banana_halwa

It happened yet again this weekend. I had so many of those over ripe bananas languishing on my kitchen counter top that the smell and the sight just drover me nuts. I had made eggless banana bread earlier, but the quantity this time as way higher and I was desperately looking for other alternatives.Dear Son in the earlier week had shown keen interest in eating bananas and acted as if it was his new found love. So I was overtly overjoyed and proceeded to bring some extra bananas from the grocery to keep the little one happy. Two days later, the 3 year old decided that he does not like bananas anymore. “I don’t want banana” he declared and made a big face.

That just left me with heaps of over ripe bananas and a big question mark as to what to make of them.  So as expected I went ahead and did some searches on Google and finally settled for this beautiful recipe here for Banana Halwa. I have had this Banana halwa in Bangalore and especially love the ones that are made at Adyar Anand Bhawan a sweetmeat store that specializes in traditional Indian sweets (Mithai). We also carry back boxful of these when we go to Bangalore and relish them here in the US.

In fact, I was surprised when I saw the recipe and the process of making it. I had this perception that it is very complicated and time consuming to prepare. So I was stumped as this seemed very doable and it did not involve too much fat or sugar.

For those unfamiliar with this sweet, it is soft and chewy, not very sweet and does not have any taste of banana when cooked.  I am also told by my dear friend that these are famous in Kerala too. The only draw back with this is it is very time consuming and requires constant stirring on medium flame especially toward the end, else it quickly tends to burn. Making this took me about 45 minutes. Nevertheless the taste is just divine.

This is my contribution to JFI-Sweets hosted by Srivalli of Cooking for all Seasons.

Ingredients:

  • 5 ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup sugar 
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 3 tsp ghee
  • Cashews for garnishing

Method:

  • Mash the bananas using a fork or knife. It does not matter if there are small amounts of banana lumps. This will get cooked eventually.
  • Now take a heavy bottom pan. Heat it to medium and add little ghee and add the mashed bananas to this heated pan.
  • At this stage, stir the mixture at regular intervals making sure that it does not get burnt at the bottom.
  • After about 15 minutes or so add the sugar and little ghee. Continue stirring it till it turns dark brown and it starts leaving the bottom of the pan.
  • After about 35 minutes or so it forms a combined mass with rich brown color.
  • Reduce the flame and add the cardamom powder. Be careful as the mixture sticks to the bottom.
  • Grease a plate with little oil and keep aside. Pour the mixture into this plate, level it and allow it to cool. When its almost cool cut into desired shapes.

 

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