Kappa Vevichathu / Kappa Masala/ Yuca/ Cassava Root cooked with Spices and Coconut

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In my hometown, the classic combo dishes other than rice and curries is Yuca/cassava root and fish curry. I think our ancestors know that cassava or Kappa as we call it in Malayalam is rich in carbohydrates, however poor in protein content. So they develop this combo of fish which is rich and cheap source of protein with this high carbohydrate cassava root. However vegetarians don’t follow this combo and they tend to eat cassava with a hot and spicy chili relish. It means they are not actually balancing the carbohydrate- protein ratio.
I love to buy them as fresh cassava/kappa is available in Fiesta store most of the time. However my hubby is not fan of it as it can raise his blood sugar readings in the morning, and he doesn’t want to experiment. So I didn’t buy them for long time. Few weeks ago I joined a Face book group Kerala Kitchen who plan to cook dishes from Kerala. First one in the list was to make Kappa Masala. However the way she made is slightly different from my mom’s version. So decide to try it.
Even though Cassava root is native of South America, it is well grown in southern part of India. I found an Amazonian legend based on the origin of Cassava root.  Daughter of chief of tribe got pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl (Mani) who is really fair skinned, which was really unique to their tribe. The baby lived only until she was a year old.  Do to extreme grief chief (her granddad) buried her inside his house, and her mother watered the grave as part of custom, suddenly one day  a plant started grow from Mani’s grave, and they let the plant grow, and when the birds started to eat fruit of plant  they would act like they are drunk. After few days, earth started to crack and root underneath were exposed, they plucked the root, peeled the skin, cooked it and  found out that it was delicious, they named it Manioc which is other name of Cassava root/ Kappa. If you interested to know more about the story read fromhere.
In Kerala, even in high end restaurants this Cassava root/ Kappa is staple item. 
  Mom used to make a simple dish with cassava/ Kappa by removing the skin and cook it with salt and turmeric and later season it with some coconut, mustard seeds, red chilies and curry leaves and gave it to us as after school snack. Adding turmericis known to fight infections and some cancers, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive problems.  My grandma makes red hot fiery condiment to go with it, just roast the hot chili pepper and onion in fire and crush it with coconut oil and salt. Yes it is super hot but did wonders with cassava root/Kappa. Otherwise she made a curry with it for our lunch. Any way this dish was making me nostalgic.  Dad also used to buy cassava/yuca chips for us as munchies. I have bought cassava chips here in Hispanic stores and they are not tasty as we used to get it in Kerala. May be this is because of different taste buds.
This weekend while shopping I bought 3 cassava root/kappa and cooked two, kept one for making my favorite chips. I liked the original recipe, but decided to add my own touch by adding 3 tablespoons of chopped onions and 3 tablespoons of grated coconut. I can’t imagine cassava without adding coconut in there. In order to bring the authentic flavor I used coconut oil.  It was seasoned with curry leaves, mustard seeds, urad dal/split black gram and red chilies. They turned out to be delicious.
If you are a fan of cassava /kappa, try this and it won’t disappoint you. May be it will rekindle your memories. 

Kappa Vevichathu / Kappa Masala/Yuca/ Cassava Root cooked with Spices and Coconut

Preparation time:  10 minutes
Cook time; 26 minutes
Yield: 4 serving

Ingredients

3 cups Chopped Kappa/Cassava root( Peeled skin and chopped into 1 inch pieces )
3 cups Water
2 teaspoon coconut oil
3 tablespoon  Chopped Onion
3 tablespoon freshly grated coconut
1/2 tablespoon Urad  dal/Split black gram
1/2 teaspoon  mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
2  Red chilies
2 cloves of  garlic
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon  Salt

How I made

  •  Peel the skin of cassava root/kappa then cut into 1 inch pieces along the sides so that central vein will be easy to remove. Wash 3-4 times in running water to remove extra starch oozing out of the cassava.
  • In a medium sauce pot add cassava/kappa and 3 cups water and add salt and water and cook for 20 minutes or until it is done well.  Drain the water and set aside.
  • In the meantime pulse, grated coconut, red chili and garlic two three times in a blender and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan add mustard seeds, urad dal and when mustard seeds starts crackle add onion and curry leaves fry the onion for about 4 minutes and then add cooked kappa/cassava.
  • To this add pulsed coconut mixtures and mix well and cook for another 1- 2 minutes.
  • Enjoy with any spicy relish or spicy fish curry.

 I am linking this delicious recipe to Hearth and Soul  Blog Hosted Here.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Swathi,

    I have never try cooking cassava root before and like this interesting recipe. I like your suggestion too of eating this with spicy fish curry.

    Zoe

  2. says

    now that is yummy! My favorite has always been plain cooked kappa without any spices dipped in a fiery hot roasted red chill chutney :) But as u said, it does not take care of the protein-carb ratio… probably that is why i tend to put on weight when i turn vegetarian for a couple of months esp for religious fasting and all… most veggie food combinations that I eat are lacking in protein…

  3. says

    Hi Swathi…thank you so much for your kind and caring words. Losing a loved one is so very difficult; I can only imagine how you must miss your mom. Such a great loss, and ‘memories’ are all we have left, but we shall cherish them.

    Your version of the Yuca/Casava is so amazing, and I just love the addition of the coconut. The turmeric certainly adds pretty color and flavor combined with the curry leaves. Pretty presentation, as well. Your step-by-step photo tutorial is always so helpful!

  4. says

    Kappa is one of my fav root. Love it in any form. Like this kappa masala too. As you said, I also save atleast one kappa root for making chips. So addictive. isn’t it?

  5. reny reji says

    hello swathi…
    happen to see your recipe of kappa vevichadu. i have question and would be much oblifed if you could hepl me out.
    i need to make kappa vevichadu for 30 people.. can u tell me how much fresh coconut i must use and how many pods of garlic.. i am eagerly waiting to hear from you soon.

    regards,
    reny

    • Swathi says

      Reny,

      You can use one whole coconut as well as 2 heads of garlic. That will be enough I think