Kappa Vevichathu or tapioca with ground coconut paired with meen curry or fish curry is Kerala's authentic and staple dish. Kappa used to be considered as a poor man's food. But over time, it has transformed into an exotic dish, and many fine-dining restaurants serve it too.
Cooking time: 20 minutes
1.5 kg kappa or tapioca
½ cup grated coconut
2 pieces green chillies
3 pieces garlic cloves
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp jeera or cumin
1 sprig of curry leaves
Salt to taste
1 tbsp coconut oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp grated coconut
4 dried red chillies, whole
1 sprig of curry leaf
Step 1: Thoroughly wash and clean the kappa or tapioca. Chop off both the edges of the kappa and then peel off the outer skin and the inner pink coloured skin.
Step 2: Cut it into small pieces. Wash it thoroughly at least 2 to 3 times.
Step 3: In a large vessel boil the kappa pieces along with water. Submerge the pieces, and make sure that the water level is at least 2 to 3 inches above the kappa pieces.
Step 4: After the first boil, drain the water and add the same amount of fresh water and boil it again. Cook the kappa until it turns soft and tender enough to push apart with a fork. It takes roughly 10 to 20 minutes depends on the ripeness of kappa.
Step 5: Drain the water from the kappa and keep aside.
Step 6: Coarsely grind grated coconut, green chillies, garlic, jeera or cumin, curry leaves and half teaspoon turmeric powder in a blender. Add salt to taste.
Step 7: Add the coconut mix to the to cooked kappa and then mash the kappa and coconut mix thoroughly with a masher. Check salt, if required add more to taste.
Step 8: Next, heat coconut oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once they begin to splutter, add whole dried red chillies, sliced shallots, curry leaves and sauté till the onions turn light golden in colour. Then add grated coconut and fry it till it turns golden brown in colour. Pour this tempering over the cooked tapioca.
Step 9: Keep the kappa covered for some time so that the flavours from the tempering can get absorbed into the dish.
Delicious kappa vevichathu is ready. Serve hot with fish curry or beef curry.
Note: Do not pressure cook the kappa at any time, as it loses flavour.
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