DuddaLi: Arrowroot Pudding

Indian Dessert Arrowroot Pudding

Arrowroot powder is the starch component of the perennial tuber, marantha, found in tropical forests. Starch from these tubers is believed to be of a higher quality compared to potato starch or corn starch, as it has a neutral taste when used in cooking.

The tubers are harvested, washed, descaled and beaten to a pulp in village homes. Grandma used to tell us that it was a messy affair. The milky juice is strained to remove debris and the starch settles to the bottom. The water is removed and the starch allowed to dry in cakes. The fragile cakes crumble easily and are available as small chunks (see pic above).

Because of the dark skin (and other) debris, this is called kachra piTh or dirty flour, in Konkani. Whipped in hot water (or milk) it forms a light pudding called boL, easy to digest and one of the first semi-solid meals given to babies. During my last trip to Mumbai when I suffered from an upset stomach, Aiee babied me with honey sweetened boL for two days.

The jelly-like duddaLi is a common Konkani dessert made with kachra piTh, one of my favorites. We replenish our stocks of kachrae piTh from Kumta. M followed mom’s recipe. Simple ingredients and easy to make.


  • kachrae piTh: arrowroot powder, 1 cup
  • milk, 1 cup
  • water, 1 and half cup
  • paTal goad (sugarcane molasses) 1 cup; recipe called for jaggery, we used this molasses from Kumta, which has a more delicate taste. If you don’t have either, use appropriate amounts of sugar
  • cardamom seeds, 25, crushed in a mortar
  • tuup, clarified butter, 2 teaspoons


  • Wash the powder: Mix one cup kachrae piTh with about 5-6 cups of water in a large bowl. Stir well and allow powder to settle for about an hour. You will notice black remnants of skin fragments along with other organic detritus, rise to the top; Discard water and re-wash if necessary.
  • Konkani Dessert Duddali Arrowroot Pudding by Arun Shanbhag

  • Transfer cleaned powder/paste to a cooking pot, mix with milk, water and molasses.
  • Cook on low to medium heat, stirring constantly. Mix in crushed cardamom.
  • Konkani Dessert Arrowroot Pudding

  • Taste sweetness; adjust accordingly. The mix turns into a gelatinous liquid.
  • Coat flat pans with clarified butter and pour pudding mix.
  • Spread to about half inch deep – we ended up with more pudding resulting in a thicker duddaLi.
  • Allow to cool and set.
  • Cut and serve. Can be saved in refrigerator.
  • Konkani Dessert Duddali Arrowroot Pudding by Arun Shanbhag

Some of my desserts:

30 thoughts on “DuddaLi: Arrowroot Pudding

Add yours

  1. Dear rajesh sir iread ur reqvest about arrowroot powder in arun sir’s blog in my place (mangalore)we get goodqulity arrowroot powder if u really needed u contact me .maheshshenoy

  2. hai my self rajesh i using arrwroot powder , pl can i get more quntity of arrowroot powder i want buy pl icall me 9060199499

    1. Hi Rajesh,
      Unfortunately I am unable to help you; see I am in Boston, USA and do not have access to a good source of arrow-root.
      Even in the cities in india it is difficult to find good arrowroot. If you have any relatives or friends in rural india they should be able to find some for you.

      btw, you can always use “refined” maida, which is also a good source of carbohydrates. It is not as easy on the stomach, but will do in a crunch. Also, most pharmacies will have ‘arrowroot’ powder in medicinal qualities.

      Best Wishes in your search and let me know where you find it,

  3. Seshu:
    Sorry to hear that you are having difficulties in procuring arrowroot powder. It is difficult to get it in the cities. you need to find a friend or relative in the villages and ask them to get it for you. It is usually the tribals who make this.

    It is available in the pharmacy stores, but that is medicinal and is very expensive. Regular “atta” is a good source of carbohydrate – which is essentially what arrowroot is. Many people make chappatis and parathas with atta instead of whole wheat flour give that a try.

    If you have to decrease protein, I can recommend, reducing meat (chicken, etc) intake.

    Best Wishes

  4. Dear mr. Arun Shanbhag,
    I need Arrowroot powder, authentic. Can you help me. I am medically advised to used it with wheat flour in two parts of arrowroot to one part of wheat flour, in order to reduce my protein intake. Can you help me procuring it. I have searched Entire Hyderabad but coulkd not get it any where. I will be grateful if you help or atleast suggesting a source from where I can get it.

  5. Arun, pics remind me that have not had this dish for a long time.

    Will definitely ask my people at home to make some at the earliest

  6. Hi G
    M (the resident South Kanara expert) says that it is the same!
    Kuvaen peeTh is the same as Kachrae peeTh.

    And the DuddaLi was fab! You should make it!
    … and let’s plan DimSum next Sunday? bol bol!


  7. Hi Arun:

    Really nice post! I have fond memories of my Mom making Dudhali. Is kachare peeth the same as Kuvya peeth(My mom used to call it that)? Give my regards to M!

  8. Am not a big fan of Duddali, though I haven’t had it now in sooo many years. Don’t remember what it tastes like also. Though with KachraPeeth, yes, I have some stock. Aayi had specially packed when my son had diarrhea episodes and we used to give it to him. Me not goin to India anytime soon :(, in reply to ur comment at my post.

  9. Shira is what my mom calls it, I think because she grew up in Bombay and seems to be better at speaking Marathi than speaking Malayalam. I usually call it that myself, but then everyone else I know (South Indians or other non-Marathi/Konkani peoples) get confused. 🙂

  10. Saroj:
    Yes, it is a very delicate halwa – when made as suggested in thin pieces. We ended up with thicker pieces.

    Heh! sooji ka halwa – we call it “shira” is one of our favorites and we make it atleast once a month! So fret not – you have experience with the important dessert!

    btw, you can make variation to the shira by adding over ripe bananas or crushed pineapple.

  11. Ugh, you have a habit of posting these food-related posts when I’m most hungry. That looks so good. It looks like a sort of halwa, right? I guess it falls under that category. I haven’t really had much experience making Indian sweets…aside from sooji ka halwa/kesari (which was very well received :p).

    Good post! 🙂

  12. Ha Ha Shilpa!

    I was not sure of the specific type of tuber that is used in Kumta to make Kachra piTh. There are many varieties of tubers (they are not specifically farmed for this purpose); and variations in how individual families and groups make their Kachra piTh. But they are all, generically arrowroot powder.

    The arrowroot powder you get here is very pure starch; though there is no way to tell if it has been contaminated with other types of cheaper starches such as corn-starch or potato starch (I don’t trust the MNCs).

    I may be going to Kumta again in Nov or Dec!
    tangi, it will cost you “big time!”


  13. You are like a mind reader!!!. I was talking about this same dish yesterday with my aayi. I wanted to make this and she said arraroot and kachra peet are slightly different but have same characteristics, so I wasn’t sure if I could get hold of kachra peet here. (Did I tell you I hate it when you say you got your stock from Kumta and that means I have to keep waiting for atleast a year till my next trip to get a stock??)

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