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Ingredient Glossary: ​Arrowroot

Ingredient Glossary: ​Arrowroot

Posted by Emily on 1st Dec 2019

Arrowroot powder serves as a versatile starch substitute for cornflour. It's particularly effective for thickening liquids and is the go-to choice for creating transparent jellies. While its use in baking is daily, it isn't ideal for bread-making do to its low protein and gluten content. However, it does lend a delightful flavour to biscuits.

Arrowroot Powder

In the Victorian era, arrowroot was lauded for its supposed health benefits, primarily its ease of digestion. Modern understanding tells us that although it may not be incredibly nutrient-rich, it is high in carbohydrates.

Contrary to some misconceptions, genuine arrowroot is derived from the tuberous roots of specific South American plants. It's worth noting that any association of 'arrowroot' with tapioca or its root must be more accurate.


This ingredient is readily available in most shops.

Selecting the Best Quality

Opt for pure, uncontaminated arrowroot when making your purchase.


Store arrowroot in a cool, dry environment, where it will remain usable for an extended period.

Cooking Tips

When substituting for cornflour, keep in mind that arrowroot is more potent. Use 2 teaspoons of arrowroot for each tablespoon of cornflour, or 1 teaspoon of arrowroot for 1 tablespoon of regular flour.

To make a clear jelly, form a loose slurry with arrowroot powder and cool water or another liquid, then introduce it to hot wine or fruit juice. This method also works splendidly with green or herbal teas to create distinct jellies that complement savoury and sweet dishes.

If you're thickening a custard or cream sauce, create a slurry with milk or another liquid before incorporating it into the hot base. Make sure to remove the arrowroot-thickened substance from heat immediately upon reaching the desired consistency. If left on the heat too long, it will begin to thin. Serve any sauces meant to be hot immediately after preparation.