The Root of the Cassava

Recipe: Kappa / Tapioca Chips

There is something we Malayalees like more than our red-rice and our coconut oil. It is the humble Kappa - the root of the Cassava plant. Also known as Tapioca. Be it with Fish curry, Meat dishes or just a simple roasted red chilli chutney, Kappa will definitely be on the list of favourites of any Keralite. When boiled and cooked in traditional spices, Kappa transforms into this pillow-soft, delicate mash which transports you into foodie heaven right at the first bite.

Last week, we had a lot of kappa from my parent's farm. We ate it in every possible traditionally cooked way and we were thoroughly satisfied. These roots do not keep for long once plucked and hence we had to think of ways to eat them up quickly (And what a joy that is to a foodie!). That is when I remembered my mom had taught me to fry banana chips last Christmas. I thought it would be nice to have some freshly fried kappa chips. The crispy, crunchy wafers were a delight to make as well as eat :)

This is very simple and has very few ingredients. Also while making chips, life becomes a lot easier if you have a mandoline or a vegetable slicer so that you can easily get round and fine slices.


Oil for deep frying (I prefer using coconut oil. But even regular vegetable oil will do)
Tapioca with the skin removed and washed - 1kg
Salt - 1-2tsp (as per taste)
Water - half a cup


If you do not have a vegetable slicer then just use a knife to cut round and thin slices of the tapioca.

Mix the salt and water and keep them aside.

Heat the oil. Lower the flame and drop in the Tapioca slices into the hot oil one-by-one. If using a vegetable slicer, then directly slice it into the hot oil. Increase the flame. Keep turning the slices in the hot oil once in a while so that they fry evenly.

When the sides begin to turn a light brown, lower the flame and sprinkle a tsp of salt water into the pan. (Caution: Stand as far away from the pan as possible when you do this) Mix well. Don't let the entire slices turn brown. Fish out the fried pieces of Tapioca before that happens. Let the chips drain on a paper napkin.

Freshly fried chips are so yummy, so unlike the over-salty store-bought counter-parts. This method can be used to fry any kind of chips - banana, potato, etc.

January has been quite a busy month for me and I had been meaning to submit an entry to Kerala Kitchen. But for some reason, I thought the last date is 31 Jan. (Silly me!) Ria and 'R' of Magpie's Recipes, can you please consider this as my entry? Sorry for the delay. Hope it is not too late.

While I'm at it, I'm also sending this to Tickling Palates for the event Deep Fried Snacks.


  1. Thanks Juny.. This is what happened to your share of kappa. Drop by if you want some chips.

  2. Wow one of my fav chips.....simple and very tastly chips......I too want it...hmmm

  3. Thanks Chitra. Do you get Tapioca there in Asian stores?


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