Saturday, February 14, 2015

Nendra Ballehannina Halwa / Sweet Plantain squares


Happy Valentine's Day to all!! Every year I make a cake or a pastry or a cupcake. This year I decided to make an Indian Sweet. I decided to make Nendra Ballehannina  halwa which is my DH's favorite. For quite some time now, he had been asking me to make it. So I thought why not surprise him with these yummy plantain sweet bites on the V day:)




"Nendra Ballehannu" is the name given to ripe plantains in Kannada (an Indian language). The bananas have to be really ripe for the halwa to come out perfect. Outer skin of the plantain  should become dark brown, that's when the plantains are ready to be used. Another important factor responsible for the success of these yummy bites is that you need to continuously stir the mixture. Yes , it does involve some hard work but believe me its well worth it:) The amount of sugar to be used largely depends on the sweetness of the plantains. You can add more or reduced the quantity mentioned to suit your taste buds.



INGREDIENTS:
  • Plantains (Ripe) : 3
  • Sugar : 1/2 cup
  • Ghee / clarified butter : 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp
  • Cashew nuts : 8-10 (broken into pieces)
  • Cardamom Powder : 1/2 tsp
Note: All measurements are based on the US measuring cup and spoon sizes where 1 cup = 235 ml
PROCEDURE:
  • Peel the ripe plantains and using a blender or a food processor, make a smooth paste out of them. I again repeat, for great tasting halwa, the plantains need to ripe really well. Please see below the right color of the plantain skin. Only when it is that dark, it is ready to be used for the dish. 3 large plantains yielded about 1.5 cups of banana paste.



  • In a thick bottomed pan, add 2 tbsp of ghee. Fry the cashew nuts until golden in color. Set it aside.


  • To the same pan, add some more ghee and then the ground plantain paste. Remember to keep stirring the mixture continuously in low heat.Keep adding the ghee in installments. 

  • At one point, the mixture starts to thicken. Now add the sugar and continue with the stirring. Soon the mixture will start changing the color . You do not leave the mixture unattended as it will start sticking to the pan. 

  • After a good 35-40 minutes of stirring, you will reach a state when the mixture will start leaving ghee. Now add the fried cashew nuts (set aside some for garnishing) and the cardamom powder and mix for another 5 minutes. It will now look like a dense dark brown mass . Its time to turn off the heat at this point.


  • Grease a tray using some ghee. Add the ready plantain mixture to the tray and spread it with a flat spatula. Set it aside to cool.

  • Using a sharp knife , cut it into squares or the desired shape.Garnish with the remaining fried cashews.

Notes:
  • Amount of sugar to be used depend on the sweetness of the ripe plantains. Adjust the sugar accordingly.
  • The halwa leaves behind some ghee. After removing the halwa, I use the same pan for making upma or any other dish. That way the ghee is well used.


22 comments:

  1. Different kind that I have never had..sure will try it

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    1. Do try it and I hope you will like it:)

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  2. Wow..it looks super delicious. Yummy yummy :)

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  3. Perfect timing!! I have a dozen of just those kind of plantains! :)

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    1. Do try it Kimberly and please share your experience:)

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  4. This is very new to me, but looks and sounds absloutely INDULGING & INVITING. Loved that box, you have used for serving! ;-) Would love to give it a try sometime soon! :)

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    1. Ty so much for the ever so kind words:)

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  5. beautifully made and presented Shubha.simply delicious!! loved the tips you have given for best results :)

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  6. love that you added steps, delicious halwa recipe! yummy!

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    1. Ty Savita:) I am really happy you liked the recipe..

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  7. Quite an interesting halwa, Well made dear

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  8. Sorry shubha for my delayed response since I'm on travel this whole week...will go through the detailed recipe next week once I'm back:) But looks delicious and tempting:) It's also new to me so want to go through in peace:)

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    1. Np problem Padma:) I myself havenot been online much . Thanks for taking the time out to write.. truly appreciate it:)

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  9. This looks so delicious and love the idea of using bananas. It was different and new!!!

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  10. Great invention. Never seen neither tasted plantains halwa. You did a fantastic thing with them. So good.

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    1. This halwa is very famous in Mangalore side of Karnataka.. because of the abundant supply of plantains.. so glad you liked it:)

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  11. Wow, so excited to see this recipe. I've often eaten it but not dared to make it at home so far...now I will! Thanks Shubha:)

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    1. Hey!! hanks so much Peri.. I am so happy you liked it.. yes, do try it and let me know your feedback:)

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