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)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Jaggery~Tamarind~Cumin Candy

A food parade without candy, no way!

Here is my contribution to Independence Day Food Parade – a candy from my childhood. The main ingredients are jaggery, tamarind and cumin and the candy tastes sweet, tangy and fragrant. It’s one of those super good, can’t get enough types of candies and often prepared in our homes by loving parents.

This humble village candy is now flying high. You would see this candy often served on domestic flights in India as part of welcome kit at the beginning of the flight. The Hajmola candy they serve in flights is just like this candy and tastes similarly. Main purpose of course is to prevent nausea and jet sickness associated with air travel. Those three natural ingredients have some good ayurvedic properties that are healthy to us, that’s what my grandma says.

The recipe is simple. Jaggery, tamarind pieces, cumin and a pinch of salt – all pounded together in a mortar to smooth paste and then made into small balls. A stick is inserted for a lollipop style candy or wrapped in paper for a stylish presentation. Either way these sweet tangy candies are irresistible and lip smacking good.

Ingredients for the Candy ~ Jaggery, Tamarind and Cumin

Making the Candy ~ Pounding the ingredients together in a stone mortar with a pestle

Sweet, Tangy and Fragrant Candy from India
For the Independence Day Food Parade & For Indian Sweets 101

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Indian Sweets 101,Mitai (Monday August 14, 2006 at 10:49 am- permalink)
Comments (37)

The New Home of Mahanandi: