Banana Halwa (Kele Halvo)

banana halwa

Wish you all a very happy Diwali.

We are having a quiet Diwali here. I kept thinking what to make for this festival. V was traveling first few days of the week and that meant I was alone with a very active 3 and half year old. Then there was Halloween which the child was very excited about, thanks to his school.  No one has a sweet tooth at my home, when I made few sweets for Ganesh festival and Krishnashtami this year, they sat in fridge for a long time!. So I hesitate to make anything. I munched on my corn flakes chivda when I wanted to eat something festive.

Then yesterday a friend sent a bunch of bananas which were slightly overripe. She mentioned about banana halwa. Usually, when I have overripe bananas, I make a cake or buns. I couldn’t have used up so many bananas making cake or buns. So I decided to try out banana halwa. I asked aayi for the recipe and she gave me this. The halwa came out really good, better than I expected. I used little less sugar than aayi mentioned because I did not want the halwas to be overly sweet. I would have loved a lighter color, but oh well, in my books taste matters more than the look. I took the mixture out and tried cutting them when they were cooled. But it was a little bit wet, so kept it back to heat again, I think that also contributed to dark color! The kind of bananas also matters, I have seen halwas from very light color to black.

Ingredients:
3 cups mashed overripe bananas (I used 6 big bananas)
2 cups sugar
1 tbl spn ghee + some more for greasing the pan
1 tbl spn cashews (optional)
Sliced almonds for decoration (optional)
1/2 tea spn cardamom powder

Method:
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Peel and mash the bananas with a potato masher (or grind them in a mixer).
Take the mashed bananas and sugar in a thick bottomed pan and heat it on medium high. Add the ghee. Make sure to stir it once in a while. The mixture sticks to bottom if enough care is not taken.
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When it gets dry, it starts sticking to bottom and you have to keep mixing it.
It took me little over 1 and 1/2 hours since I kept the heat either on medium or medium low. I had to stay near the stove for the last 20mins or so.
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Let it cook down till the mixture looks dry and ghee starts separating on the side.  Add cashews, cardamom and take off the heat. Mix everything well.
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Grease a tray/plate with generous amount of ghee. Pour the mixture over it and smooth the top with a spoon/rolling pin greased with ghee.
When it cools down, cut it into desired shapes. Remove the pieces slowly and press down the sides to give a shape. Decorate with sliced almonds.

Makes about 15-18 pieces

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