Chenna Poda To Mysore Pak: Indian Desserts That Were Created By Accident
Image Credit: Chenna poda is often called the Indian cheesecake

It is one thing to execute a dish flawlessly from start to finish and another to make a doomed dish dazzle. You are bound to err in the kitchen, no matter how experienced you are. But not all these accidents need to be as tragic; sometimes, they can give you a dish even more memorable than what you initially set out for. Presenting purely desi and delectable desserts that’ll make you believe in serendipities.

India's Very Own Cheesecake Chenna Poda Took Birth Because Of Burnt Chenna

Often dubbed as India’s original cheesecake, Chenna Poda is an Indian dessert made with chenna or cottage cheese. Chenna, like paneer, is derived by curdling of milk, ‘poda’ on the other hand, refers to anything that is ‘burnt’. By 20th century, chenna had become a favourite among the sweet makers of Orissa and Bengal. It is said that somewhere in 1940’s, Sudarshan Sadu, a renowned confectioner of Nayagarh, Orissa, accidentally left sweet chenna on hot flame. He got too occupied and forgot about his chenna for a few hours, when he came back, he tasted the chenna that was now charred and black on the surface and liked its taste. He developed the dessert and gave us what we know as Chenna Poda today.  

The Original Creator Of Mysore Pak Was Embarrassed To Serve It Because...

Also called Nalapaka, the legend of Mysore Pak may seem like a scene straight out of a fairytale or folklore. So once upon a time, Krishna Raja, the king of Mysore asked Madappa or the Riyal chef to make him a unique dessert. The chef took upon the challenge and mixed besan, ghee, sugar and cardamom to make a delectable sweet dish which was supposed to be slightly liquidy in consistency. However, when the busy king got a chance to grab a bite of the dessert, the liquid cooled down to a golden, silky fudge. The chef was rather embarrassed by it, and wanted the dish to be replaced immediately. However, the king had different thoughts. He loved the dessert so much, he asked for his name. The nervous chef blurted ‘Mysore Pak’ (‘Pak’ means a kind of sweet). And ever since then, Mysore Pak continues to be one of the most beloved Indian sweetmeats.

Embracing The Dark Side With Kalakand

Call it Kalakand or Alwar ka milk cake, but the soft, fudgy sweet will make room in your heart in the very first bite. Baba Thakur Das Ji, a famous confectioner from Dera Ismail Khan Gaon in Pakistan had to migrate to India after partition. He set shop in Alwar, and created quite a stir with his milkcakes or kalakand. The legend goes, that the sweet wasn’t conceived in a fancy kitchen but on a footpath, by accident. Baba Thakur put the milk to boil and it curdled. When it thickened more than usual, he filled it in a  mould. When he demoulded the sweet and tried cutting it into pieces, and noticed a brown centre. Upon being asked about what happened, he famously said, that it is ‘kala’ or black, indicating that it may have burnt. Ever since then the sweet came to be known as Kalakand.