Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Kappa Masala (Spiced up Cassava/Tapioca/Kolli kizhangu)

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.

Kappa Masala
serves 4
Adapted from Cookingandme

½ kilo 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, chopped
½ tsp black mustard seeds
2 tbsp coconut oil
salt to taste
1 litre boiling water

1.Peel the tapioca and wash thoroughly.
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.

This Kappa Masala Recipe was adapted from Edible Garden, who is hosting the Kerala Kitchen cookout this month. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...