Acquired Tastes

Though the fish curry is a regular dish for most meals in Kerala, there are as many kinds of fish curry as there are districts there. Serving another kind of fish curry than what someone is used to, is a good way to have leftovers for the next meal :).
 
You might be wondering what's the big deal? Unfortunately, some of us find it difficult to appreciate any other kind of fish curry than the one we have grown up eating. Such a contrast from those travelers from distant lands, who visit Kerala and embrace the food and culture of the land, even though it's completely new to them.

Then there's tapioca. This is one dish that most people from Kerala like and there aren't that many variations of it (i think). It is fairly easy to acquire tapioca from vegetable shops in Bangalore. But for many who grew up outside the state, acquiring a liking for the dish, is not so easy. Like my kids 😁.
 
 
However, recently, I found my elder son wolfing down an entire plate of kappa kuzhachathu. He briefly looked up from his plate, just to exclaim to a surprised me, "I changed my mind. I love kappa now."
 
 
 
TAPIOCA WITH COCONUT AND SPICES (Kappa Kuzhachathu)
Recipe adapted from Mom's version
Tapioca - 1 kg (skinned and cut into small chunks)
Water to cook
Salt to taste

To grind:
Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Green chillies slit - 2-3 (adjust as per taste)
Shallots (sambar onion) sliced -4-5
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Fresh Curry leaves - 4
Ginger - 1/2 tsp crushed (Ginger is a personal favorite - can be omitted or replaced with a tiny clove of garlic)
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Water to grind
Salt to taste

To season:
Coconut oil - 2 - 3 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Dry red chillies - 2-3
Curry leaves - a handful
 
Place the tapioca chunks into a deep vessel and pour enough water to cover it. Cook on a high flame. As soon as the water starts to boil, take the vessel off the flame and pour out all the water. Refill with fresh water again, enough to cover the tapioca pieces. Add a tsp of salt and place on high flame until the tapioca pieces are cooked tender. 
 
Drain out the excess water after cooking.
 
Grind together all the ingredients listed under "to grind" to a smooth, thick paste. A little water can be added if needed

Mash the cooked tapioca pieces roughly. Add the ground paste and mix well. Place over a medium flame. Add about a 1/2 cup of boiling water. (If you prefer a softer mash, you can add another 1/2 cup of boiling water). Mix well. Let the mixture come to a boil and then simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Switch off flame.

Heat 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil in another pan. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add the curry leaves and let it splutter too. Then lower the flame and add the dry red chillies broken in half and just stir till the color starts to change to a deeper shade of maroon.  Add this oil and seasoning to the mashed and cooked tapioca mixture and mix well. 
 
Serve hot with dried red chilli chutney or with meat/fish curries.
 

Comments

Popular Posts