Chhena Tarkari 1

Chhena Tarakari is a chhena (cottage cheese) based popular side dish from odia cuisine. Any special celebration or during festival this is a common affair in the menu. The takari can be prepared with or without onion-garlic.

Chhena Tarkari 1

Chhena Tarkari 1

Chhena Tarkari

Chhena Tarakari is a chhena (cottage cheese) based popular side dish from odia cuisine. Any special celebration or during festival, this is a common affair in the menu. The tarkari can be prepared with or without onion-garlic.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Odia
Servings 4


  • cup Chhena
  • 1 tsp Besan (gram flour)
  • 2 no. Potato (boiled)
  • 2 no. Green chili (finely chopped)
  • 1 no. Tomato (roughly chopped)
  • ¼ cup Tomato puree
  • 1 inch Ginger
  • 1-2 no. Whole red chili
  • 2 no. Cardamom pod
  • 1 no. Bay leaf
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 no. Clove
  • ¼ tsp Cumin seed
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala powder
  • ½ tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp Coriander powder
  • Oil as needed
  • Salt as needed
  • Water as needed


  • In a blender jar, put the roughly chopped tomatoes along with cloves, cinnamon stick, ginger, whole red chili.
    Make a smooth paste without adding water. Keep aside.
  • Take the soft chhena (homemade or store bought) in a mixing bowl and gently crumble it.
  • Add gram flour (besan) and knead to make a smooth and soft dough.
  • Then add salt, finely chopped green chilies and knead again till everything well incorporated.
  • Take 1 tbsp of the dough and shape into ball and then slightly flatten to give a tikki shape. Here I have given the heart shape.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan to shallow fry the chhena tikki.
  • Make some more tikkis from the dough. Keep aside.
  • Shallow fry the chhena tikkis in batches till light brown from all the sides.
  • Transfer the tikkies to a plate lined with parchment paper.
  • Now take the boiled potatoes, slice into 1 inch thick and then cut into heart shapes using a heart mold. This step is optional, I did this to match the chhena tikki shape. Usually chhena are shaped as 1 inch balls or tikkis and potatoes are cut into cubes.
  • Shallow fry the potatoes. This step is optional too.
  • Keep aside the fried potatoes in a plate.
  • Now add 1 tbsp oil into the same pan.
  • Add 1 cardamom pod, cumin seeds and sauté.
  • When the seeds start to splutter, add in the tomato paste.
  • Sauté over low heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder and tomato puree.
  • Mix everything and allow the whole masala to cook well.
  • When the oil starts to ooze out from the masala paste, pour 1-2 cups warm water (depends upon the consistency of the chhena curry, add less or more as per the need).
  • Give a stir and then put the fried potatoes.
  • Cover the pan and cook till potatoes are well done.
  • After that, gently add all the fried chhena and cook for 1 minute without covering the pan.
  • Soon the chhena tikkis'll absorb the masala and swell a bit.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Crush the other cardamom pod and sprinkle over the curry.
  • Serve this chhena tarkari hot as a side dish with roti or rice !


  • Besan acts as a binding agent. This can be omitted. Just make one tikki and shallow fry. If it doesn’t break, then it is ok. Else add besan and knead again.
  • Adding green chilies to the chhena dough is completely optional. My family like this way.
  • Always knead the chhena to a soft dough, but also do not over kneading the chhena.
  • I have used homemade chhena. Do check the recipe of making chhena at home.
  • The chhena tikkies can be shallow fried or even deep fried.
  • Frying the potatoes is completely optional.
  • Adjust the spiciness as desired.
  • The chhena tikkis become soft after cooking in the gravy. So be careful while serving, else they break.
  • This recipe can be prepared with or without onion-garlic. Here the version is without onion-garlic one.
Keyword Chhena, Festival Recipe, No Onion No Garlic Recipe, Odia Side Dish



Hey there !

Myself Sasmita, a techie turns to a food blogger which is reflected in this space.

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  1. Swati

    5 stars
    Chenna tarkari sounds such a flavorful festive dish.. the gravy looks so rich.. I will love to try it for some special occasion or the upcoming festivities. Such a detailed and well explained post.

  2. Sujata Roy

    5 stars
    I love all the dishes of Odisha cuisine. This chena tarkari is similar to chhanar dalna. Loved your version. Chhena tarkari sounds absolutely delicious and flavorful. I would love to have it bowlful on its own.

  3. Poonam Bachhav

    5 stars
    I am in love with the Odia Cuisine, all thanks to you. This satvik Cheena Tarkari looks so rich and full of flavors from the aromatic spices used. I would definitely love giving it a try.

  4. Preethicuisine

    5 stars
    Chena tarkari sounds so festive Sasmita. Delicious and flavourful gluten free curry for any occasion. Love this no onion no garlic recipe. Very well explained.Would love to try this recipe.

  5. The Girl Next Door

    5 stars
    I tasted the Bengali version of this dish when we visited Kolkata and absolutely loved it. I’m sure I will love this Odia version as well.

    It looks so very flavourful! With the various spices and fresh chhena going in, it must definitely be a beautiful treat.

  6. Priya Vj

    5 stars
    i love how Odia and Bengali Cuisine make use of chenna is various recipes . Also that most of the recipes are Saatvik is a perfect upside . Will try this recipe soon .

  7. Riya

    5 stars
    Oh, it was such a delight to read your blog of this cuisine. thanku so much to share this, you gave it to people of different cultures and kind of passed the traditional art😊
    I came to your blog by reading of a drink that’s a prasad in jaganath (made with fermented rice) tanka torani..

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