Cooking Spells

toil and trouble free yummylicious vegetarian concoctions

Banana Halwa/Halva/Pudding

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DSC_4271Yesterday I was in dire need of a warm hug- from the inside that is.  That translates to – “I need some comfort food.”   Cold overripe bananas stared at me and I cringed at the thought of having to trash them.  I don’t know anyone who would crave boring cold fruit when sick with a cold, but I didn’t want to be besieged by guilt of throwing them out either.  Images of ooey gooey goodness of brown sugar and cinnamon flashed across my mind mixed in with troubling images of overripe bananas making their way to a plant bed.  And then I had it!!! My aaahaaa moment!!!  Just the inspiration I was looking for. I remember when Yesh (my husband) had visited me for the first time in India in the year 1995.  He had cooked up some sliced bananas in butter and drizzled them with ground white sugar and honey.  Everyone stood around at a safe distance watching him work his way in the kitchen. I automatically got assigned the role of sous chef.  Our household help (Arti I believe her name was) couldn’t stop blushing and giggling at the sight of this strange Indian who spoke no Hindi.  Several spatulas, blenders and a sugary mess later we had it-sliced bananas cooked in butter and drizzled with ground white sugar and honey. That AHAA moment and the flashing images in my mind produced today’s ultimate goodness. So here it is –my concoction for a cold, dreary sick day – BANANA HALWA with TOASTED ALMONDS.
  • 2 large ripe bananas sliced
  • 2 tbsp sliced almonds
  • Butter or Ghee 3 tbsp
  • 4  tablespoons brown sugar packed
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder or to taste

In a wide iron skillet or non stick pan, melt and heat 1 tablespoon butter or ghee.

Work on low to medium heat to keep the butter from turning brown.

Add the sliced almonds and toast until golden brown.  This should take no more than 3 minutes.

Reduce the heat completely and remove the toasted almonds from pan into a separate bowl.

To the same pan add ½ tablespoon of butter, slightly increase the heat to melt and warm the butter

Add the sliced bananas. Use a spatula to toss the banana slices. Try to get them to be a slightly golden color. Increase heat to medium or medium high. At this point some of the slices will start to loose their shape which is normal. Remove in a separate bowl.

In the same pan add 1 and 1/2  tablespoons of butter and heat.

Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and stir till well till dissolved.

Add the golden bananas to the brown sugar sauce and carefully mix to coat the the slices.

Turn up heat to medium high, stirring occasionally.

Once the mixture starts sizzling, continue to cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.

Place some banana pudding /halva in a dessert bowl. Sprinkle with the almonds and enjoy right away.

You may also serve with a small dollop of vanilla ice cream if desired.

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