Thursday, January 20, 2011

Grandmother's Birthday and KaLyacho Halwo / Sweetened Bananas.

Today is my Dear Aayi's 87th Birthday(my maternal grandmother whom we lovingly call Aayi).

Wish I could give her a big hug on this special day and wish her a Very Happy Birthday but I had to make do by speaking with her over the phone and wishing her.

She is getting frail and weak as the days are going by but without any doubt she is strong at heart, still managing to go for her morning walks. She is a soft spoken lady, very broad minded and modern in her thoughts, always open to new ideas, not the typical old fashioned grandmother at all. I really respect and admire her. After my Ma passed away she has been my pillar of strength and source of inspiration in life. Aayi is an excellent cook and whipped up authentic goan food for us when we were young. Due to her frail health she no longer cooks so often now but no doubt about it that she makes the best mouth watering fish curry ever, all my uncles and aunts n cousins agree with me on this note. Time and again I call her up to refer to some of the authentic goan recipes that were long lost and forgotten.

I see my Ma in Aayi(she is my mom's mother) and I cherish the few moments that I get to talk to her over the phone from across the world.

Happy Birthday Aayi !!

Today's halwa is for my Dear Aayi.

One gets many varieties of bananas in India. In Goa we get a special variety of bananas called mandoli kaLyi, the taste is very sweet and aromatic. They are mostly eaten ripe or cooked into a halwa.
Now, this is not a typical mushed up dry halwa loaded with sugar as the name suggests but rather delicate banana slices floating in lots of mildly sweetened cardamom flavored sugar syrup and ready in a jiffy.
Ma made this very often as we liked to have it for breakfast along with bread or chappati.
Here I have used plantains as they are almost similar in taste.

3 plantains, almost ripe and yellow, firm to touch,
1 cup sugar,
3 cups water,
2 tsp ghee/clarified butter,
1 tsp elaichi/cardamom powder.

  • Peel and slice the plantains into 1/2 cm thick slices.
  • Heat a pan on medium heat and add the ghee.
  • Add the sliced plantains to the pan and stir very gently a couple of times(1-2 minutes) taking care not to break the banana slices.
  • Add water and sugar and cardamom powder and let it come to a boil.
  • Once the bananas change color, switch the heat off and take the pan off the heat to stop the bananas from cooking further and turning to a mush.
  • Serve warm or cold with bread, chappati or puri.
This is best eaten freshly prepared or at the most on the same day as reheating the halwa will make the bananas mushy.
Best eaten with a bread/pav to soak up the banana flavoured juices.
Adjust the quantity of sugar as to your liking but the halwa should not be extra sweet but just lightly sweet with the dominant banana flavour.


  1. nice one and is easy to prepare.

  2. Looks delicious and sure would have tasted good