Of the many Kerala delicacies that are tagged as comfort food, Kappa is surely one that tops the list. For many, Kappa dishes bring an instant smile on their face as they rediscover their fondest childhood memories. One thing I love about this simple and humble tuber is how it tastes a different kind of amazing, each time it is paired with a curry or chutney. That said, let’s explore seven Kappa dishes or combinations that are absolutely worth trying:
Kappa Puzhukku and Meen Curry
The most popular, the most recommended and the most appetizing combination will always be the legendary Kappa and Meen Curry. Kappa Puzhukku or Kappa Vevichathu is nothing but tapioca boiled to tenderness, mashed and mixed with ground fresh coconut, spices and shallots. Served along with fish curry that is moderately spicy, this one is indeed ‘kuttikaalam’ on a plate.
Chendamuriyan Kappa and Mulaku Chammanthi
So, Chendamuriyan is essentially Kappa Puzhukku which is not chopped into tiny cubes, but as the name suggests, is sliced cylindrically to resemble a chenda. Pair this with the red hot spicy Mulaku Chammanthi and you would just have chanced upon culinary pleasure at its best. Not only is this an ideal breakfast combo, owing to the high starch content, this is also a preferred teatime grub. Of course, the green chilli chammanthi is also a good companion for Chendamuriyan.
Parippuvada, uzhunnuvada, and ullivada. Sure, these are all the star vadas of your childhood, but, how many of you have tried Kappa Vada? This is the versatility of Kappa – that it can transit from being a starch-heavy staple to a savoury snack! Crispy and scrumptious, Kappa is boiled, ground and mixed with a host of ingredients like onion, green chilli and rice flour to create a thick dough, which is then deep fried to golden brown to create this wowzer. Dip it into ulli chuntey and relish it, or have it with a glass of sulaimani. You can thank me later!
I’m sure you’ve already boarded the nostu bus after reading this snack’s name. Cuz I have, for sure. When I was in school, each time I visited Kerala for my summer vacations, I made it a point to hoard packets of these munchies into my trolley bag before my return journey. I’m sure, a lot of you would swear by these too! Thinly sliced Kappa is blended with an array of spices and deep fried to create this crunchy munchy.
Ah, just look how far we’ve come! From a humble staple to a heavenly biryani. A popular dish from Central Kerala, Kappa Biryani is traditionally prepared predominantly with beef. One can switch to using mutton if beef doesn’t seem an option. Some people refer to it as “Ellum Kappayum” as the meat which is simmered with Kappa and fried coconut isn’t exactly boneless.
How can this list be complete without a thattukada special item? And what better than Kolli Mutta or Mutta Kappa. If Pepe’s dialogue from Angamaly Diaries hasn’t popped into your head right now, then, sorry you cannot call yourself a true blue Malayali! Along with egg and tapioca, ingredients like green chilli, curry leaves, pepper, and a drizzle of coconut oil add a unique flavour to this wholesome dish.
So, whoever said kappa and rice cannot be a combination has never tried Kappa Thoran with choru. This is basically a delectable and super nutritious stir fry of Kappa chunks that are packed with fibre and carbs. To get started, the Kappa needs to be finely grated and then blended with a wide range of ingredients such as scraped coconut, spices, garlic, grated ginger, and chilli.
So, hit us up about some of your favourite Kappa dishes and combinations!