Kappa Vevichathu (Tapioca) is the staple dish of Kerala and the favourite especially of Christians. It’s considered as the common man’s diet and the toddy shop favourite. Each area of Kerala prepares kappa in a different manner and even the combo they offer varies. For e.g in Central Kerala i.e. Travancore, it’s mainly served with Meen Charu (Spicy Red Fish curry), while in the North like Trichur, Kappa and Moori Erachi curry (Beef/Veal) is what they swear by. Being from Central Travancore, I prefer my kappa with Fish Curry and Kachiya Moru (Spiced Cooked Buttermilk). But having married a Trichur-ite, there can ONLY be beef with kappa. I also hear people of certain areas even eat kappa with rice. So whatever be your combo choice – Fish curry, Beef Curry or with Kantharimulaku Chammanthi (Bird’s eye Chilli Chutney). . try this Kappa and/or beef and you’ll keep asking for more.
KAPPA VEVICHATHU (TAPIOCA)
Ingredients for the Kappa
- 1 kg fresh tapioca (kappa), cubed
- 1 cup grated fresh coconut
- 1 small pieces fresh ginger, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 green chillies
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 3 cups water (more or less depending on the tapioca and how soft and mashed you want)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- salt to taste
For the Tampering / Tadka of Kappa
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 5 small onions
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
Peel, wash and chop the tapioca.
In a pot, cook the tapioca in water, salt and turmeric. Like I mentioned, add or reduce the amount of water to get the consistency you prefer. (I don’t like to see big pieces as such, so I add enough water to get the kappa boiled well where it’s soft but firm and hardly any water. And then I mash it slightly with the back of my ladle).
You can also put it into the pressure cooker for about 5 minutes and drain off the excess water. And then mash it or else leave it as is.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, coarsely grind the coconut, ginger, garlic, cumin seeds and green chillies.
Add the ground mixture to the kappa with 1/2 cup of water. Mix well and let it simmer for 2 minutes. Adjust the salt and put off the fire.
In a pan, heat oil and splutter mustard seeds. Then add the small onions and curry leaves. Fry till the onions turn light brown.
Pour it over the tapioca mixture and mix well.
Kappa Vevichathu is ready to be served!
Although, I love my kappa with ‘meen charu’ (fish curry) and ‘moru kachiyathu’ (spiced buttermilk), my husband and son loves it with Beef . So this is what we had for lunch today. For the Beef recipe, you can find it here and the Moru Kachiyathu, here.