A chewy sweet resembling fudge prepared using ripe plantain (long banana/ yetham pazham/ Ethampazham / ethan pazham / nenthram pazham).I tasted it for the first time (as a child) , when Sr. Janet Mary (whom we consider as a great guidance in our family) presented us a pack of Banana halwa from Kerala, then she told us that this is a famous sweet in Tuticorin also. Then it became our favorite next to macaroons of Tuticorin. One can buy this in bakeries of Tuticorin (Thoothukudi), Tamilnadu, India. It will be sold as a circular shape piece of nearly 5 inch dia and 1 cm thickness. The proper color should be more darker than what I got. If you want to get that color add more ghee while making this halwa. I used 1/4 cup butter only, but 1 cup will be good for the authentic taste.
After that mom tried to make it once or twice at home but I am not sure of the recipe. So I referred Mahanandi's Nenthram pazham halwa. It came out well. Thank you dear! (I have made some variations for my convenience, so click the above link to see her beautiful snap and the original recipe).
Ripe plantain (long version) - 4
(pureed to 2.5 cups)
sugar - 1 cup
butter - 1/4 cup (1/2 of a bar)
lemon juice - 1 tsp
All purpose flour / maida - 1 tbsp
water - 2 tbsp
chopped almond or cucumber seeds or cashew - a handful
Method:Steam cook the banana. Peel the skin and remove the seeds. Puree it.
Take a thick bottomed wok, large enough to stir the halwa.
Pour the puree to the wok. Add the sugar, butter, lemon juice and mix well.
Start heating. After sometime the banana will start bubbling, then reduce the heat and stir in medium fire.
After the halwa starts leaving the sides, say in 10 minutes, mix the maida with water and pour over the halwa. This step is optional only. we can do the halwa without maida also.
Then stir continuously for another 10 minutes or till halwa starts becoming thick and tend to form a ball. Now add the nuts and stir well. Put off fire.
Grease a container (lesser height but wide) with a drop of ghee and pour the mixture.
Spread a little ghee on top to prevent drying.
Using a spoon or knife flatten it to get a glossy surface.
Allow it to cool. After cooling the halwa will become more thick and easy to slice.
Slice and serve as dessert.
Banana halwa is ready!
Serving suggestion:If prepared with more ghee (enough to ooze out), this sweet will remain good in room temperature for more than a week.
Serve hot/cold as dessert or snack.