Koova veragiyathu/ Koova kali / Koova vilayichathu / Arrowroot Halwa
Koova veragiyathu is a very traditional Kerala dish made for Thiruvathira. It is a halwa made with arrowroot powder that will take max 10 minutes from start to finish.
Thiruvathira is a very important centuries old Hindu festival celebrated by mostly Namboothiri and Nair women of Kerala as the birthday of Lord Shiva. It falls on the full moon day in the Malayalam month of Dhanu ( Dec15 to Jan15) on Thiruvathira nakshatram (star).
It is also believed that Goddess Parvathy met Lord Shiva after her long penance and Lord Shiva finally took her as his life partner on this day check here for more.
Unmarried women observe a partial fast on this day to get an ideal husband and married women take a fast the next day for the well being of their children.The first Thiruvathira for a newly wedded woman is known as Poothiruvathira.
The fast involves abstaining from rice based food. Wheat based porridge, dosa or upma is made along with the Thiruvathira puzhukku - (recipe link) and this sweet dish with arrowroot (koova)is also served.
Koova/ Arrowroot has many medicinal properties, very good for the stomach and is an ideal food for infants too.
Beware: Attaining pure arrowroot from the tube is a very labor intensive process hence adulterants like corn starch or potato starch are often added to it. Look for a reputed product to get pure arrowroot. It is said that pure arrowroot can be kept for years in room temperature without spoiling.
Arrowroot powder - 1/2 cup
Jaggery - 3/4 th to 1 cup (Add or reduce according to sweetness required)
Coconut slices - chopped to bits
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Cardamom - 2 pods powdered
Heat jaggery adding around 1 cup water heat until all the lumps are dissolved. Sieve to remove impurities and keep aside.
Mix 1/ 2 cup water and arrowroot powder until completely dissolved. Keep aside.
Keep a ghee greased plate ready.
Heat a wide mouthed (non stick) pan add ghee and fry the coconuts to golden brown color and to it add the diluted arrowroot and jaggery. Stir it continuously on low flame add cardamom powder.
Keep cooking till it reaches a really thick stage and leaves the sides of the pan without effort and rolls well with spatula. Note: This thickening process will happen very fast within 3- 4 minutes so keep a close eye. So no lumps are formed. It should be smooth and jelly like.
Koova veragiyathu is usually had hot by just scooping and serving in a thick paste form.
Pour on to the plate allow it to cool then cut with a greased knife to get halwa shape.
Hope you like it.