Kappa Vevichathu(Seasoned Boiled Tapioca)

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If you ever happen to ask any of the typical mallu, what is the most famous ‘Kerala Special’ delicacy they can think of, I bet 90% are going to tell – Kappa Vevichathu(Boiled and seasoned Tapioca/Yucca root) and Meen curry (Fish Curry) . Now everything else pretty much you would get in most other places. But I haven’t seen this combination or even any variation of this combination in any other cuisine.

The most authentic version of this lip smacking dish can be bought from any toddy shop in Kerala 😛 For those who do not know what toddy shops are: they are roadside shops that sell local alcoholic beverages(palm toddy). I know of people who go to these shops just to have awesome spicy fish curry with kappa 🙂 Unfortunately, I haven’t got an opportunity to try so called best version of this dish 😉

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INGREDIENTS:

Cup used for measurement is US measurement cup, 1 cup = 237 ml

Tapioca – 2 lbs
Coconut oil – 2 tbsp
Curry leaves – 2 strands
Dry red chilli – 2 nos
Mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt – to taste (apprx. 1 tsp)

To grind:

Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup
Shallots – 10-12 nos
Garlic – 5 pods
Green chilli – 3 nos
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp

METHOD:

1. Boil small cubes of tapioca with enough water(apprx. 1.5 cups), turmeric powder and salt. If using cooker, give about 4 whistles and keep in simmer for 2-3 mins. Once done, mash the tapioca roughly.
2. Grind the ingredients under ‘To grind’ section in a mixer to form a coarse paste.
3. Heat coconut oil in a pan and put mustard seeds. When it splutters, add dry red chilli and curry leaves. Once it splutters, add the mashed tapioca to the pan.
4. Add the ground mixture and mix well with tapioca. Saute for 4-5 mins and remove from heat.

Serve hot with Fish curry

Goan Fish Curry

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Though I come from a coastal state in India, and fish is the most common dish in almost all the households there, I haven’t been a great fan of fish. So it is very unlikely that I experiment much with fish. Ever since I have been away from home, I eat fish only by choice and that was practically, never! I was quite happy about it for sometime, but when months passed, I started missing eating fish. At times, when you don’t get something, is when you realize its worth or value 🙂

That being said, I have started to eat fish once in a while by choice 😛 This time I had some guests coming over at my place and I thought why not make something little different than the usual style of preparation. So I tried my version of Goan(Goa is a coastal state in my country) preparation. And it turned out good. I am going to be making it more often.

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INGREDIENTS:

Tilapia – 2 fillets
Shallots – 5-7 nos
Ginger – 1 inch
Garlic – 5-6 pods
Green chilli – 2 nos
Tomato – 1/2 of a medium sized tomato
Lime juice – 1 tsp
Coconut milk – 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder – 3/4 tsp
Red chilli powder – 3/4 tsp
Garam masala – 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – 5-6 nos
Curry leaves – 4-5 nos
Coriander leaves – 5 strands
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 4 tbsp

METHOD:

1. Clean, wash and cut the fish fillets into medium size pieces. One fillet can be cut into 5-6 pieces. Now marinate the fish with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp chilli powder and little bit of salt(as per your taste). Keep the marinated fish in the refrigerator for about an hour atleast.

2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Shallow fry the marinated fish till it starts becoming golden in color. You will have to fry it for approximately 2-3 mins on medium flame on either sides. Don’t fry the fish for too long. Keep aside for using later(keep on a kitchen towel to take out the extra oil).

3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a sauce pan. When the oil is heated, put the mustard seeds. Wait for the mustard seeds to splutter and then add cumin seeds and the fenugreek seeds. Once cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds become light brown, add curry leaves.

4. Immediately add, crushed ginger and garlic(For those who do not know what crushed ginger/garlic is, basically use a mortar and pestle to crush ginger and garlic. Alternatively, you could you ginger garlic paste. But the crushed version tastes better). Once it becomes golden brown, add the sliced shallots and green chillies(either slit into 2 halves or sliced).

5. Add salt at this point. Adding salt with the onions has an advantage. It quickens the process of frying the onion by taking the moisture content in the onion. Saute for about 4-5 mins till onion is fried till it turns light pink.

6. Add the remaining turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala and saute. Fry till the spices are cooked well( You would know the spices are done, when the oil starts to separate from the mixture. Alternately you could wait till the onion starts becoming slightly crispy in appearance).

7. Add chopped tomato and lime juice and wait till the tomatoes are done well. The tomato will kind of dissolve when its cooked thoroughly.

8. Now lower the flame medium-low and pour the coconut milk. I use the coconut milk concentrate. So you can add water along with it to bring it to the consistency you would prefer the gravy to be. I do not like the gravy to be too thick.  So I added about 1 cup water.

9. Let it boil. Remember to keep stirring the gravy often else the coconut milk will split.  The gravy would take some time to come to boil since you are cooking in medium low flame.

10. Once it begins to boil, add the fish pieces to the gravy. Since the fish is fried, it is almost cooked already. So boil it for 3-4 mins more and it is ready.

11. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve with hot rice.