Bhubaneswar: The brouhaha over rasagola and its origin is so passé. The syrupy sweetmeat is not the only sweet that defines Odia cuisine; Odisha has an impressive array of desserts in arsenal that can make up for a flavoursome food bucket list for those with a sweet tooth.
HISTORY Channel is currently airing a television series on this coastal state of India, called OMG Odisha where the host has embarked upon an incredible journey of exploring Odisha. In one of the episodes, he is seen talking about a quintessential Odia dessert chhena jilaapi (jalebi made from cheese).
The three-minute video clip shows the preparation of this 500-year-old sweet with chhena (soft fresh cheese) and flour, deep-fried with oil and dipped in thick sugar syrup. He even gets to prepare one chhena jilaapi with the help of the sweet makers.
With over 46K views in a few hours of its release, this post has managed to trigger a debate between Odia and Bengali netizens as to the origin of chhena itself. While many Bengalis claim that this dessert is also one of their own, Odias are quick to point out that chhena-made delicacies are served to Lord Jagannath since time immemorial.