Chanar Jilipi or Chenna Jhilapi or you can also call it as Paneer Jalebi is a sweet made out of fresh cottage cheese i.e Chenna. Though this sweet mainly belongs to Bengal,it is also available in eastern part of Odisha.
Being from Odisha, my love for sweets made out of fresh cottage is pretty obvious. In Odisha, one can find sweets are predominantly made out of chenna. Chenna Poda ( which means Burnt Cottage Cheese ), Pahala Rasogolla, Chenna Gaja, Chena Jhili , Rasabali, Kheera to name a few. I have a sweet tooth. And these sweets are my extreme weakness. I could trade any other desserts for these sweets.
A few days back while having a casual chat with my cook (who happened to be a Bengali), I told her how much I love these sweets. We started talking about the preparation of few of them. She and her husband used to have a small shop couple of years back and they used to sell some Bengali delicacies. Then I told her How i used have this sweet called Chenna Jhilapi during my short stay in Bhubaneswar 12 years back. I haven’t got a chance to have these since then.
From her I got to know how this sweet is losing its presence now a days. And then she told, they prepare chennar jilipi very often at home during special occasions. She obiliged to share the recipe with me.
Here I have used khoya but it is optional. She told few people use milk powder too. Sooji / rava is also used instead of maida as a binding agent in some recipes too.
If want to know whether you can use store bought paneer, yes absolutely you can. But I would strongly recommend fresh home made paneer. Nothing can beat fresh chenna.