I cannot believe that I haven’t posted the recipe for Kappa Vevichathu. I have made it so many times and yet I never manged to click a decent snap! Tapioca/Yuca (Kappa) is so popular among Keralites. I grew up eating Tapioca every once in a while. As a child, I wasn’t fascinated with Kappa but I remember how insanely happy my Mom and aunts would be at the sight of Kappa. Well, I grew up and got married to a man who loves all kinds of tubers – be it Tapioca, Taro or Potato. I make different dishes using Tapioca and Kappayerachi has got to be one of my favorites.
This recipe isn’t all that complicated except for the part where you have to peel Yuca. I often buy Frozen Yuca so that I don’t have to worry about cleaning it and losing my finger! Tapioca is cooked along with coconut and a few spices, the result being a yummy dish. Kappa Vevichathu is often served with spicy Kerala Style Fish Curry (Meen Curry). Here is the recipe for Kottayam Style Kappa Vevichathu. A few of the ingredients like garlic are traditionally not used but my mother-in-law always adds it to reduce the gastric problems caused by Yuca. My friend’s Mom from Angamaly makes something similar with Tapioca but they call it Manja Kappa.
In case you are wondering, the side dish pictured above is Meen Chammanthi Podi – a powder made using Dried Fish and Coconut.
- Fresh/Frozen Tapioca/Yuca (Kappa) – 1 kg or 2.2 lbs approx
- Grated Coconut – 1 cup
- Shallots (Kunjulli) – 2 small
- Green Chillies – 2 or 3 (Alter according to your spice tolerance)
- Curry Leaves – 1 big sprig
- Garlic – 4 big cloves
- Turmeric Powder – 1/4+ 1/4 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Water – as needed
- If using Fresh Tapioca, peel the outer brown skin and inner pink skin. Chop the edges and cut it into medium-sized pieces. Wash it thoroughly a couple of times.
- Boil the tapioca pieces in plenty of water along with salt and a 1/4 tsp turmeric until tender. This will take anywhere between 10-20 minutes depending on the type of Yuca used. Be careful not to overcook the tapioca or else it will end up being mushy.
- Drain the water thoroughly and keep the tapioca pieces aside. Reserve 1/4 cup of the starchy water.
- Grind coconut, shallots, green chillies, garlic, a few of the curry leaves and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder to form a very coarse paste.
- To the same pan used for boiling the Tapioca, add the cooked tapioca pieces, coconut mixture, remaining curry leaves.
- Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes on low heat. If it appears dry, add a few tablespoons of the reserved water. Remove lid and mix everything thoroughly. Add more salt if needed. Mash the pieces thoroughly using the back of a wooden spatula but I prefer leaving a few chunks to bite.
- Remove from heat and serve with Fish Curry or Mulakku Pottichatu (Chilly Chutney).
- I have sometimes added a little Cumin (Jeerakam) while grinding Coconut but it is not used traditionally. The same applies to garlic.
- If you don’t have green chillies, you can instead use red chilly powder.
- You don’t have to grind curry leaves but my Mom usually grinds it along with the coconut and I love the taste.