Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Banana Halwa (Nenthra Pazham Haluva)

For Independence Day Food Parade, following recipe is contributed by the regular comment poster at “Mahanandi”, always entertaining ‘Kerala Girl (KG)’:

Banana Painting  - From My Home
Oil Painting of Bananas

I have chosen a dish from my hometown – Calicut/Kozhikode (land of Banana chips and Halwas) from Kerala for IDFP. Kerala – the God’s own country is also land of Kera (coconut). To a malayalee, banana or the plantains probably come next to coconut but still it’s importance is written all over the malayalee’s life. Banana is one plant whose every part is useful in one or the other form. In addition to the banana fruit we also eat it’s flowers and the softer inner trunk. The leaves of the banana plant are the less sophisticated version of today’s disposable plates. Traditional Kerala cuisine is incomplete without the pleasant taste of bananas.

Another reason why I have chosen banana as ingredient for this event is I hail from Calicut – the land famous for Calicut Halwa and one of the best halwa’s I have tasted there is banana halwa (a hard jelly like sweet). Calicut is very famous for its sweets and one the famous places in Calicut is Sweet Meat Street (SM Street). It is the busiest street in Calicut and derives its name from the times when the street was lined with sweetmeat stalls. So I thought of celebrating our independence with my favorite sweet – Banana Halwa (Nenthra Pazham Haluva). The recipe source is one of the old recipe books by the great cookbook author Mrs.K.M.Mathew. Here’s the recipe:


Ripe Bananas – 1 and 1/2 Bananas
Sugar – 2 and 1/2 cups
Water – 1/2 cup
Lemon juice – 1/4 cup
Ghee – 3/4 cup
Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp
Cashews roasted or plain – handful for decoration
All purpose flour – 3 tsp


Pressure-cook the bananas until soft. Remove the outer skin and deseed (remove the black layer inside). Mash the bananas to a paste in a food processor or blender.

Make syrup of sugar by dissolving in 1/2 cup of water. It should be of string consistency. When this consistency is reached add the lemon juice and again allow it to reach the same thick consistency. To this add the mashed bananas.

To thicken the halwa, at this stage add flour dissolved in 1/4 cup water. Keep on stirring the mix to attain a thick mass. Add ghee little by little. When this becomes a thick mass add the cardamom powder. Mix well and pour into a pan greased with ghee. Decorate with cashews.
When cool cut and enjoy. This can be stored in refrigerator for a week minimum.

A Toast to our independence with this sweet dish!

Banana Halwa
Banana Halwa for IDFP

~ Guest Post by Kerala Girl (KG)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Bananas,Cashews,Fruits,Mitai,Sugar,Zen (Personal) (Monday August 14, 2006 at 2:21 pm- permalink)
Comments (22)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

22 comments for Banana Halwa (Nenthra Pazham Haluva) »

  1. Thanks a million Indira for taking so much effort. When I sent you the entry I wasnt even sure you would accept this for IDFP but now you have posted as a guest post – thats double happiness for me 🙂

    Comment by Kerala Girl — August 14, 2006 @ 2:43 pm

  2. Dear Kerala Girl: It’s my pleasure and you are quite welcome!
    Thanks again for sending me this beautiful entry for IDFP.

    Comment by Indira — August 14, 2006 @ 2:45 pm

  3. Indira, That’s a very nice picture of your sister with her son.
    Thanks Kerala Girl for this traditional recipe.

    Comment by Krithika — August 14, 2006 @ 3:09 pm

  4. Keral Girl Rocks !!!! Banana Halwa looks just perfect. I am a big fan of Kozhikkodan halwa. Thank you for sharing this with us KG, and thanks a bunch Indira for finally getting her to disclose more about her !!!

    Comment by Archana Thomas — August 14, 2006 @ 3:24 pm

  5. Thanks Krithika and Archana.
    Archana good to know you like Calicut Halwa. Wish we could share all these goodies over internet!!!

    Comment by Kerala Girl — August 14, 2006 @ 5:21 pm

  6. Dear Kerala Girl
    What good excuse do you have for not starting a blog ?? C’mon let us hear that please!

    Comment by InjiPennu — August 14, 2006 @ 5:24 pm

  7. Btw, is it KG’s paitning of bananas?
    Then…thats it Indira, dont host a post for this lazy girl! She has to start a blog!


    Comment by InjiPennu — August 14, 2006 @ 5:30 pm

  8. Banana Halwa..Delicious toast on Indepence day. Thanks keralaGirl.
    Dear Indira..Iam really moved by your noble deed of shaping up a fully functional school. There is nothing valuable than giving education. I wish you every success to be bestowed upon you.
    Btw..What is the name of your sister and her cute son??

    Comment by sudha — August 14, 2006 @ 5:37 pm

  9. Thanks Sudha.
    Ha ha InjiPennu the answer is in your second comment Lazy meeee 🙂 The painting is not mine. Indira did you do that? Forgot to ask. It looks really nice.

    Comment by Kerala girl — August 14, 2006 @ 7:07 pm

  10. I love bananas .Thanks for sharing this recipe.btw can we do this only with nenthrapazham or just any banana?..

    Comment by prema — August 14, 2006 @ 10:40 pm

  11. Happy independence day and Awesome collection indeed…I feel bad that I cd nt send u my entry in time..but still I’m posting my recipe today,which ws actually meant to be sent for the parade !!Keralagirl has made me long for my favourite Calicut halwa…the rubbery sweetness of calicut halwa is something really unique and I can really smell our SM street now in u’r blog…thanx to both of u…

    Comment by shynee — August 15, 2006 @ 3:58 am

  12. Prema, I have heard only Kerala bananas used in halwa. May be it would be difficult to attain the constituency with plantains. Check out for these bananas in Mexican stores or farmers market. Here even Indian stores have a stock of them at times.
    Thanks Shynee.

    Comment by Kerala Girl — August 15, 2006 @ 8:03 am

  13. KG: Nope, it’s a store-bought painting from my home. I took a photo, thought it would suit your post.

    Comment by Indira — August 15, 2006 @ 11:16 am

  14. What a wonderful post,KG..and ur halwa looks delicious..And thanks Indira for letting it happen thru ur blog..

    Comment by Annita — August 15, 2006 @ 1:07 pm

  15. Thanks Indira for posting the painting. Its really nice.
    Thank you Annita

    Comment by Kerala Girl — August 15, 2006 @ 4:42 pm

  16. Those bananas llok like the local ones here in Ecuador. Love the Blog and all the great food. You should really monetize your site with the quantity of visitors you recieve.

    Comment by wine grapes — August 15, 2006 @ 8:14 pm

  17. I love your recipe very much u have done a very
    good job by publishing your recipe on the net and your are also making the recipes of kerela proud please send me some vegetarian recipes at my e mail address i love all the food of kerela especially the black halva of kerela i also love the climate of kerela and all the festivals of kerela and i also celebrate them

    thank u very much may GOD bless u and good luck be with u forever

    Comment by Srikant Sethi — July 21, 2007 @ 11:53 am

  18. I am going to ask my wife Jism will love it!

    been on the look out for this recepie for a while
    and i have been craving for it for a while !!

    Comment by Rooh — October 9, 2007 @ 11:46 am

  19. thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. i made it and it turned out so well. thanq once again.

    Comment by sowjanya — June 9, 2009 @ 4:33 pm

  20. thank you soo much, they sell it at the mount in bandra during the fair, always wanted to know how to make it

    Comment by benson — September 7, 2009 @ 12:07 pm

  21. can you please post the correct recipe for Kozhikodan Halwa. thanku

    Comment by paddu — February 4, 2011 @ 5:56 am

  22. I have to try it . which ripe banana we have to use ? any variety can be used ? ripe banana at the raw stage have to be used ?

    Comment by gomathi — August 7, 2013 @ 9:26 am

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