Friday, 31 July 2015

Banana Halwa (Indian Dessert)

Banana Halwa
In southern part of India different variety of plantins are cultivated. Smaller ones can be as small as 2-3 inches and largest one can be as big as 12 inches also. The color also varies from golden yellow to purple. It was amazing to see so many varieties of banana. The most common one is golsed yellow ripe banana of whoch medium size will vary between 5-6 inches.
Kerela is famous for the variety of bananas savories and desserts. Banana chips and Banana halwa are my favorite. My daughter-in-law who abhors eating ripe banana, loves it only in two forms “banana Cake and Banana Halwa”. Thus I end up getting delicious banana halwa made by her. In fact I learned how to make this great Kerela (Indian) dessert from her. Traditionally it is made in coconut oil but being a North Indian and raised on Mustard oil and Ghee taste I prefer making this halwa in Ghee. Even my daughter-in-law makes it in Ghee, thus the overpowering flavor of coconut oil is eliminated and the dark brown pieces of this dessert is finished before we say let us keep it in fridge for tomorrow.
Vegan banana halwa can be made by replacing Milk by Soy milk and Ghee by coconut oil/Olive oil.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 1.5 Kg Halwa (Approximately)

Nutritional Value (Approx.) of 1.5 kgHalwa 
Energy: 1500 Cal
Total fat: 16.3gm.
Carbs: 290gm.
Cholesterol: 0
Sodium: 11 mg.
Calcium: 100 mg.
Magnesium: 200mg
Phosphorous: 75mg.
Iron 15mg.
Dietary fibers: 35 gm.
Sugar: 150 gm.
Protein: 13 gm.
Potassium: 5 gm.
Apart from this it has vitamin A, Vitamin C and B but cooking does destroy some of the vitamin contents.
The calorific value and fat content can be reduced by using Olive oil instead of ghee.
Ingredients Required For Making Banana-Halwa:
  • 12 Medium Size Ripe bananas (2 kg approximately) Even over ripe will do.
  • 100 gm. Organic jaggery (cane/palm)/To taste
  • 50 gm. Ghee (clarified butter)
  • 10 Green Cardamoms
  • 100 ml. Milk (Full fat/skimmed)
  • 20-25 Cashews
  • 20-25 Almonds
Direction For Making Banana Halwa:
  • Cut 10 almonds 10 cashews finely and keep aside for later use.
  • Soak 10-15 almonds and peel them once soaked nicely. Slit them to two equal halves. Keep aside for later use.
  • Slit the rest of the cashews to half. Keep aside for later use.
  • Peel and mash bananas to soft, uniform, gooey mass. The banana mash will weigh roughly 1.250Kg.
    Mashed Banans
  • In a big bowl take jaggery, Add 100 ml milk and whisk the mixture to dissolve the jaggery and get a thick liquid of jaggery and milk.
Jagger and Milk Mixture
  • Peel the cardamoms and crush the seeds to coarse powder.
  • In a thick bottom wok (I take anodized/non-stick) take 50 gm. Ghee and add the powder of green cardamom. Heat it on medium flame. Cardamom will heat along with the ghee thus most of the flavor of cardamom will come in ghee.
  • Add paste of ripe bananas. Cook on medium flame with constant stirring and scraping from the bottom and sides. After 20-25 minutes the paste will become semi-solid and will leave the bottom and edges of wok.
Banana Mash in Ghee and Cardamom
Just before Jaggery is to be added
  • Add jaggery mixture and mix nicely. Cook on medium flame, with constant stirring, till the mixture becomes dark and leaves the edges of wok. It will take approximately 10-15 min.
Jaggery added to cooked Banana Paste
Just before nuts to be added
  • Add finely cut cashew and almonds to the banana and jaggery mixture and mix.
Nuts added to Halwa
  • Mix nicel and cook for five minutes to bring it to corret consisitency.
Banana halwa ready for shaping.
  • Cool till they come to room temperature before storing them in airtight container.
Banana Halwa
  • This halwa can be stored up to one month also in fridge. In my house it finishes before I say let us store itJ.
  • Halwa before cooling and making balls can be put on a plate and flattened on the plate with spatula. Cover with a cling film and allow it to cool. Then this flattened, cooled halwa can be cut to required shape and size after cooling.
  • Always taste bananas for sweetness and adjust the amount of jaggery accordingly.
  • Taste the halwa before it comes to final stage and if required add jaggery at this stage and cook. Once the halwa is ready more jaggery/sugar cannot be added.
  • If you have over ripe bananas then the best way to use them is to make halwa.
  • Over ripe bananas will require 70-75 gm of jaggery only.
Suggested Variations:
  • Olive oil is a good replacement to coconut oil or ghee. The halwa becomes more nutritive and less fatty.
  • 1/2Teaspoon of cinnamon powder can be added to oil along with the cardamom powder, it lifts the banana halwa to just another level.
  • Jaggery can be replaced with organic brown sugar, but I always prefer palm sugar as it is very nutritive and  imparts lovely color and flavor to the halwa.
  • Vegan Banana halwa can be made using water/soy milk instead of milk and ghee can be replaced by Olive oil.


  1. Tried this banana halwa it came out really tasty. Instead of bringing the banana too thick before adding jaggery i kept it at semi thick consistency state and then added the banana. It came out like Tirunelveli halwa. My husband tasted and said it tastes like Tirunelveli Halwa too. Cool... It was sooo yummy in my tummy.. Thanks for posting this recipe:)

    1. Thank you Fatima Hussain for taking out time and posting the comment.
      I am happy that you and your husband liked the Banana halwa.

  2. Awesome recipe aunty.... Can't imagine that banana could taste so delicious.... I shared this recipe with my mom too and every one who ate it, praised it a lot..... Thanks a ton for sharing......

  3. Thanks a lot Priya. I know how busy you are with your baby yet you taking time out and posting comment to give feed back. Thanks a lot. This recipe is taught to me by Indira my DIL.



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