Banana Sheera or halwa is popular all over India, and is one of the sweets offered to deities (prasad/prasadam) in temples during festivals. Made with semolina (cream of wheat), this sweet is known as sheera in Maharashtra, while in the north and south India, it’s called halwa.
The regular sheera does not contain bananas; but I like to make this version because the delicate flavor of the bananas makes it even more delicious, wholesome, and healthy.
Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes
- 1 cup rava (sooji/cream of wheat/semolina)
- 6 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 medium bananas, peeled and mashed in a blender
- 4-5 green cardamom pods
- 1 tbsp raisins
- 10 cashew nuts, broken into small pieces
- Almond slivers (toasted), a few
- Remove the cardamom seeds from the pods and crush into a powder using a mortar and pestle, and set aside.
- In a pan, set the water to boil on medium heat.
- Heat 2 tbsp ghee or oil in a small pan, and on medium heat, fry the cashews until golden and remove. Fry the raisins until they fluff up and turn golden, and remove.
- While the water is boiling, in a wide, heavy-bottomed pan, melt 4 tbsp ghee over medium heat. Add the rava and saute until golden brown and aromatic, stirring regularly, and taking care not to burn it (about 6-8 minutes).
- Add the hot, boiling water to the rava and stir constantly to smooth out any lumps.
- Add the sugar and mashed bananas and keep stirring on low heat, until the moisture is evaporated, and the banana sheera thickens and starts coming off the sides of the pan. Remove from heat.
- Stir in the cardamom powder, raisins, and nuts, and serve the banana sheera warm or chilled.
You can also add milk instead of water to cook the rava; add 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 cup milk for a creamier taste.