Tapioca and fish – the real taste of Kerala.

Tapioca, known as Kappa in Malayalam language, once considered as poor man’s diet, has now got an important place in the menu of almost all restaurants in Kerala. Tapioca and fish, a delicious and nutritious combination, can be even used as a substitute for rice and curries, the staple food of Kerala. A number of recipes can be made with this tuber, and can be preserved in the dried form for future use. The chips made by frying dried tapioca in pure coconut oil is a very tasty snack.

Dried tapioca

As the climate and soil types are most suitable for growth, tapioca plants are cultivated widely in almost all parts of the state, but known in different names. The tuber, which is the edible part of the plant, is also used for many other purposes such as making starch, varnish etc.

Tapioca plants

The toxins, that adds a bitter taste to certain types of tapioca can be removed by draining out the excess water in which it is boiled. Patients with thyroid disorders, are advised to reduce the intake of tapioca, to prevent worsening of hypothyroidism .

The Sago pearls commonly known as Sabudana, made with the milk extracted from tapioca tuber is very nutritious and widely used for making dishes during the festival seasons in the northern parts of India.

Here, I am sharing with you the recipe for Kappa Vevichathu, a very simple and tasty dish prepared with tapioca, that is popular in Kerala.

Preparation and cooking time: 45 Minutes


• Tapioca peeled washed and diced

into one inch pieces. ½ kg

• Coconut ( grated ). 2 tablespoons

• Green chilly. 2

• Garlic. 2 cloves

• Turmeric powder. A pinch

• Cumin seeds ( powdered ) A pinch

For seasoning:

• Coconut oil. 1 table spoon

• Mustard. ½ teaspoon

• Coconut ( grated ) 1 tablespoon

• Curry leaves 2 stalks

Cook the diced tapioca in water till it becomes soft, put some salt, drain out excess water and keep aside. Grind coarsely all other ingredients with a little water and add to the boiled tapioca and place it on a low flame for a few minutes till it becomes dry. Mash the tapioca and mix well with all the ingredients, and put down from the stove.

For garnishing, heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard , add curry leaves , grated coconut and fry till the coconut becomes golden brown. Spread it over the prepared tapioca and have it with spicy Kerala fish curry.

Kerala fish curry

( Don’t be mislead by the colour of this fish curry. The Kashmiri chilly powder used for making this is not much spicy )

Try this delicious combination of Tapioca and Fish curry, along with a cup of black coffee that you will enjoy definitely.


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