Kappa olatiadu – tapioca stir fry

My mind goes to back to our holidays in Kochi every summer when we were in school. Kappa or tapioca is a staple there and eaten in many ways. Honestly, I really love the earthy taste of this root whilst I know it is not something that all people relish. The many which ways I have tasted tapioca back home is just boiled with some salt, the tapioca just melts in your mouth, if you want to add some oomph to this earthy humble root do it my way – make a slurry of red chilli powder (make sure its hot) + vineger + salt + a bit of coconut oil and just dip the boiled tapioca in it and devour it. I am telling you the satisfaction this simple mouthful gives you is inexplicable. For me, its a bombardment of memories – swaying coconut palms, a thundering dark sky, lush paddy fields, the smell of puttu steaming in my grannies kitchen, the taste of tamarind soaked with salt …. I can go on and fill pages, but I guess I will have to stop somewhere.

Dar es salaam brought tapioca back to my life, but unfortunately I have now grown up and am not the little girl who could gorge on carb loaded tapiocas as often and as much as I wanted to. So I will buy just one tapioca just once in a while and cook it.

The recipe that I am sharing today is one of my favourites and I usually make it it and keep it my fridge and snack on it for a few days, just taking one or two pieces at a time.

Time taken – 10 mins for cooking the tapioca and 5 minutes for the dish


1 whole tapioca – peeled and chopped into chunks and boiled in salted water till tender but not mushy infact a little on the harder side

1 onion chopped into slices

5-6 green chillies

1 tspn garlic minced

3-4 twigs of curry leaves

1/2 cup fresh coconut grated

1 tspn mustard seeds

1/2 tspn turmeric powder

salt just a little knowing the tapioca is salted already


In a pan take about a tspn of coconut oil and allow it to heat

Add the mustard seeds and wait for them to sputter, add the onions and green chillies and cook them till golden

Add the garlic and curry leaves once done, add the turmeric and mix

Add the chunks of tapioca and mix well, add a little more salt if needed

Add the coconut and give it a good mix but be gentle so as not to mash up the tapioca.

sometimes I add a dash of lemon sometimes I dont.

This is one dish that really is one of those soul satisfying kind of feeling food.

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