By Srikanta Mohanty: Nayagarh, the stunning township tucked between Rukhi and Balaram mountains in Odisha has in its vicinity many tourist places. The luscious green surrounding the place gives breathtaking sights of nature and places of pilgrimage. The wonderful Satkosia river gorge and wildlife sanctuaries nearby this town attract picnickers in large number on the occasions of celebration. Presence of umpteen temples, natural spots, and rich wildlife mark a special place for this town on the map of Odisha. Itamati– the rural corner situated at the distance of 6 kilometers from this town has forever stayed a bustling place for business as every type of trading starts from this village.
Like its important place in cultural heritage of Odisha, Nayagarh shares its unique cuisine with the outsiders. The visitors are often curious about the most sought-after in the food stalls of this town.
“If Rasagoolla is the king, I am sure Chhena Poda (burnt cheese) is the sweet queen of sweet items in cuisine. I am sure you make queries about these items as first two preferences for your sweet tooth. I am giving this item so high rating because you fight between the options that whether you want to eat 50 or 100 grams. Finally you decide in favor of the second. The uniqueness of this item is it is available at every corner of Odisha but the one available at Nayagarh is the yummiest one”- explains Sarat Dash- a school teacher at Bhubaneswar.
As the name of this sweet dessert is familiar to one and all cheese, sugar, cashew nut, and raisins are the basics of its composition and the mixed things are baked together for several hours until the color gets brownish. Served cut-pieces give sharp taste of sweetness as people invariably choose it after grunts of a sumptuous eating in a restaurant.
“In the first half of twentieth century, Chhena poda originated in the small township of Nayagarh. It shows the masters in Odia Culinary kept on working on new inventions in the days, when there were no refrigerator, micro-oven, cooking gas and other modern apparatus in cooking. Forget about the innumerable television shows in cooking that keep on showing you about new items in cuisine. Sadly, all of those are poor repetitions the old-sighs Sujata Pradhan-the housewife, who is a voracious reader of books on cooking and makes her best efforts to bring ideas to reality.