banana halwa recipe with step by step photos – banana sheera also known as banana halwa is one sweet dish that i have grown up having at most of the puja functions in mumbai. sheera is the marathi term for halwa. in hindi this recipe would be called banana sooji halwa. in english it is akin to banana semolina pudding.
whether it is ganesh puja or satyanarayan puja or devi puja or for any auspicious occasion, halwa or sheera is always made in india.
in bombay, in the community pujas and functions, banana sheera was always made and served as a prasad. prasad means a gift from the divine. it also means food that is first offered to the diety and then served to the devotees.
the sounds of the aarti and bhajans, the fragrance of the incense and garlands, and the taste of the sheera served along with panchamrut is an experience in itself.
even home banana sheera was a regular sweet made once a week by mom. so no wonder i make the banana sheera often with leftover ripe bananas.
i cannot recreate the sounds of the dhols & manjeera (drums & hand cymbals) in my home, but i can lit some diyas and incense sticks and make a good banana sheera.
generally the sheera is made with ghee (clarified butter) and that also lots of ghee. my version is a healthier one as i have used oil and that too less oil. some folks add milk and some water. you can go for any. however addition of milk makes the halwa more rich and tasty. for vegans, i would suggest adding water.
for the banana halwa recipe, i have used semolina which i have already roasted and stored. if you use fresh semolina, then you will have to fry the semolina for a longer period of time, say approx 10 mins, in oil/ghee till its color changes & becomes fragrant.
tip: roasted semolina does not get spoiled and does not become moldy too.
if you are looking for more halwa recipes then do check:
- 1 cup roasted rava (semolina or sooji or suji)
- 2 to 3 bananas, chopped
- 8 to 10 almonds (badam) or cashews (kaju) - chopped or sliced
- 10 to 12 raisins (kishmish)
- 2 to 3 green cardamoms, powdered (choti elaichi)
- 3 tablespoon ghee or oil
- 5 to 6 tablespoon sugar, add as required
- a pinch of saffron, crushed (kesar)
- 2.5 cups hot water or hot milk
- heat ghee or in a pan. add pre roasted semolina and fry for 2-3 minutes till they semolina starts getting fragrant. don't brown the semolina.
- add chopped bananas and stir.
- add the hot water or milk and the dry fruits. stir.
- add sugar and stir. simmer the banana halwa for 2-3 minutes.
- now add the saffron. stir and simmer for 2-3 minutes more.
- serve banana halwa hot or warm.
tips for making banana halwa
- the dry fruits can also be fried in oil or ghee and then added lastly to the banana halwa. some more ghee or oil can also be added to get a smooth texture.
- if using rava (semolina) which is not roasted already, heat ghee or oil. add the semolina and fry for some 8-10 mins or more on a low flame till the semolina changes color and become fragrant. don't brown the semolina. keep on stirring in between.
- i generally make banana halwa in ghee.
- to make the halwa more rich you can add milk instead of water.
how to make banana sheera or banana halwa recipe
1: heat oil or ghee in a kadai. i generally use ghee to make banana sheera. add the pre roasted semolina and fry for some 2-3 minutes.
2: add the chopped bananas and stir.
3: lower the flame. add the hot water or milk, dry fruits and cardamom powder. stir. the semolina absorbs the liquids and swells up. stir well so that the mixture does not become lumpy.
4: add sugar and stir.
5: keep on stirring. ensure that the whole mixture is smooth and not lumpy. simmer the banana halwa for 2-3 minutes on a low or medium flame. lastly add the crushed saffron.
6: stir again and cook banana halwa for 2-3 minutes more.
7: pour sheera into serving bowls and serve banana sheera hot or warm.