INGREDIENTS : Tapioca, salt to taste, turmeric powder, red/green chillies, onions/garlic/coriander leaves/coconut/curry leaves, rye(black mustard seeds), coconut oil(optional).

PREPARATION : Boil tapioca with salt & turmeric powder. Mix in grounded red chillies. One can add onions, garlic, coriander leaves, coconut, etc……gives different distinct flavours when added together or individually. After mixing the masala, heat the tapioca mixture on gentle heat so that it does not stick & burn. Mix in coconut oil. Serve with fish curry.

NOTE : Instead of red chillies, one can add green chillies.
There is another variation, where instead of adding grated coconut, coconut is roasted golden brown & grounded & then mixed in with tapioca.
To create another variety, instead of mixing in coconut oil, one can do tempering. Heat oil. Add in rye, red chillies, curry leaves. Add this tempering to tapioca mixture.






INGREDIENTS : Tapioca, fresh grated coconut, salt the taste, little coconut oil(optional), curry leaves(optional)

PREPARATION : Chop the tapioca into small pieces. Boil it till soft. Mix the boiled tapioca with salt & fresh coconut. Add coconut oil & curry leaves. Mix & serve.

NOTE : It is advised the that tapioca be boiled open. Also throw away the water in which kappa is boiled.




There may be umpteen varieties of recipes throughout Kerala. I cite few I know.

INGREDIENTS : Tapioca, salt to taste.

FOR CHUTNEY : Onions, green/red chillies, salt to taste, curry leaves(optional), 1/2 tsp coconut oil(optional).

PREPARATION : Cut tapioca as big pieces (roughly it can look like logs). Boil in a lot of water till soft. Keep monitoring the fire otherwise it sticks to the bottom. Once cooked, drain the water. Add salt. Toss so that it is absorbed evenly.

For the accompanying chutney, grind together onions, chillies, curry leaves & salt. Add coconut oil & mix well.

Serve the boiled tapioca logs with the onion chutney.

NOTE : To boil the tapioca, thick bottomed vessel should be used.
For the accompanying chutney, either green or red chillies can be used. Both give different flavours. So try it out.



The Portuguese left India long back but they left some things of their origin in God’s own country down South, where they first set foot rounding the Cape.

The tapioca, a humble tuber root crop, stayed back to be a people’s favourite.


As it happens, when anything new is introduced, public used to view it suspiciously. (An analogy is possible with Maharashtra’s popular ‘Pav’).

But after a famine or some such calamity, the ruler of the then Travancore State Sri Moolan Thirunal Maharaja, ordered to cultivate it rampantly as it’s harvesting takes much less time, than the staple rice, owing to its cheapness. Monetarily it became affordable to the lowest of low in the society.

Kerala is largely coastal. Many regional varieties of cuisine developed combining with fish preparations. So the foreigner became more native than the natives themselves. The mashed tapioca with fish curry still reigns as the staple & balanced diet for the poorer sections of the society, while it is served as delicacy in the more affluent sections. It could be a snack, it could be an accompaniment Or it could be a meal by itself. Owing to it’s starchy nature it gives sateity in a comparitavely less quantity.

A WORD OF CAUTION : While the tapioca – fish combination is an excellent, cheap, balanced food; having it exclusively as meal in bigger quantities for long time has a chance of giving rise to Diabetes Mellitus (Type II).