Preserving ripe Banana for Payasa/ Prathama

Banana Prathama or Balehannu Payasa is a traditional Kerala recipe and usually found in Onam Sadya(meal).  Basically it is made with a banana variety called Nendran which is big in size. The raw nendra banana is hugely used in making of chips which is a tasty snack.
The banana prathama or payasam can be done using any other variety and tastes good too. The Nendra banana payasa has distinct color & taste but!
We had a lot of over ripe bananas on this Srikrishna Janmashtami. So I just used them in making this payasam and it turned out very good.  There were 3-4 varieties of banana and mixed all of them. This payasa has two phases in its preparation.
  1. Cooking bananas to halwa consistency. It can be stored for long time refrigerated.
  2. Preparing payasa
Preserving banana & jackfruit when available in larger quantity is basically signature recipe of coastal Karnataka & Malnad region. Even if banana is not a seasonal fruit like Jackfruit, people preserve it just to avoid wasting when over ripened! It usually happens after festivals or any celebration. Bananas remain unused and end up in making of halwa or preserving in the form of halwa. This post focuses on process of preserving/ cooking banana before preparing payasa!

Preserved banana

Check for other recipes using ripe bananas such as BananaBuns, Banana Rasayana, Banana Bread, Banana/ balehannu dosa, Ripe banana Soup

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Ripe Bananas – 20 (small), 2-3 (if Nendra variety)
Sugar – ½ cup
Ghee - 2 tbsp

  • Peel off banana, mash and take them in a thick bottomed kadai/ pan.
  • Add 1 tbsp ghee and keep it on stove for heating.
  • Add sugar to the same. Keep stirring in between in order to avoid burning. Do this on low to medium flame.
  • When, the mixture starts thickening, and if you feel like it sticks to the pan, add remaining ghee & continue stirring.
  • It is done when colour turns to brown & it starts leaving the sides of the pan. Switch off the stove when it reaches this stage.
  • It will take about 20 to 30 minutes in total.
  • It is fine if you stop little early, but taste & flavour enhances as it is done completely.
  • Set aside and let it to cool down and come to room temperature.
  • The payasam can be prepared immediately. You can store it in air tight container and refrigerated or deep freezer for few months.
  • Take out from the freezer and use as and when required to prepare payasa. Look for the recipe of Banana payasa or Balehannu Prathama here.

Balehannu Perati

  • Sugar can be replaced by jaggery.
  • Jackfruit can be used instead of banana, which is nothing but Perati/ Berati.


  1. Chennagide .Idannu belladalli maadabahude?

  2. If using jaggery what is the proportion?

    1. In this case use little more than sugar. Say 3/4 to 1 cup.. You can adjust the sweetness while making payasa later by adding jaggery as required. hope you got it..


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