Cook's Hideout: Balehannu Halwa (Coconut - Banana Halwa)

January 17, 2015

Balehannu Halwa (Coconut - Banana Halwa)

This is the final dish I made for Sankranthi. The actual festival was very low key, but we are heading to our cousin's place this weekend for some belated celebrations. My cousin puts up a beautiful golu and she also celebrates 'bhogi pallu' for the kids.
As I was thinking of what to bring, I found this interesting halwa with coconut and banana in 'Vegetarian Cookbook of India' cookbook by Mridula Baljekar. I had bananas that needed to be used up before leaving for the weekend, so this was a perfect recipe to make good use of them.
Balehannu Halwa (Coconut-Banana Halwa)
Also the recipe uses dry grated coconut cooked in some whole milk to give the texture of fresh coconut. Finding good fresh coconut is a little difficult here, but I always have dry grated coconut in my fridge, so this is a very convenient recipe to make for me.

Balehannu Halwa (Coconut-Banana Halwa)
The texture of the halwa is soft fudge-like, it does harden just a little bit when refrigerated but it's not as hard as a burfi. Halwa can be served in small bowls or can be cut into squares or diamonds and served as burfi.
Balehannu Halwa (Coconut-Banana Halwa)
Dry grated Coconut - 1⅓cups*
Semi ripe Banana - 3~4 medium (1⅓cups mashed)
Whole Milk - 1cup*
Ghee/ Unsalted butter - 4~6tbsp
Sugar - 1cup
Cashews - ⅓cup, chopped
Raisins - 3tbsp
Ground Cardamom -1tsp
Ground Nutmeg - ½tsp
Pistachios - 2tbsp, toasted and finely chopped
Grated coconut - 2tbsp, toasted

*Note: Instead of the dry coconut and milk, use 1⅓cups of fresh grated coconut.

  • Grease a 8" square pan and keep ready.
  • Combine dry grated coconut and milk in a saucepan and cook on medium flame until all of the milk is absorbed. This takes about 5~7 minutes. Skip this step if using fresh grated coconut.
  • Melt ghee/ butter in a non-stick pan and add the coconut and mashed banana. Cook on low flame for 4~5 minutes.
  • Next add sugar, cashews and raisins. Increase the flame to medium and cook, stirring continuously, for 15~17 minutes or until the mixture gets to a soft fudge like consistency. Ghee starts to ooze out from the corners.
  • Transfer the mixture in the greased mixture and sprinkle the toasted coconut and pistachios. Press lightly onto the surface.
  • Let cool before cutting into squares or diamonds.
Balehannu Halwa (Coconut-Banana Halwa)

Linking this to Valli's 'Cooking from Cookbook ChallengeJanuary -- Week 3'.



  1. That definitely looks lipsmacking! Banana and coconut would be an amazing combination....

  2. That's an awesome halwa. My neighbour Aunty in bangAlore makes this sooo well.. Brings back so many memories , pavani :)) thank u ! Bookmarking this ..

  3. Very interesting halwa pavani, the garnish on top makes it very tempting!

  4. Very interesting halwa recipe! Looks really awesome!

  5. The Banana halwas I have made were always the gooey types, never got a burfi texture..very nice and looks so sil always does the bhogi pallu for all the kids when we visit them during Sankranthi..its such an interesting part of our festival!


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