Made with ripe bananas, this Indian dessert is easy to make but requires some refrigeration time. The banana barfi is perfect to prepare a few hours or days in advance.
If you like the taste of bananas and wonder how they could be richer, try this banana burfee recipe! An easy homemade Indian dessert, the banana barfi is an acquired taste that you’ll either love or hate!
In Hindi it’s called पक्के केले के बर्फी (pakke kele ki barfi) which in English means ripe banana dessert. You’ll also find it called kela burfi or banana halwa. But banana halwa is usually made with wheat and tougher, so it’s definitely not that.
What it simply is, is a delicious banana dessert called kela barfi or kelichya vadya or many other local names.
What do you need to make the banana burfee?
To make this yummy banana burfee, you’ll need milk, sugar, cardamom, ghee, bananas, and almonds. If you need to, you could also add desiccated coconut or cornflour.
How to make the Indian kele ki barfi from ripe bananas?
Start by reducing the milk and sugar to half. Add the crushed elaichi (cardamom) to the milk while it’s reducing, so that milk soaks in the flavor.
This milk reduction step can be done a day in advance or a few days in advance too. Just store it in the refrigerator till you need it, and thaw before using.
Milk reduction is a basic step for most Indian desserts, so you can always double or triple the quantity and use it to make multiple desserts if you’re having a party.
Other desserts that use reduced sweetened milk are the Indian anjeer barfi, and the East Indian vanilla cream, walnut fudge, and more. Sometimes you can also add sweetened milk to pumpkin halwa and bottle gourd halwa!
Before you start with the bananas, make slivers of the almonds and set aside. And also line a plate or tray with tissue paper (parchment paper) and set aside as well.
Now roughly mash the bananas with a potato masher or pea masher. You don’t really want to pulp it because it will be too mushy. Well, some people make it mushy, we don’t. It’s really a matter of personal preference. So you decide. 😉
In another vessel, fry the mashed bananas with about 30 ml of ghee for 5 to 6 minutes. Don’t let them turn brown, just stop short of that.
Once the bananas are fried, add them to the reduced milk and continue to reduce. You might have to stir continuously for the next 25 minutes till the mixture thickens and starts to leave the sides.
If you’re impatient here, add in 3 tablespoons of cornflour (cornstarch) and this will reduce the cooking time by 10 minutes or so.
If you don’t want to be overpowered by the taste of the bananas, add in a cup of desiccated coconut powder.
When it starts to leave the sides, add in the remainder of the ghee (clarified butter) and stir for 5 minutes more.
Once the mixture is thick enough, pour it onto the pre-lined tray or plate. Flatten it and sprinkle with the sliced almonds. And allow this to cool in the refrigerator for around an hour. If you can leave it longer, for say 3 to 4 hours, even better!
Cut the banana burfee into squares or diagonals and serve! We usually cut it into approximately 1.5-inch pieces.
And that’s really it! The tasty kele ki barfi is ready to serve! Simply Indian! Simply tasty! But truly an acquired taste. My sis Sarah isn’t too fond of it. Are you? Comment and let us know!
Tips & Info about Kela Barfi or Banana Dessert
- Add a bit of kesar (saffron) to the cardamom and milk while reducing for a richer taste and natural color!
- You can leave the skins of the cardamom to use in a curry or throw them in the loose tea storage pot or in the tea brewing pot.
- Not too fond of the taste of bananas? Add in half a cup of desiccated coconut or 1 teaspoon of coffee powder while cooking.
- You can add cornflour/cornstarch if you want the mixture to thicken faster.
- Ghee is Indian clarified butter. If you cannot find it, use any good nutty butter or even regular unsalted butter.
- Store the banana barfi in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Sprinkle with sliced almonds before refrigeration!
- You can replace the sliced almonds with chopped pistachio nuts.
Other Recipes You Might Like
- Indian Custard Powder Halwa
- Naralchi Wadi Recipe, a delicious coconut dessert
- Corned Tongue Slices Recipe
- East Indian Marzipan for Christmas
- White Pumpkin or Bottle Gourd Halwa
- Ginger Wine Recipe (Homemade)
- Mutton Paya Khudi
- Semolina Date Cake
- East Indian Kimad Recipe
- Anjeer Barfi
You can print off the list of ingredients and instructions to follow for making this recipe via the recipe card below (for home use only).
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Kele ki Barfi – Indian Ripe Banana Dessert
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- 1 l Milk
- 300 gm Sugar
- 3 Cardamom Pods Crushed
- 100 ml Ghee
- 8 Bananas Ripe
- 5 Almonds Slivered
- .5 tsp Saffron (Kesar)
- 3 tbsp Cornflour Corn Starch
- 1 cup Coconut Desiccated
- Add the milk, crushed elaichi (cardamom), kesar (saffron), and sugar to a vessel and allow to reduce till almost half. (This can be done a day earlier too.)
- Make slivers of the almonds and set aside.
- Line a plate or tray with tissue paper and set aside.
- In another vessel, mash the bananas and fry with 30 ml ghee till cooked. (Approx 5 minutes.)
- Add the reduced milk mixture to the fried bananas and stir continuously for about 25 minutes.
- When it starts to leave the sides, add the rest of the ghee and stir for 5 more minutes.
- Pour the banan burfee onto the pre-lined tray and cover with the slivered almonds.
- Refrigerate for an hour or more. The longer the better.
- Cut into slices and serve! Easy and tasty!
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- You can leave the skins of the cardamom to use in a curry or throw them in the tea pot.
- You can add cornstarch or cornflour if you want the mixture to thicken faster.
- Store the banana burfee in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- See notes in the post for more substitutions. https://thewingedfork.com/kele-ki-barfi-indian-banana-dessert/