Everyone has certain area of
expertise when it comes to cooking, isn’t it? I also assume that has lot to do
with their palette. I have a very sweet tooth and I am more into baking cakes,
pastries and desserts. That is my forte and I am aligned to making sweet things
by default. But on the other side, there are people who make savoury goodies
better than their sweet counterparts.
Like many of you being intimidated about
baking, I should say, I am intimidated or rather not comfortable when it comes
to traditional Kerala cooking. I am not talking about the Malabar cooking, but
the traditional Kerala Sadya recipes and alike. I make few of them at home, but
not the elaborate ones. These are the not the kind of dishes that were cooked
at home regularly and I grew up eating. At my home, meat, fish , chicken,
basically , any non-veg dominated our dinner table.As of vegetable, it was just thoran of any
kind, sambhar, pumpkin curry etc that we had.
Onam sadya was a something we
usually get to taste when our neighbour aunty brings us in small containers or
in restaurants during Onam. You would be surprised if I tell you I have never
had onam sadya from India and probably the first proper Onam sadya that I had
was for last year’s Onam, where it was served in a traditional manner on a
banana leaf. It felt good, really good. I got to taste many things that I never
had before and absolutely adored. I realized that there are things, vegetarian,
that are very delicious. On that day, I decided to learn as many Kerala dish as
possible and to make it a regular part of our meal.
That is when Nags of Edible Garden suggested cooking up a kerala dish every month and post on the blog. A bunch of food bloggers joined the
venture at KeralaKitchen. Nags started it off with the first recipe being tapioca masala. If anyone of you want to join the Monthly Kerala Cooking, please join us. I
thought it was a brilliant idea, with me already having plans to broaden my
knowledge on kerala cooking, I hope this this joint cooking will
motivate me further.
Coming to Kappa, again, it is
not something we cook at my home a lot, but very popular vegetable in and
around Kerala. At my place, it is occasionally made for evening tea. Tapioca
plants are grown in plenty back home in the back yards and they yield quite
well. But most of them are given away to workers, and few of them are cooked
with coconut for evening tea. With nag’s recipe, it is prepared in a different
way and it tasted great along with a cup of hot tea. It is garlicky and spicy
and great along with evening tea. The chilli and garlic flavour domintes the dish, yet balancing the whole dish beautifully.
Living in the British land for a while now,
our spice tolerance has come to bare minimum, and in spite of cutting down the
chillies to three from five, we still found it quite fiery! So you may want to
cut down on your chillies further down if your tolerance is as low as ours or
increase to suit your taste.
Tapioca/cassava/kappa/kolli kizhangu, cubed
5 cloves of garlic
2-5 whole dried red chillies
¼ tsp + ¼ tsp turmeric powder
2 strands of curry leaves,
½ tsp black mustard seeds
2 tbsp coconut oil
salt to taste
1 litre boiling water
1.Peel the tapioca and wash
2. Cut them into 2 inch cubes.
3. Throw them in to bowl, pour
in 1 litre of boiling water, salt to taste and ¼ tsp turmeric. Cook till tender
for about 10-15 minutes, but not mashed up.
4.While the tapioca is cooking,
grind together dry chillies and garlic in a grinder or just crush them in a
pestle and mortar.
5. Once the tapioca is cooked
well,drain the water off and keep them aside.
6. To temper, heat a pan and add
oil. When hot, add in the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add in the ground
paste and chopped curry leaves and sauté on medium heat for a minute or so to
get rid of the raw garlic smell. Add ¼ tsp of turmeric and more salt if need be
and mix well.
7. Add in the cooked tapioca and
mix well to coat the masalas. Serve along with some chutney or a spicy fish
curry or on its own.