Mar 9, 2013

Kappa Masala with Malliela Chammanthi

I'm on Cloud #9 literally from past few days...Reason? Well my Carousel Cake of course, I got so many compliments and praise for that cake that I would have never ever imagined to get and I'm simply so pleased and happy :-) 
Thank you one and all , you keep me going   
But its time to come down to earth now and get back to reality...hehe!

So I am going to share a simple yet scrumptious homely and typical Kerala meal. Kappa with chammanthi...mmmmm! For my non-keralite friends, that translates to Tapioca with coconut chutney. 
Kappa (also known as Tapioca/cassava/Yuca root) is a staple item grown in mostly all Kerala households. In my family every single home including ours has a small area of ground just meant for growing kappa and its very widely eaten all over the south Indian state of Kerala. It is a tubular root with a thick brown skin and white flesh inside. It's cooked like pasta by cooking in salted boiling water and the water is drained away.

Usually I prepare Chenda kappa at home, which is Manish’s favorite. Recently many of my fellow blogger friends  did a virtual cookout together and made this dish called Kappa Masala , adapted from Edible Garden and it looked really good, so I thought of giving it a try.
Manish wanted to call it Kappa Upma, well I guess you could call it that, as long as you sauté  some onions and ginger as well. The preparation is simple and quick and it tasted really good.

Along with the Kappa Masala,  I made some Malliela chammanthi (cilantro-coconut chutney) as a side dish.  The cilantro adds a nice freshness when paired with the starchy tapioca.  The chutney is very fresh tasting and needs no cooking.

The combo that we had was Kappa masala with malliela chammanthi and varutha kozhi (chicken fry) and a little yogurt to cool down the spices (mainly for my lil’Appu) on a beautiful banana leaf ...ain’t it colorful? :-) 
It was finger licking good. The spicy chicken fry recipe will be shared in my next post.
I usually never use coconut oil in my cooking , but for this meal I have used a scant amount just for the flavor and it makes all the difference.

Kappa Masala Recipe
You’ll need
Tapioca (cubed) – Two medium roots (about 3 cups)
Water – enough to boil the tapioca
Garlic cloves – 2-3
Dry Red Chillies – 2-3
Coconut Oil – 1 tblsp
Black Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Split Urad dal – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig (about 6-8 leaves)
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Salt – as needed

1.Peel the brown skin of the tapioca and wash it thoroughly and chop it into small cubes discarding the central vein.
2. Boil some water, season with enough salt and cook the tapioca until cooked through and soft. Once cooked drain away the water.
3. Crush the garlic and dry red chillies in a mortar-pestle or coarsely grind it in a grinder.
4. Heat the coconut oil in a pan, crack mustard seeds and add the split urad dal, garlic-chilli paste and turmeric powder and sauté for 2 mins until the raw smell from the garlic disappears.
5. Add the tapioca/kappa along with curry leaves and mix well. Check for seasoning. Add salt if required. (Remember the tapioca was cooked in salted water)

Malliela Chammanthi Recipe (Cilantro-Coconut chutney)
 You’ll need
Fresh grated coconut – 1 cup
Fresh Cilantro leaves – a handful (about  1/4 cup)
Red chilli flakes –  a pinch
Small garlic clove – 1 (optional)
Salt – to taste

1.Grind together all the ingredients.  Add salt to taste and serve fresh.
(Adding Garlic is optional , it may leave a mild raw taste as we are not cooking the chutney after grinding – we love that taste though)

I recently saw this really cool write-up someone shared on facebook about what non-mallu's (non-Keralites) should know about us keralites and our food and it was damn hilarious, but well said. I've shared it on my Facebook check it out!

When we stay so far away from home and family, these simple meals are what keeps us happy and re-lives our memories! So go on, go get some kappa and prepare this phenomenal dish and enjoy your weekend. 



  1. love kappa any day and your looks very delicious.

  2. looks really delicious... having chicken with kappa is quite a new idea for me, we always have it with meen mulakittathu... :)

  3. Looks yummy and tempting...nice clicks.

  4. Woow kappa, chicken fry tempting dear

  5. nice platter..each and every dish is a mouthwatering one...yum!

  6. What a fabulous dish. We it this root vegetable in Sri Lanka too. I love how you spiced it up. :)

  7. Gorgeous presentation, dear...looks so tempting!

  8. lovely pics! why refrain from coconut oil? the studies have reversed now :)

  9. i must really give this a try as I have been seeing a lot of kappa recipes on the cook-along recently. Especially love the presentation on banana leaf, so authentic!

  10. Kappa masala is truly delicious one.

  11. Wat a droolworthy kappa masala,am in love with that platter, drooling here.

  12. Eniku kothiyavunallo Manju..we made it around he same time alle ?? Time for another kappa attempt ;)

  13. This sounds really interesting and delicious!

  14. Kappa in any form is my favorite...when combined with fish curry...oh my...its lenten for us...should not be tempted hehe...

  15. lovely recipe..looks perfect and delicious..

  16. Looks yummy. I will definitely try this


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