Banana halwa is a traditional sweet from the Coastal Karnataka & Kerala where varieties of bananas are grown and available abundantly. This is a best way to finish overripe bananas, hence going to the category of zerowaste dish. Halwa tastes the best if made with overripe bananas.
In Kerala this halwa is made with Nendran variety and a must have in Onam Sadhya menu. This can be made any other sweeter varieties of bananas such as Kadali/elakki (small) banana, Cavendish/ Pache baaLe, Nendran, Karpoora/ Giant governor (this give wonderful taste, color too like nendran)… Also the quality, color & sweetness of the halwa depends on the variety and how ripe banana you use. Though banana is little less ripe, halwa will turn little sour.
Basically this halwa requires muscle power to cook (I hope you got it right), in a microwave it can be quickly made too. I prefer making it on a stove top, but rarely go to microwave tooJ
Now let us look at the recipe part, where the ingredients list is very short in fact. This is originally made with just 3 ingredients banana, sugar, ghee and additionally you can add cardamom & cashews for the enhanced taste & texture. You can vary the sugar measure depending on your liking. My mom’s tip is, reduced sugar level will call for additional time in making halwa.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time 1.5 -2 hours
banana – 1 kg
Sugar – ½ kg or little more (you can reduce too, but time taken will be more)
Ghee – ¼ cup
Cardamom powder – ½ tsp (optional)
Cashew chunks – 2-3 tbsp (gives nice taste to the halwa)
- Peel bananas and discard the skin.
- Slice them roughly and puree well using a mixer / food processor.
- Heat a thick bottomed wok/ kadai, add 4 tbsp ghee and pureed banana to it.
- Add sugar.
- Keep stirring frequently to avoid sticking & burning of banana.
- Initially you need to stir occasionally.
- After 30, 40 minutes of cooking you need to stir more frequently.
- When the mixture becomes more and more sticky and you feel it is hard to stir, then start adding little by little ghee in batches and continue stirring.
- When halwa starts leaving the sides of vessel even without adding ghee, add cashews & cardamom.
- Switch off the heat when it is no more sticking to your palm when you take a small ball of the halwa.
- Transfer it to a pre-greased tray/ plate.
- Set aside until halwa cools down completely.
- Cut into pieces of desired shape & size.
- Enjoy halwa to 15-20 days if stored in an airtight container.
- Use overripe bananas for better taste.
- You can replace sugar with jaggery, I use sugar same way how it was made originally.
- If you have less time to make halwa when banana is ready, then you can make all the preparation, cook banana puree with sugar for half an hour and store in freezer. Later when you have leisure time, you can complete the halwa making process.
- You can use any one variety of banana or you can mix multiple too.