meals or as a sweet snack.
The recipe can be easily halved, doubled or tripled.