Kappa puzhingiyathu is small, soft pieces of boiled tapioca and is usually paired with thayir sammanthi which may be described as curd chutney with a strong chili hit. It is probably the simplest of meals from Kerala, but is truly delicious. I have spent many a happy tea time at my mother’s house eating kappa, each piece dipped in plenty of thairu samanthi. And then feeling lazy, sleepy and at peace with the world. Simple pleasures!
In my family, all the ladies in my grandmother’s generation showed a general aversion to food in their old age. They complained of gas trouble the moment they saw milk, said food got stuck in their throat even if was just broken rice soup (kanji), pretended to be asleep when they realized it was oats for breakfast, had given up non vegetarian food ages ago because they had acidity issues, and got downright angry when they were given their medicines (ok, medicine isn’t technically food).
Perhaps a few of them gave a slight nod of consent to chocolates and sweets especially if they were diabetic. Otherwise, meal times were their least favorite time of the day, just like it’s for litte kids. They had to be bullied into eating!
The only exception to this was their love for kappa. All their troubles seemed to vanish in an instant at the sight of tapioca. Their face brightened up, and they did not grumble about their inability to taste anything (vayiku ruchi illa!). This time, they had to be reminded about their gas trouble, but they paid no heed. Again, like the present day kids let loose at Dominoes!
Unlike in Kerala, we don’t often get good quality kappa in Bangalore. So whenever I come across a good batch, I buy a kg or two. The outside of good kappa is dark brown, and firm to touch. Break off a small piece at the end, and check that the inside is white.
You can find out how to boil kappa here. Just cut them into larger pieces, around 5×2 cm.
And pair it with this delicious thairu samanthi.
Kappa puzhingiyathu is small, soft pieces of boiled tapioca and is usually paired with thayir sammanthi which may be described as curd chutney with a strong chili hit. It is probably the simplest of meals from Kerala, but is truly delicious. I have spent many a happy tea time at my mother’s house.
- Grind together coconut, green chilies, curry leaves and shallots in the chutney jar or the smaller bowl of your mixer grinder. Mix with curd and season as per taste.