Banana Halwa (Burfi)


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.


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


  • 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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  1. Upsi says:


    You don’t know how much we fought over the last piece and raved about your cooking. You were much discussed and appreciated.

    It was The Perfect halwa.

  2. Happy Cook says:

    Oh I love this Halwa. You are really correct when you say they are famous in kerala too. Actually when ever i go back home, i make sure i have my indulgence in this halwa.

  3. Laavanya says:

    Oh RC.. i totally forgot to wish your son last Friday (remember our kids share the same bday).. 🙂 Please convey my best wishes to him. My daughter has been deliriously happy the past few days in view of that.

    The banana halwa looks smashing and the colour is just awesome.

  4. Ramya says:

    Halwa looks awesome. I always ended up making banana milk shake whenever there were over ripe bananas. Shall try your recipe next time.

  5. Soma says:

    Wow.. never heard of banana halwa . They look so good . How does it get that color? caramalezied sugar?

    all my ripe bananas go into banana shake for my dear hubby, or banana bread.

  6. Madhuram says:

    I have never tasted this RC. I also make the carrot cake with bananas when I have over ripe ones. But like your son I’m also bored and since you have mentioned that the halwa doesn’t taste anything like bananas I can’t wait until my bananas turn ripe. The slices of halwa look picture perfect.

    Also belated birthday wishes to your son.

  7. redchillies says:

    Thank you all very much for the warm comments.

    Soma, the bananas themselves turn into the color. It is amazing the way the color gets transformed.

  8. PG says:

    Ditto! This could have been my 3 year old too! I try to motivate him to eat it saying Do you want to et it like mowgli (sliced) or Balu (holding it in his hand). I have been telling him stories of them since he was 1 1/2 or so, at bed time, -but it is not the same version as the real story! It does not always work, but sometimes….
    Wow! I had never eaten banana halwa. That’s surely a great idea. Now I know what to do when I have a couple too many banans left. Wonderful! Now, 45 minutes is not that much time for a halwa. I thought more than an hour. I might think of doing it in the oven though.

  9. Supriya says:

    Nice to see your blog too. I love this halwa and it is in my next to do list :)) Your appe kadhai recipes are very creative. Low fat recipes look very tempting!

  10. Lisha says:

    Sorry I cant believe the picture you have given is of banana halwa. i tried twice. Both end up in somewhat brownish yellow yet tasty. Please tell me which banana I have to use(I am in India).

  11. REENA says:

    Hi, I tried it but mine turned too hard. The color is beautiful. Actually I used 4 bananas and it turned into mass at 12 minutes- but I left it there waiting for 35 mintues to be over- but I still took it out little early .It is like stone and too sugary-I did not measure the sugar. Thankyou anyway – Iwill try again

  12. REENA says:

    I forgot one more thing. the halwa mixture is hard – Iam unable to clean the pot and the spoon.

    Reena, sorry that it did not turn out as expected. Since you used 4 bananas, I am sure you reduced the quantity of sugar.
    Also this requires constant stirring, especially after 15 minutes. Otherwise it turns hard (left on it’s own). Hope it works out for you the next time.

  13. Amy says:

    To the above comments by Reena, I had similar problem as Reena. My banana halwa turn out to be hard too. I used 4 bananas instead of 5 but I never reduced the sugar. I follow the recipe constant stirring, especially after 15 minutes stirring all the time, non-stop. It was already gooey (sticky) towards the end of cooking. I removed from heat and transferred to a plate greased with oil. The oil grease don’t help … the banana halwa hardened and stuck to the plate. I unable to remove the halwa and unable to wash the plate. Even soaking with baking soda, hot water and detergent don’t help to remove the hardened halwa from the plate. I have to throw everything away … halwa and plate. As for the cooking pan, I have to boil it with baking soda and that too have a dificult time cleaning it.

  14. redchillies says:

    Amy, sorry that this did not turn out well for you. It takes atleast 35-40 minutes of stirring the mixture before transferring it to plate. If we even reduce the stirring for a bit, then it will stick to the cooking pan. A little greasing at that time would help.

  15. Amy says:

    I did stir non-stop after the first 15 minutes up to the last 35 minutes stir continuosly non-stop following your reply to Rena that it requires constant stirring, especially after 15 minutes until the end (35 minutes).
    In the initial stage, I stir the mixture at regular intervals. I followed almost every step. Therefore I could not undersand where I go wrong.

  16. redchillies says:

    Dear Amy, sorry, but I am still wondering if there was constant stirring, how did it stick to the pan ? After it becomes little bit hard then we need to transfer it to a plate. Hope it turns out well the next time.

  17. Amy says:

    Thanks for the info that I should transfer it to a plate when it becomes a little bit hard. Will do it next time.

  18. Sandhya says:

    Dear RC,
    Super success..Loved it. The colour was a tad lighter than urs tho but taste was fabulous.

  19. Shumaila says:

    Hi RC,

    I made your halwa yday. The taste was great! My problem is that it became sticky and gooey after it cooled down. It didnt become a proper solid mass like yours, i could not even slice through them properly cause it kept sticking to the knife. What went wrong? Help:(

  20. RedChillies says:

    Shumaila, I wonder if it should have been cooked a little bit more. Was the surrounding temperature very hot or just normal? After it is correctly cooked, it usually does not become sticky.

  21. Aquabh says:

    Tried out banana halwa yesterday and it came out really good. I had 11 over ripe bananas. Initially, like Shaumila, the mixture was sticky when I tried to slice it. So I put the mixture back in the pan and cooked it further for about 25 minutes. When the mixture was almost the color as shown in the picture above, I poured it on the greased plate. Result !!! awesome banana halwa. Thanks for this lovely recipe.

  22. JN says:

    Thanks for the recipe. Had a tough time deciding the fate of over-ripe bananas and your recipe came as a life saver. Followed it to the T and its perfect. Great recipe..thanks

  23. Gundu says:


    Thankyou so much for the recipe. I tried it last year, something went wrong with my cooking and the mixture was so hard and stuck to the plate, but the colour came out beautiful! But, I wanted try again, I have been finding your website since yesterday as I see many recipes for this did not find the colour like yours and just now I finally found your website and I am so so hapyy. I am going to try todayor tomorrow.

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