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Koova Varattiyathu - Arrowroot Savoury spiced with Chilies and Mustard Seeds

This is one of the recipes which we have been given permission to reproduce by a fascinating site about India, The site is the work of Ammini Ramachandran who grew up in the part of India known as Kerala and the site tells you about its history and its traditions and cuisine. This is a sample of one of the recipes you will find on the site where there are also many interesting articles.

If you would like to know more about its creator, Ammini Ramachandran, take a look at her Biography page <click here> or by visiting her web site <click here>

Arrowroot flour is pure starch, and when boiled in water or milk, it yields a transparent and pleasant tasting jelly. Different dishes are prepared with this flour during the Tiruvathira festival. This same flour that yields the mildly sweet jello-like desert <click here> when combined with buttermilk and spices evolves into a salty, spicy dish.


1 cup arrowroot flour
3 cups butter milk
2 or 3 green chilies thinly sliced
1 tablespoon urad dal
1/2 tablespoon chana dal
1 red chili pepper halved
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 tablespoons curry leaves
2 tablespoons oil
Salt to taste


  • Mix the flour with one cup of buttermilk in a heavy bottomed pan and stir well to make a smooth paste.
  • Add the remaining butter milk and salt and stir well.
  • Heat the oil and add mustard seeds and dals.
  • When the mustard start spluttering, add chilies and curry leaves to it and remove from the heat. Pour this over the butter milk mix, and cook this liquid over medium heat, stirring continually. It will thicken and start leaving the sides of the pot as you stir.
  • Remove from the stove and spread it evenly in a well-greased pan.
  • When it cools it will thicken. Cut into one inch squares and serve. It makes a delicious snack.