By Srikanta Mohanty: Hundreds of thousands of tourists invariably ask for the local sweet items of the holy place Puri in Odisha. Traditionally, devotees offer umpteen sweet items to their favorite Lord Jagannath as ‘prasad’ and the savory pieces have enjoyed high demand from all those visiting the holy place. Nimapada-the small township in close proximity to Puri- is renowned for its sweet items and snacks. The most exclusive among the available delicacies is Chhena Jhili– a sweet preparation made of Cheese.
“Close your eyes as your teeth dip in to the softy outer of this exquisite sweet item. The taste simply gives you ecstasy. The sugary syrup and toothsome pieces of the sweetmeat literally takes you to another world of indulgence. I tell everyone not to gulp it but eat slowly. You chew it as the taste is all absorbing; it takes your body and mind in a unique ride of enjoyment. Nowhere have you found such a delicacy. It is the ultimate for me at the end of every feast”-says Narendra Behera- a connoisseur of Odia cuisine.
Although this sweet item has enjoyed highest popularity, it does not necessarily follow any complex method of preparation. The basic ingredient is Cheese and rest additives keep on adding to the savor. As the basic ingredient is grated paneer, sugar, cardamom powder, hung curd, baking soda, wheat flour, and sugar syrup are some of the necessities for the delicious Chhena Jhili.
“It’s easy. First take cheese in a bowl. Add sugar, cardamom powder, hung curd, baking soda, and some wheat floor. Mix and knead all the ingredients to make nice balls. Mix sugar in water to create syrup. Then fry the balls deeply moving them in oil. Once those become brownish, take those out on a tissue paper. The last act is you dip the fried balls in sugar syrup. Just leave like that for half an hour. Your hot dish in sweet item ‘Chhena Jhili’ is ready. Keep enjoying”-Smiles Sulochana Rout-the housewife, who takes avid interest in cooking.