Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Kappa (Tapioca) curry and some nice memories

Tapioca (otherwise called "Yuca" in US grocery stores), is an all time favorite of a Keralite. Me and V love to have it with roti, or just like that. My mom used to make this spicy-salty-bright red-garlic pickle which used to taste heavenly with cooked "Kappa".......mmmmm what a taste it has! .......I have to admit, I have never been able to make that garlic pickle like the one she makes, maybe because I don't have the Indian Mixer to make it . My mom knew very well about my craving for Tapioca and she used to often make sure that I had it when I came home for holidays. There used to be a Tapioca vendor who used to come to our colony with his "undhuvandi" (pulling cart?? I don't know how to exactly translate the word in English). And my mom used to buy loads of Tapioca from him just for my palate:) (and my brothers too:) ....She used to make those in the evenings and I used to impatiently (but eagerly) wait for her to finish, in fact I used be in the kitchen the entire time the Tapioca was being cooked, just to satisfy myself with the sounds and aroma of it cooking in the pressure cooker:)) ......I want to share one more thing and I don't know how far its true, my mom used to tell that the water used to cook the Tapioca should be discarded and should never consumed by a cow as it upsets the animals health.

I made Kappa curry to go along with roti for V's lunch today. Both of us relished it at V's home in Kerala when we went this time. I made it without the coconut grating as I couldn't wait to defrost the frozen coconut :) ......Just wanted to get my hands on the curry asap:) So here is the recipe and its also my post for the RCI-Kerala event hosted by Jyothsna of Curry Bazaar. I used the frozen Yuca (Goya brand) , which required 15-30minutes to cook on stove top. The package also said it could be microwaved.

Ingredients (for two people)

Tapioca (Cooked according to instructions on the package or if you are not using the frozen one, clean the tapioca , cut it to smaller pieces and cook it with salt in enough water until it is cooked and soft. I add turmeric along with salt while cooking the tapioca. Check by inserting a knife when tapioca is cooked) - 6 pieces

Garlic- 5 large segments crushed and chopped finely

Curry leaves- a few

For tampering:

Oil-1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds- 1 tablespoon
Green Chilly - 3-4 nos (slit the chillies)

Salt- to taste
Water- 1/2 cup or less if you want a thicker curry
Coriander powder- for garnish


1. Mash the cooked tapioca until most of the lumps are removed. (A few lumps here and there is a must for the right texture of the curry)

2. In a pan heat oil, add the mustard seeds, and when they splutter add the green chillies, curry leaves, and saute in low fire for 10 seconds, then add the garlic, stir for a minute.

3. Add the mashed tapioca and stir well to uniformly combine everything. Add water (you can even omit water if you want it extra thick) and let most of the water evaporate on high heat.

4. Turn off the heat and sprinkle a teaspoon of coriander powder and stir lightly to mix it.

5. Kappa curry is ready :) Serve it as side dish with roti, rice, or have it just like that , its yummy :)

I am also linking the following recipes from my archived post for this RCI event:

* Kozhukkatta
* Vazhakkoombu upperi
* Puttu- steamed rice cake

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