Banana semolina sheera or banana sooji halwa is made from semolina, sugar and banana. Traditionally, in India it is offered to God as prasadam(offering) during festivals. I prepared this sweet as an offering to Lord Krishna on the special occasion of Krishna Janmashtami. However the banana sooji halwa (another name for banana semolina sheera) can be served for dessert as well and can also be used as baby food because it is very nutritious. This recipe does not require any preparation and can be made within 25 minutes. It is also the best way to use your sad looking ,ripe bananas which nobody otherwise would eat 🙂
Check out more about the healthy and nutritional benefits of including bananas in your diet in Science-Backed Health Benefits of Bananas article by Helen Nichols.
Krishna Janmashtami is the annual celebration of the birth of the Hindu deity Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu. According to the Hindu mythology, Krishna took birth at midnight on the ashtami or the 8th day of the Krishnapaksha or dark fortnight in the Hindu month of Shravan (August-September).
The celebrations include Rasa Lila, Dahi Handi and fasting, worshipping Krishna and staying up until midnight, when Krishna is believed to have been born. The devotees then offer prayers and break their fast.
- Rasa Lila is the dramatic enactment of the life of Krishna which is popular in Mathura and Vrindavan.
- Another special feature is Dahi Handi (dahi means curd, handi means earthen pot) that involves making a human pyramid and breaking an earthen pot filled with curd tied at a convenient or difficult height. This event is based on the legend of the child-god Krishna stealing butter.
- Images of Krishna’s infancy are placed in swings and cradles in temples and homes. Even, in almost every Hindu household, small kids are dressed up as the child Krishna and it is a special glory moment for the parents.
Such is the zeal and enthusiasm Janmaashtami brings and despite any odds, people join together in this special occasion to celebrate , sing , dance and exchange gifts.
Shri Krishna was very fond of dairy like butter, cream, milk . So , the devotees make special sweet preparation from milk on this auspicious occasion. As you would have known till now, I prepared the banana semolina sheera for this happy occasion . Though this banana semolina sheera tastes best with ghee or clarified butter, you can use oil and a teaspoon of ghee to make it lighter. Also, instead of bananas you can try out this recipe with other fruits like pineapple and mango.
- ½ cup thinly sliced or chopped ripe banana
- ⅓ cup fine semolina (suji)
- 2.5 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
- ½ cup full tone or skim milk
- ½ cup water
- 3 tablespoons sugar ( adjust as per taste)
- 5 small green cardamom pods ( crushed, peeled and coarsely ground)
- 1-2 drops of saffron flavor essence(optional)
- 10-12 cashews or walnuts
- 10-12 golden raisins
- Heat the mixture of milk and water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- On another stove, heat a pan and add a teaspoon of ghee into it. When the ghee melts, add and saute cashews and raisins on low heat till they are light golden. Take them out in a small bowl, roughly chop the toasted walnuts or cashews and keep it aside.
- In the same pan, add the remaining ghee. When the ghee melts, add semolina and saute at low-medium heat till they turn light golden but do not brown them too much.
- Now, add the cut banana pieces and sugar in the pan. Stir and mix the semolina banana mixture. Mash the bananas with the back of a ladle or spatula and saute well.
- When the bananas pieces have melted and blended well with the semolina, add the boiling water and milk mixture to this roasted mixture and mix it properly. Close the lid of the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the lid and continue to cook in low medium heat, stirring constantly until all the moisture evaporates completely. When the mixture thickens, add cardamom powder, half of toasted nuts and raisins. Mix well.
- Check the taste and add more sugar if required. Add 1-2 drops of saffron flavor essence. Mix well.
- It is important not to overcook the mixture. As soon as the milk is completely absorbed and a mass pulls away from the pan,remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly(around 10 minutes) at room temperature.
- Transfer the Banana and Semolina Sheera to a serving bowl and garnish it with the remaining cashews and raisins. Serve it warm.