Koova Kaachiyathu – Gluten-free arrowroot drink

arrowroot drink

When it comes to iftar season, I do prefer to go down the memory lane and bring out the Malabar cuisine. I guess this is because of the experience of joining in at iftar and being a part of it all comes from my neighbours back in Kozhikode.
There are many many cherished recipes from the Malabar cuisine that I would love to introduce my kids to like the neichoru we made last week. But the one that I quickly reach for is the light dessert drink.

Why light desserts are preferred during iftar?

Having taken up fasting for long periods, the body needs to revive simple carbohydrates and water. So upon breaking fast it is always advisable to have light meals with enough hydration.
Malabar cuisine does have quite a lot of recipes that cater to this. Basic carbs with a touch of sweetness and based on thinned out coconut milk or milk is served tall glasses for the break of fast. This prepares the stomach to receive the incoming food and eases up the digestive system.
How thoughtful is the planning of these cuisines that think if these situations while preparing the meals!!

koova kurukiyathu

This gluten-free arrowroot drink

This arrowroot is such a welcome warmth during winters too.
I remember the painstaking job amma used to do to get the arrowroot ready. Scrubbing the roots clean, which come with tons of clay soil on them was hard enough. Then the peeling, the chopping and grinding them, The extracted starchy liquid was left to sediment. Ihad to settle and the precipitate decided and powdered to get the arrowroot powder. Having gone through this process I totally get why arrowroot is so pricey. Yet it is one of the coolest jelling agents.  I do not have access to raw arrowroot, so health store powder had to do the job.

Nevertheless, the drink is the simplest you can create. It kind of resembles a thinned out custard, with just some cardamom and saffron. You could add, nuts and fruits to this. But I prefer to keep it simple with a touch of cardamom and saffron. To sweeten, I like to use date syrup or jaggery, but keep it just to the baseline of sweet and not like a kheer.
Whatever changes you make, iftar time I love to hold this cup close to my heart. With the cold winds coming in and the heaters on in this southern hemisphere for us, the koova kachiyathu forms a huggable cup of treat. 
Here us another light dessert drink from Malabar – Tharikanji

Try both and let us know how you loved them. Keep in touch with us by comments and don’t miss to subscribe

If you would like to save this recipe for later here is the pin – Koova kaachiyathu

arrowroot in milk

arrowroot drink

Koova Kaachiyathu

Gluten-free arrowroot drink
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Cuisine Autumn, Baby toddler food, diabetic friendly, gluten free, Indian, Kerala, Kids choice, Malabar, Medicinal, One pot, Spring, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
Servings 4 people


to cook together

  • 3 cups coconut milk ( either the first extract or thinned out light milk)
  • 3 tsp arrowroot powder


  • 1 pinch green cardamom powder
  • 5-7 strands saffron (optional)
  • 1 -2 tbsp date syrup (use as per the sweetness you like)


  • In a small bowl add about 3 - 4 tbsp of coconut milk and the arrowroot powder and mix well into a lumpless solution
    arrow root in milk
  • Add the rest of the coconut milk into the saucepan and bring to a gentle boil.
    arrow root drin with coconut milk
  • Add the arrowroot mixture and keep stirring till they cook and thicken a bit.
  • Add the cardamom powder and date syrup and mix well
  • Pour into glasses, Serve warm with saffron strands on top.
    koova kaachiyathu


For sweetner,
You can add sugar, stevia or dates. They are all to provide just the baseline of sweetness.
The cup size used here is a standard tea cup.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Shailender sharma
4 years ago

I was trying to recollect do I know any such amazing recipe which is as simple and easy as this one, and the answer was No.
Almost 3 prime ingredients and here it is. Wow.

Lata Lala
4 years ago

The simple and nutritious recipe of gluten free arrowroot drink is worth a try as it’s been mentioned by you that it’s a great energy booster.
Bookmarking this to make it soon.

4 years ago

Wow! Come to think of it I have never ever used arrowroot . I love this delicious and light dessert! Sounds just right for the coming monsoon. Will see if I can source the arrowroot.

Mayuri Patel
4 years ago

Different communities have different recipes to break the Ramadan fasting everyday. Though we generally see loads of different food prepared in reality most of my Muslim friends tell me that its not possible to eat fatty fried food. Here in Mombasa the poor people break their fast with a maize meal thin porridge with a date or two. Koova Kaachiyathu is an interesting recipe, healthy and sounds really tasty.

Uma Srinivas
4 years ago

Never heard this before. But sounds interesting. This is such an easy and nutritious recipe.

4 years ago

This dessert from Malabar looks so delicious. I remember making it few years back. Love reading your Eid memories.

4 years ago

Never seen or heard about this recipe. What a delicious and healthy recipe to try it out any day. Lovely share

Padma Veeranki
4 years ago

Simple yet delicious drink…Koova Kaachiyathu is healthy and an interesting recipe. I have to give it a try soon!! Thanks for sharing!!

4 years ago

This drink from Malabar cuisine looks so delicious Seema !
I never tried this, use of arrowroot is quite interesting for me 🙂

Vanitha Bhat
4 years ago

Wow!!! Only 3 ingredients and this amazing and cooling drink! I have never used arrowroot in any dish! Coconut milk is a wonderful flavor to make with! Love your recipes dear and the name is very interesting! Beautiful share!

4 years ago

Never tasted this before. The drink itself sounds so cool & vey nutritious. This is such an easy and lovely recipe from malabar cuisine.

4 years ago

This healthy dessert sounds so easy to make with minimal ingredients. Perfect refined sugarfree dessert to enjoy.

Jayashree T.Rao
4 years ago

This is such a good one to start the day. Moreover, an easy-peasy one. Shall make this Seema.

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