I always prepare fresh chena for this dish. Crumble the chena as finely as possible - the finer it is the more uniform the consistency
Add the sugar and the sooji (or maida) and kneed the mixture.
Initially it will come to a dough consistency butas you kneed it more the sugar will pull the water out of the chena and and acquire a consistency more akin to a thick batter. The end point is whe you no longer feel the gritiness of the sugar and batter acquires a uniform consistency.
Mix in the dry fruits if you want them at this point.
Pour into a oven safe dish and bake at 350 °F for about an hour.
The baking times will vary based on the geometry of the dish. So start checking around 40 minutes into the baking time.
To check poke a fork into the middle and see if you come up with syrupy batter still sticking to it if it is clean or hase some syrup but no paneer and the surface has aquired fairly uniform golden brown hue then it is donw.
Take it out of the baking dish and allow it to cool before serving.
Tips and Tricks:
The chena should be a little drier than you would think think appropriate for a dough or a batter.
If there is excess sugar the fork will never come it clean it will always have a layer of syrup (actuall molten candy) sticking to it.
Excess sugar hasn't been a problem in my hands. It melts and runs down to the bottom of the dish and forms candy on cooling
If you go by equal parts by volume rather than equal parts by weight there is a chance of over estimating the sugar.
You can use maida instead of sooji and it comes out just
For a deeper dish extend baking times
Calories 440 Calories from Fat 20
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2 g3.5%
Saturated Fat 0.89 g4.5%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 9.1 mg3%
Sodium 299.4 mg12.5%
Total Carbohydrates 96 g32.1%
Dietary Fiber 0.12 g0.47%
Sugars 94 g
Protein 11 g22.2%
Vitamin A 1.3% Vitamin C
Calcium 8.4% Iron 1%
*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet