Cardamom-scented banana fudge


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

Halwa is the generic Indian name for any sweetmeat cooked with sugar and a hint of spice to a soft fudge consistency. When made with freshly grated coconut and mashed banana, this Balehannu Halwa is divine. It is quicker to use desiccated coconut, lightly cooked in milk, than fresh coconut.


  • 115 g/4 oz/1⅓cups desiccated (dry unsweetened shredded) coconut
  • 200 ml/7fl oz/¾ cup full-fat (whole) milk
  • 4–5 semi-ripe bananas
  • 75 g/3 oz/6 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter
  • 25 g/1 oz seedless raisins
  • 50 g/2 oz raw cashew nuts, chopped (optional)
  • 115 g/4 oz/1 cup granulated (white) sugar
  • 5 ml/1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 25 g/1 oz pistachio nuts, crushed (optional)
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp toasted coconut flakes


  1. Place the coconut and milk in a pan and stir over a medium heat until the coconut has absorbed all the milk. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  2. Mash the bananas in a large bowl with a potato masher or fork.

  3. Melt the ghee or butter in a frying pan over a low heat, then add the mashed banana and coconut. Stir and cook for 4–5 minutes.

  4. Add the raisins, cashew nuts and sugar, and increase the heat to medium. Continue to cook, stirring all the time, for 15–17 minutes until the mixture reaches a soft fudge-like consistency.

  5. Add the cardamom and grated nutmeg, and mix well.

  6. Brush a 30cm/12 in plate with some melted butter and spread the fudge on it, shaping it into a 15cm/6 in square. Sprinkle the pistachio nuts and coconut flakes on the surface and press them down firmly.

  7. Allow to cool, then chill for 2–3 hours. Cut into squares or diamonds and serve.


  • Ripe mango can be used instead of banana in this recipe.

  • Toasted sunflower seeds make a good alternative to nuts.

Per portion Energy 572kcal/2–86kJ; Protein 6.9g; Carbohydrate 5-.2g, of which sugars 49.4g; Fat -8.-g, of which saturates 21.2g; Cholesterol 6mg; Calcium 79mg; Fibre 4.8g; Sodium 89mg.