Over to you Rafee..
Assalamu alaikum dear readers…
This is not the first time I am appearing on Jehanne’s space. When my blog was a baby, hardly four months old, she invited me for a guest post. I can easily say that she is the first good friend that I have made through blogging and InShaAllah, wish to cherish this friendship as long as the journey goes. I have always been vocal about my friendship with her. Even though we have never met, with plans to meet never materializing thanks for the distance of space and time between us, I have always felt as though I am communicating with somebody who has known me since childhood. If blogging has made me believe in the goodness of people, then one of the first reasons is definitely Jehanne. JazakAllah Khairan dear, for having me around at your space for a second time, it does mean a lot to me, in all sense…
The blessed month of Ramadan has descended once again. Each Ramadan that passes by, thanks to our aging process, teaches us valuable lessons as far as deen, life aspects and everything around us are concerned. I would definitely say that this Ramadan is different from the past Ramadans that I have had, whether it is the experiences in life, the people that surround me, also to say that it is my parent’s final Ramadan in a country that they have called their own for more than three decades. Parents being with us is always a blessing, especially when you are a working mother and I have been really lucky, Alhamdulillah in that case till now. Post Ramadan, life is going to be different for sure and I am trying to take this Ramadan as the stepping stone to make myself mentally strong towards a life where I will not have the physical presence of my parents along with me. After all, Ramadan is supposed to be taken as a starting point where we can make some decisive changes in our life, so InShaAllah, hoping that this Ramadan will be a focal point for an overall development of the person that I am!
Trying to rack my head as to what to give Jehanne, finally I decided on something that is really very simple. I have been introduced to a variety of food once I got married. My HD belongs to the northern part of Kerala, widely known as Malabar, which is the hub of delicious food, so to say! My first tryst with arrowroot – called koovapodi/ kookapodi in Malayalam – was not very interesting. I didn’t like the slightly muddy taste that it gave and I had conveniently forgotten about it. It was during one Ramadan, almost nine years ago, when we were invited to a relative of his for Iftar that I was reintroduced to this ingredient. They were staying in a very remote area in Ras Al Khaimah and the drive towards their place was really good. They were staying in a one-storey building, looking towards a far-fetched area covered with Arabic villas. I was helping aunty to cut the fruits, though she was protesting about it. That’s when I noticed that she was making a thin concoction of milk and arrowroot. Since it was arrowroot, I just didn’t bother. But at the time of Iftar, I really loved what I was having and enquired with her as to how to make it.
However, getting arrowroot powder in this part of the world is a challenge. We find it in the stores in a small pack, just like cream of tartar or baking powder, never as a sizeable package. I have never seen this in my place back home. Even at HD’s place, people who used to extract arrowroot and make a living out of it have given it up for better options, mainly because the process is very lengthy and time consuming. Whenever I go back home, I order for it as soon as I reach so that at least I am able to get a quarter kilo of stock by the time I am returning back. Since I had not travelled back home for the past two years, I have been out of stock of it for that long. This time, when HD travelled for a week in June, I made sure to eat his head daily to get some arrowroot while coming. I really wanted him to bring it, as I had already jotted in my mind that I would make this delicious drink for Jehanne. So wasn’t I excited when I got it in hand? But then all I got was hardly 150 gm, which will not even last.
Kooka ( Arrowroot Milk )
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup thin coconut milk
- 2 tsp arrowroot powder/ kookapodi
- A pinch of cardamom powder (optional but highly recommended)
- A pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Combine all the ingredients in a thick bottomed saucepan and keep on low flame. Stir now and then till the mixture becomes boiled and starts to thicken slightly – the consistency will change from watery to glossy.
- Switch off and serve warm!
- You can make this completely out of milk alone, like how I had it at that aunty’s house. But I love the combination and flavor that milk and coconut milk gives together, so I prefer making it like this.
- Do not add more than 1 tsp of arrowroot powder per cup of liquid added. Arrowroot thickens and starts acting similar to corn flour and too much of it will give a “kurukku” (thick mixture) instead of “kaachiyathu”!
I know it is not much of a recipe but then wanted to share something different. The benefits of arrowroot are immense, especially when it is known for its tummy cooling effects. Therefore this drink is really good to serve during Iftar time.
JazakAllah Khair Jehanne once again for having me around at your lovely space. Here’s praying to the Almighty that He bless you with whatever you are looking for this Ramadan and the days ahead, InShaAllah… J
Thank you Rafeeda for such refreshing drink, I am curious now of the flavour of arrowroot and can’t wait to try it for our Iftar soon. It’s been such a great pleasure having you over and May you have a blessed Ramadhan my friend !