This boiled yuca recipe or nadan kappa puzhukku recipe or mashed tapioca with coconut and spices is a very popular and traditional South Indian Kerala style recipe. This boiled yuca (cassava or tapioca) is absolutely delicious and filling and easy to prepare too.
I sprinkled some red chili flakes over the kappa puzhukku which made it even more delicious, but the chili flakes is totally optional and you may skip that if you don’t want this spicy 🙂
Tapioca also known as cassava root tubers are very starchy and naturally gluten free.
Tapioca flour and tapioca pearls is available to buy in stores and online and used in a lot of traditional recipes in many parts of the world.
This boiled mashed yuca or tapioca or cassava seasoned with spices and mixed with coconut can be considered a curry which can be enjoyed as a side with rice (or on its own) but it is not a regular curry with gravy.
See here recipe for Indian style mashed potatoes with spices, which also is not a curry with gravy, but used as a delicious and easy side dish for many Indian dishes.
In South India, we refer to this as kappa or maracheeni or simply cheeni or cheeni kizhangu meaning its a root vegetable that resembles wood and tapioca is the most commong English name I am familiar with though I know yuca and cassava are also names used for the same thing. Tapioca or yuca is very widely used in Kerala (South Indian state) and the tapioca dishes are so popular.
Kerala style tapioca dishes are so delicious and can be easily prepared.
This kappa puzhukku, as known in malayalam language, where the word kappa stands for tapioca and puzhukku means quite a mushy dish, which is made by mashed tapioca in coconut and spices.
This kappa puzhukku recipe is so easy to follow and this vegan/vegetarian tapioca dish can be enjoyed as it is for lunch or dinner, or you can enjoy it along with rice and curries, or just have some sides with it, like any chutneys or curry as you wish.
There are different ways you can prepare this dish.
I made this kappau puzhukku the easy way by boiling the whole tubers in water first and then cutting the cooked and soft tapioca tubers into cubes and gently mashing them using a spatula.
You don’t have to mash the tapioca so much, as little pieces make the dish more delicious, so we just mash the cooked tapioca very gently.
Also I removed the strings that we find inside the tubers.
It is easy to remove these, as we cook them as whole, so we can just slice them up lengthwise, remove the strings and then cut them up into cubes.
If you prefer to cut the tapioca tubers before you boil them for cooking, I recommend cutting from all around the tubers without cutting through the center of the tubers, so you can cut the tapioca without getting the string in between(the long and thick string passes through the center of the tuber).
If you don’t mind the string, you can cut them up as usual.
However, we boil the tapioca as a whole and cook them up first before cutting, so taking out the string from the cooked tapioca is so easy.
Also I used garlic powder instead of fresh garlic as I had the dried garlic powder at home.
If you have fresh garlic cloves, you can crush 2 to 3 cloves and saute them in the oil along with the onions.
I used dried garlic powder, so I just added the garlic powder at last which added more flavor to the dish so easily.
So here is how I prepared this kappa puzhu or mashed tapioca with coconut and spices following thsi kappa puzhukku recipe Kerala style.
Boiled Yuca Recipe Indian Style - Kappa Puzhukku Kerala Recipe
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 8 dry red chilies broken
- 1 string curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder or 2 tablespoons crushed fresh garlic
- Wash and peel the pearl onions.
- Slice the pearl onions in half, keep aside.
- Wash the yuca/tapioca tubers and remove the skin of the tubers using a knife.
- To boil the yuca, in a large pot of pan, add enough water to cover the yuca, add salt and bring the water to a boil.
- Let the water boil for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Now drain the water and add fresh water to the pot to cover the yuca roots.
- Add more salt and bring the water to a boil again.
- Cook the yuca in boiling water for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the yuca roots are cooked and soft.
- Once the yuca is cooked, drain the water and wait for the cooked yuca to cool down.
- Once the yuca is cooled enough, slice lengthwise first, so you can easily remove the long string that pass through the middle of the tubers.
- Remove the strings and cut it in small to medium sized cubes and keep aside.
- To make the seasoning, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a very large pan and add mustard seeds.
- When the mustard seeds splutter, add the curry leaves and broken dried red chilies, fry for a few seconds.
- Add the chopped pearl onions to the pan, saute for about 2 minutes.
- Add salt to the onions and stir fry the onions for another 4 to 5 minutes until the onions are softened and lightly browned on sides.
- To make the coconut mixture, grind the coconut coarsely in a food processor (without adding any water or sprinkle a little water if necessaralong with enough salt, cumin seeds and green chilies, keep this mixture aside.
- To prepare the dish, add the cooked yuca to the same large pan with pearl onions, stir everything well. You can gently mash the tapioca using a spoon or spatula at this point just enough according to the consistency you prefer.
- Add the coconut mixture to the pan, add the turmeric powder and red chili powder to the pan and stir well to combine.
- Sprinkle little water (about 1/4 cup), close the pan with lid and cook in low heat for about 3 to 4 minutes.
- After 3 to 4 minutes of cooking, open the pan, and check the salt, if needed you may add more salt at this point. If adding more salt, stir well everything.
- Add garlic powder to the cooked yuca coconut mixture (if using fresh garlic, add it early along with the pearl onionand also the remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to the tapioca coconut mixture, stir everything well. Cover and cook the contents for another 1 to 2 minutes in very low heat.
- Open the pan after 2 minutes, stir everything well. Switch off the stove and keep the pan away from heat.
- Cover the pan with lid and keep it closed for another few more minutes, which will make the kappa puzhukku or mashed yuca coconut dish more delicious. Serve the mashed yuca hot with rice and curries or serve it as it is for lunch or dinner!