Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kappa Veyichathu/ Mashed Yuca/Cassava/Tapioca

Recipe No: 284
Does this need an introduction? No matter how much we, Keralites, eat this, our mouth still waters when we see a picture or hear someone speaks about it. Every household makes a version of Kappa Veyichathu and this is mine…
Ingredients                          Serves 6
  • Yucca/ Tapioca…….......1 Kilo (Weighed after cleaning and cutting)
To Grind
  • Grated Coconut…………2/3 Cup (Unsweetened of course)
  • Turmeric Powder…...…1/2 Teaspoon
  • Onion Sliced……………..1/3 Cup
  • Garlic……………………….3 Big Cloves
  • Indian Green Chilly…..3-4
  • Cumin Powder………….1/2 Teaspoon (Use 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds instead)
  • Salt…………………….……1 Teaspoon
For tempering
  • Coconut Oil………………2 Tablespoons
  • Mustard Seeds………….1/2 Teaspoon
  • Shallots…………………...3 (sliced thin)
  • Curry Leaves…………...1 Sprig
  • Grated Coconut………..2 Tablespoons
Method of Preparation
  1. Grind all the ingredients given in the ‘to grind’ section to a course consistency. Keep aside till ready to be used. (This step can be done while the Tapioca is cooking.)
  2. Peel the Tapioca and split it lengthwise into two. Take off the hard root like thing that runs through its middle. Slice it into thin pieces. (Making it into thin slices helps it cook  fast and mash easily.) Wash them at least three to four times and drain.
  3. Place the sliced Tapioca in a large pot and cover it with plenty of cold/ room temperature Water. (Pieces will not cook evenly if warm Water is used; please refer the picture to see the amount of Water used.)
  4. Let it come to a boil on high heat and continue boiling till the Tapioca is cooked properly. When cooked, the pieces will become slightly translucent. (This has a tendency to boil over, so remove the lid of the vessel once it is boiled.)
  5. Drain it into a Colander and immediately transfer it back to the pot. (Don’t drain it really well as the residual water is needed to cook the ground ingredients; refer the picture below (the one on the upper right hand side) to see the moisture at the bottom of the vessel.)
  6. Make a well in the middle of the Tapioca and place the ground ingredients. Cover it with the Tapioca pieces from the sides; close the vessel; lower the heat to minimum and cook for another 3-5 minutes or till the residual Water is all absorbed.
  7. While this is happening, make the tempering. Heat the Coconut Oil in a small pan on medium heat and splutter the Mustard Seeds.
  8. Add the Shallots and Curry Leaves; fry till the Shallots are golden brown.
  9. Add the grated Coconut and fry again till the Coconut is golden brown.
  10. Add this together with the remaining Oil, if any, to the prepared Tapioca and mash everything together until it is uniformly mashed. Check for Salt and add more if needed. (Salt should be enough so that it can be eaten alone.)
  11. Serve hot/ warm with Fish Curry or Beef Veyichathu, Chicken Veyichathu or simply with Chutney.
  • It is advised to use good and fresh Tapioca as possible. If you see any blackened areas in it while cleaning, it is better to discard them.
  • Tapioca contains a small amount of cyanide (Cyanogenic glucosides; ‘Kattu’ as it is called locally in Kerala which is responsible for illness in animals like Cows,if eaten in huge amounts), so it is advised to cook them in plenty of Water (and the excess water should be discarded).
  • Frying the grated Coconut while tempering is traditionally done for raw Jackfruit preparation, but I love it for Tapioca too.
  • It will be difficult to mash the Tapioca if cooled, so do it while hot.
  • Don't keep the Tapioca for a long time after slicing and wash them only just before cooking.
  • If you are buying fresh Tapioca with skin, then,  you will have to buy at least 1 1/4 Kg  from the store in order to get approximately 1 Kg of cleaned Yucca/ Tapioca. Peeled Tapioca is also available in the frozen section of Indian/ international stores.

Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
serve it to your family with love…


Faseela said...

ayyo...sharikkum kothppichu.....superb

Julie said...

OMG !! very tempting one,Asha...Love this a lot,adipli combo with meen curry..appreciate your step by step presentation too!!

Erivum Puliyum

Anzz said...

Asha, that looks delicious. And the fiery red of the meen curry... aaa... kothiyavunu..!

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Sobha Shyam said...

mouthwatering kappa..i can never say no to this..:)

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Anisha said...

This mouthwatering... I guess there is no Keralaite who doesn't love Kappa...

Vimitha Durai said...

Love this with meen kuzhambhu... All time favie...
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Rajeswari said...

well done as usual

Teena said...

You made me hungry ;) Looks delicious & perfectly done!!
Ongoing-''Valentine's Day Event''(till Feb 20th) said...

mouthwatering kappa.looks great

Aruna Manikandan said...

First time here....
kappa looks delicious, very well explained
glad to follow u :)
visit my space when u find time

George said...


Here is an improvisation I tried. Once we have drained the boiled Kappa in a colander, it will result in a dry final dish. I agree you have mentioned about retaining little water during draining, but it defeats the purpose of cynaide removal. So I suggest that while grinding the coconut, use half cup of water. This will result in better grinding in american blenders as well help keep the dish moist.

Asha said...

Thanks George...

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