Fish and Tapioca – Kappa Meen Curry

Kappa Meen
kappa meen

Fish and Tapioca – Kappa Meen Curry

‘Kappayum Meenum’ (Kappa Meen Curry) – a true Keralite affair  between the Cassava Root and the red hot (not too spicy) Fish Curry!

The textures and combined flavors are deeply comforting.  The soft but ‘al dente’ Tapioca preparation, smothered in a coconut gravy and spiced sourness provided by the deep red curry.  Need I say more?  

Fish and Tapioca – Kappa Meen Curry


For the Tapioca / Kappa

  •  2  forearm lengths of tapioca – about 1 kg once cleaned.
  • ¾ cup fresh grated coconut
  • 4- 5 shallots
  • 2 small green chillies
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • a handfull of curry leaves that have been torn or crushed

 For the Fish Curry / Kappa Meen Curry

  • 750 gms firm fleshed  fish.
  • ¼ cup shallots, sliced round
  • 2 tsp garlic, sliced
  • 2 tsp ginger , julienned
  • 2 pieces of fish tamarind/ kudampuli, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 ¼ tsp (approx) salt.
  • 1 pinch fenugreek seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ cup oil or coconut oil for authenticity

To “Grind” together :

  • 2 Tbsp red chili powder (Deep red and not too spicy)
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 4 Shallot
  • ¾ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cumin – optional – I prefer without


For the Tapioca / Kappa

Kappa Meen - how to cut tapioca

  • Peel the tapioca – the thick brown layer as well as the inner pink layer, to reveal the white  flesh of the tapioca.
  • (Good tapioca should be firm and dense, not dry and without many blueish grey  vein like lines across its length).
  • (Skilled chefs will chop the tapioca with the swift chopping of cube sized pieces  while rotating the length of tapioca, leaving the central root  portion to be discarded – for some tender tapioca, this fibre may not be visible.)
  • For ease, in cutting up the tapioca. Cut the tapioca into 4 equal cylindrical pieces.
  •  Now chop lengthwise on both sides. Discard the inner fibrous root and chop  the remaining sections into  cubes.
  • Add enough water to cook the cubes to a sauce pan and add salt.
  • Cook, partially covered till al dente ( soft but with a bite left to it)
  • There should be just a small amount of water left in the pan.
  • Add the coconut, shallots, green chili and a splash of water to a  mixer/grinder and grind to a smooth paste.
  • Add this to the cooked tapioca along with turmeric  and continue to heat till the coconut is cooked,  about 2 minutes. The gravy should be thick.  (Note that it will thicken further after cooling off a bit, so there is no need to keep cooking till dry)
  • Add the curry leaves and take off heat.
  • kappa

 For the Fish Curry / Kappa Meen Curry

Fish Tamarind

  • Marinate the fish in 1 tsp salt for 20 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
  • Wash off the salt and rinse thoroughly.
  • Drain.
  • Heat a small pan and roast the chili powder till deeper in color without turning brown (no oil)
  • Add this and the other ingredients for the “Grind”. Grind to a paste.
  • Heat oil in and earthen / clay cooking pot.
  • Add the shallots. Fry till golden in color. This will take 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Remove with slotted spoon.
  • Add the garlic next and fry till golden and remove as well. 30 seconds – 1 minute.
  • Lastly add ginger and fry till golden as well and remove.  30 seconds – 1 minute.
  • To the same oil,
  • Add the mustard seeds and allow to splutter.
  • Add the fenugreek seeds, allow to turn golden.
  • Add the ground paste and fry, sprinkling water so as not to burn the spices. Stir- fry till oil seperates.
  • Add about 3 cups of water and salt. Bring to boil
  • Add the fish tamarind, followed by the fish. Add gently each piece into the simmering curry.
  • Now return all the fried ingredients and return to boil.
  • Lower the heat and cook partially covered till the fish is cooked well and the curry is thickened. about 7-8 minutes.
  • Serve the Fish curry over the hot tapioca as a dish in itself or separately with rice.

Fish and Tapioca – Kappa Meen Curry

Try and let us know Fish and Tapioca – Kappa Meen Curry ?

Read more about Tapioca here.
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About Shana Shameer

Love Cooking and discovering the very Best recipes out there.

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