Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kappa/Tapioca Biryani-Ellu Kappa,Kanjirappally Style

Can I say snow is falling like cats and dogs? Well, maybe it’s not the right usage of the phrase but you get the ideal. Therefore, am I wrong to be feeling lethargic? I think not, and I know you agree ;) It has been snowing and the mercury levels continue to drop.

I made this biryani a couple of weeks back, and was lucky enough to save a bowl full to take photographs. Once you taste this dish you will know why photographing it before the bowl is emptied is a challenge, believe me! It's so yum! My mouth is watering and running over just thinking about it. All this is if you like Tapioca. If you do, you will definitely fall in love.. This is a hot selling dish in "thattukada"/roadside dhabas these days. If you have seen the "No reservations"(featuring Kerala) by Anthony Bourdain, then you probably got to see this dish.

Tapioca/Kappa Biryani

It is just wonderful even without any side dishes:-)

Tapioca/Kappa Biryani

For Kappa/Tapioca:

Tapioca/kappa- 1 kg or 2 lbs
Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
Salt- to Tatste
Grated coconut-1/2 cup
Green Chillies- 2-3
Shallots- 2
Curry Leaves- 1 sprig

For Chicken/Meat Gravy:

Chicken/Meat of your choice,with bones- 1/2 kg / 1 lbs
Onion chopped finely- ~3 cups
Ginger paste- 1 Tbsp
Garlic paste - 1 1/2 tbsp
Salt- to taste
Turmeric- a big pinch
Red chilli powder- 2 tsp
Coriander powder- 1 Tbsp
Meat Masala- 2 tsp(a mixture of 5-6 black pepper corns, a small cinnamon stick, 2-3 cloves and one cardamom)
Curry Leaves- 1 sprig

For Tapioca/Kappa:

1.Peel off the skin from Tapioca and clean and cut it coarsely to get medium sized pieces.
2.Boil water, enough to cover the tapioca in a deep pan.Once it starts boil add the chopped tapioca pieces and cook with salt and a pinch of turmeric until it is done. The time varies from 5 minutes to 20 minutes once it starts boiling,depending on the variety of tapioca you use.So keep checking in between.
3.Meanwhile grind the coconut, chillies,turmeric and shallots coarsely.
4.Drain all the water once tapioca is cooked.
5.Throw in the ground ingredients and salt and mix well.Mash the tapioca pieces well while mixing.
6.Cover and cook on medium low heat for 3-4 minutes or until steam starts coming.

For Chicken/Meat:

1.Heat oil in a pan and saute the onions till they start to turn brown.
2.Throw in the ginger garlic and saute till the raw smell leaves.
3.Add the spice powders and saute for a couple of minutes.
4.Add the curry leaves and the chicken/meat pieces and mix well till the meat is coated with the masala.
5.Cook on low heat till the chicken/meat is done.The time depends on the meat you use.If you are using any meat other than chicken, you could do this process in a cooker and let 3 whistles come before you switch off the heat.

6.Mix this chicken/meat masala with the tapioca and serve warm.

Tapioca/Kappa Biryani


1.Traditionally we use the beef that is near to the bones for making this and the dish is called "Ellu kappa", which is literally translated to "bones n Tapioca".
2.To get that authentic taste, use the meat with bones and use coconut oil while cooking the meat.
3.You could add more chillies.I used less for the kids at home ;-)
4.You could serve a raita or mulaku chammanthi, if you need more spice.
5.You may want to start with cooking your meat first, since that takes longer time than tapioca.
6.Serves 3-4

Contributor: Namitha


  1. Muaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa I want that whole plate. So so delish.

  2. i loved tapioka with fish curry. it was so yum that often i dream abut it. donr make my life more miserable with another tasty dish. now i need to learn how to properly cook this dish.

  3. I love this dish! I have some kappa in my pantry, should make it one of these days :)

  4. looks very good....yummy!...I have seen it on Tv...never tried making it...I have always made upma with tapioca....this I should try!

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  5. wow vayil this kappa biriyani...

  6. This looks so delicious ,mouthwatering recipe.Gr8 clicks !!

  7. I love roadside food that should be heaven- Never thought kappa in biryani form. Looks excellent and meaty :)

  8. Looks delicious, I love thattukada dishes.

  9. Looks awesome dear! I haven't had this combo!It sure is tempting me though. :)

  10. wow..kappa biriyani looks so tempting and yummy...mouth-watering recipe...loved it..

  11. Love the color and the clicks..
    Looks so tempting...

  12. Kappa biryani looks good,as for the comments not showing up on the main page it works out better for me and my visitors for it to show up.I have done everything,I have enabled them,checked the text and the background color still it can't be seen.If you know how it can be rectified do let me know.

  13. Kappa Biriyani looks superb. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  14. Very new n very interesting..thanks for sharing :)

    US Masala

  15. wow my fav kappa biryani looks superb dear. i dint tried with chicken yet will try next time. looks delicious dear

  16. Authentic and yummy dish though I'm new to this dish, great click too..

  17. Mouthwatering here, soo tempting briyani..

  18. This looks simply great and inviting.

  19. Lovely dish for chicken lovers..nice pics :)

  20. Kandittu kothiyavunnu..looks awesome dear.

  21. wow this looks mouthwatering and delicious!

  22. Oh my i love this, but chicken kondu akki nokkam nu chinthiche ella tto..evide nalla asalu kappa kittum, undakittu thanne karyam...

  23. i love this.... i think it tastes best with beef.. :)

  24. ...and my latest post talks about Kappa

  25. This is completely delicious and your photos are just stunning!

  26. This sounds wonderful. I have never cooked with tapioca. The flavors you have used sound delicious. I can see why this gets eaten so quickly.

    No, you are not wrong to feel lethargic. We have lots and lots of snow here too and more on the way, and though I do love the snow, the lack of sun is starting to get to me too:)

  27. Kidilan kappa biriyani, Nami..Enteyum fav annu ethu..We have it in our drafts pakshe pic kollatha kondu onnude edukkanam..

  28. This is new to me but you have piqued my interest. It looks delicious!

  29. tapioca is my specially when it is cooked in kerala is the best...this looks gorgeous :)


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