Poda Pitha

Poda pitha (Cake with burnt flavour) is a type of cake that is mostly prepared during Raja festival in Odisha. There are different types of poda pitha being prepared from different combinations of ingredients.

There is one type that is prepared using the regular dosa batter (rice and split black gram batter) as a base and then another type where cooked rice flour is used as the base. Here I have explained the latter one.

Traditionally in villages, podapitha is baked using stove (chulha) that uses coal/wood. After placing the batter pan over stove, it’s covered and the cover is layered with burning coal. This gives both top and bottom of the cake a nicely burnt crust. Hence the name.

However these days it’s prepared using oven. Read on to know the recipe here.

Ingredients:

  1. Rice flour – 1.5 cup
  2. Jaggery powder – 2 cups (can be adjusted as per taste)
  3. Ghee or Clarified butter – 2 tbsp
  4. Bay leaf – 1 (torn into big pieces)
  5. Cashew nuts – 10 to 12
  6. Raisins – 10 to 12
  7. Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
  8. Crushed black pepper – 2 tsp
  9. Descicated coconut powder – half cup
  10. Fresh coconut cut into small pieces – 10 to 13
  11. Water – 2 cups

Method of preparation:

  1. In a pan take ghee and add bay leaves, cashew nuts, raisins and coconut pieces once the ghee is slightly hot. 
  2. Once the nuts are slightly brown, add descicated coconut powder (freshly grated coconut can also be used).  
  3. Roast for 30-40 seconds. Add jaggery powder. 
  4. Again roast for few more seconds and then add cardamom powder and crushed black pepper. 
  5. Then add water. Let all the jaggery melt and mix properly in the water. 
  6. Then add rice flour little by little with continuous stirring so that no lumps are formed.
  7. This will gradually become like a thick batter. Then switch off the flame. 
  8. Line a baking pan with butter paper and grease it slightly with ghee. Place the thick batter in the pan and smoothen the surface with flat spatula.
  9. Bake it at 180°c for 30 minutes in pre-heated oven. Time may varie depending on oven performance. 
  10. Take out the podapitha after 30 minutes and unmould it after cools down.
  11. Cut into pieces and our very own podapitha is ready to be served.

Baked Cheesecake

Generally cheesecakes are not baked. But this magical three ingredient cheese cake is a baked one and tastes delicious.

Ingredients:

  1. Ricotta cheese – 300 grams
  2. Sugar – as per taste
  3. Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
  4. Ghee or Clarified butter (for greasing baking pan)

Method of preparation:

  1. Take ricotta cheese in a mixing bowl and whisk lightly till slight grainy smooth texture.
  2. Add sugar (I have used Tata lite powdered sweetener) and cardamom powder. Whisk properly till a cake batter like consistency. If required, a little water can be added for desired consistency.  
  3. Place a butter paper in the baking tin and grease it with little ghee. 
  4. Pour the batter and place another butter paper on top of the batter in order to retain the moisture. 
  5. Bake for around 40 minutes at 150°c. Do check in between as performance of every oven is different.
  6. After 40 minutes, remove the top butter paper and put the cake again in oven in grill mode for another 10 minutes. This will give a nice burnt crust on top. 
  7. Remove from oven, cool and unmould.
  8. Baked cheesecake is ready to be served. 

Sugar Free Rasgolla

Though this East Indian beauty does not need any introduction, please allow me to write wee bit 🙂

Rasgolla is a sweet delicacy prepared from freshly prepared chhena (cottage cheese) by splitting milk. And then boiling the chhena dumplings in light sugar syrup. This is popular through out the country and abroad as well.

This was my first experiment with Rasgolla. So I tried with one litre of milk and instead of sugar, I used sweetener.

There are two steps for preparing Rasgolla.

  1. Preparing chhena
  2. Preparing rasgolla

 

Ingredients:

For chhena

  1. Milk – 1 ltr
  2. Lemon juice (of 2 small lemons)

For Rasgolla

  1. Chhena
  2. Sugar or any sweetner of your choice (as per taste)
  3. Cardamom Powder – 1tsp
  4. Saffron – 3-4 strands
  5. Water – approx 700ml

Method of Preparation:

For chhena

  1. Put the milk for boiling and and add lemon juice to it after around two boils.
  2. Once milk is curdled properly, switch off the flame. Do not let the chhena to be overcooked.
  3. Strain the whey and separate chhena. Put the chhena in a muslin cloth and hang for sometime in order to strain the excess whey. Do not make it completely dry. Let some moisture be there.

For Rasgolla

  1. After drain the excess whey, mash the subtle moist chhena with soft hands. Do not use force.
  2. Mash it for around 10-15 minutes till it becomes soft, glossy and slight greasy.    
  3. Make small round shaped balls out of that mashed chhenna. The balls should not have any cracks.
  4. In a pot, take water and add 6-7 tbsp of sugar free ( I have used Tata lite sugar free here. You may use any sweetener of your choice. Also sugar can be used depending on the desired sweetness).
  5. Put the pot on flame for boiling. Add saffron strands and cardamom Powder.
  6. Once the sugar syrup starts boiling (should not be a thick one), add in the chhena dumplings gently one by one. 
  7. Cover the lid and let it boil over minimum heat. 
  8. Once the dumplings become more than double of their original size, switch off the flame.
  9. Take out the spongy beauties and garnish the way you want (either with dry fruits or little cardamom powder).
  10. These can be kept refrigerated for 4-5 days.