Tuesday, October 16, 2012

(Red) Banana Halwa - Chev vazhai pazha Halwa

Step out of Palakkad (Palghat) station and all you can see is shop after shop, tempting you with different varieties of Halwas (or Haluwa! as they call it) and Chips. Vibrant colors and the rich aroma of ghee - ummm :-)  They make a good combination too - halwa for sweet and chips for something savory.  We always bring back freshly-made Halwa and Chips (especially love the sweet banana chips ;-)) whenever we visit Palakkad.

Bananas and Halwa go hand-in-hand  - both are gooey substances and since bananas are so sweet themselves, we can cut down on the added sugar and still have a great-tasting sweet! In addition, this doesn't take more than 25 minutes (end-to-end) on stove-top and it just tasted awesome even with the minimum amount of ghee I used :-)  I'm very happy with the results and so were my guests!

I didn't plan to use Chev vazhais (Chivappu means Red in Tamil, Chev is derived from it) specifically but I was ecstatic when I spotted them in Bukit Gombak market one day! You can use any bananas to make this Halwa!

Ingredients -

Ripe bananas - 5
Sugar - 80 ml
Ghee - 3 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Cashews - about 12

Method -

  • Peel and mash bananas with a potato masher.

  • In a kadai, heat 1 tsp of ghee and roast cashewnuts. Keep aside. 

  • Add another tsp of ghee and add the banana puree.

  • Stir well for about 12-15 minutes. Take care to ensure that it doesn't stick to the bottom of your kadai/pan.
  • Add 1 tsp of ghee and add all the sugar and mix well with the banana mixture in the kadai.
  • Wait until the banana puree changes to a brown color (பழுப்பு நிறம்). By this time, the whole mixture comes together so well into a mass (see pic below). The glossy effect is due to the caramelization of sugar (we haven't added much ghee, remember?)

  • Reduce the flame and sprinkle cardamom powder.
  • Add ghee-roasted cashewnuts and mix for a minute.
  • Spread on a greased plate and make squares on cooling. 

Yield - I got about six, rather big 2 inch-by-2 inch halwa pieces.


  1. wow this looks delicious ....need to find where you stay in sg ;)

  2. looks so delicious

  3. I like Banana Halwa too, never knew its being served with chips down south. Wondering how it would taste together :)

    Thanks for stepping by my space..

  4. Divya..i am from palakkad :-) And u r soo right abt the Halwa shops near the station..Craving for some banana halwa now:) This version is so slight.. Usually the halwa recipes call for oodles of ghee.I have to try this:-)

  5. Delicious dear..This banana is known for its medicinal uses,yummy halwa:)
    Join my ongoing EP events-Rosemary OR Sesame @ Now Serving

  6. Never tried an halwa like this.looks moist and great

  7. never tried an halwa like this. looks moist and delicious

  8. New recipe to me..Nice way to sneak fruits in our diet and thank you very much for your lovely words dear..

  9. Very delicious halwa...Looks really yum

  10. yummy n inviting..
    happy to follow u...
    would be glad if u follow back :)


  11. I have red bananas growing in my backyard. I tried out the recipe,but even after an hour could not get your consistency,finally added some cornflour, but not as good as yours.

    1. If you'd used more number of bananas, the time will increase proportionately...I hope the fruits were ripe and you mashed them really well. I can't imagine any reason why it would have taken so long for you....:-(


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