Tapioca aka kappa kizhangu is a recent addition in our vegetable shopping list. We never had this vegetable before, mainly because I was clueless how to use it. My brother-in-law and his wife are big fans of tapioca, though, and swear by its taste and health benefits. They make this beautiful sort-of salad with it, which they love having for breakfast. We happened to have the salad at their place once, and got hooked. That was how we started buying this vegetable, too. I make the same salad that my brother-in-law’s wife makes – I don’t know how to make much else with tapioca.
We have come to love this salad, a very South Indian-style one made with green chillies and coconut. We prefer having this as a snack, though I think this can be served as a side dish with rice, too.
Here is how I make the salad.
Ingredients (serves 2):
1 medium-sized tapioca root or kappa kizhangu
Salt, to taste
A handful of fresh grated coconut
2-3 green chillies, or to taste
1 tablespoon oil
A pinch of asafoetida
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
A small bunch of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
- Cut the tapioca root into large pieces, without removing the skin. Put them in a vessel, adding just enough water to cover them. Boil the pieces in a pressure cooker, for 4 whistles. When the pressure has released entirely, open the cooker. When the tapioca has cooled down enough to handle, peel it and cut into cubes. Keep aside.
- Grind the green chillies and grated coconut to a coarse paste in a mixer. Use a little water if required. Keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a deep-bottomed pan. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add the asafoetida.
- Now, add the tapioca pieces to the pan, along with salt to taste and the coconut-green chilly paste. Mix well.
- Let the tapioca cook for two or three minutes on a medium flame, stirring off and on.
- Serve warm or cold.
Do you like kappa kizhangu? How do you use it in your kitchen?
Here are some other salads that we have been making, this summer: