Kappayum Meen curryum – Boiled Tapioca and Spicy Red Fish Curry with Coccum


Back after a long blogging break..  Had a great time at my homeland during the two months of summer vacation …an  escape from the scorching heat here to the monsoon bliss in Kerala… Kids enjoyed the most  –  the rain , fun with cousins and grand parents .

There is a small poultry farm now back at home .Not a farm exactly, but there are about a dozen  hens, ducks, a few turkeys and 2 geese.. ..   Kids were busy chasing the ducks and hens, but left the turkeys and geese alone , the reason being fear factor 🙂   The first thing kids would do after waking up was to check the hens and collect the eggs

Now , back to the recipe. Tapioca ( or Kappa in Malayalam ) is a staple food in Kerala. Boiled tapioca can be used as a tea time snack or can be used as main course when combined with spicy fish curry .


Few months back Nags from Edible Garden had posted an easy tapioca dish for the Kerala Kitchen cook along. Though I had made the dish intending to participate in it, couldn’t get to post it. Since kappa was already in the menu, made the red fish curry to go with it.



So here’ s the recipe..



  • Kappa or tapicoa, cubed  – 500 gm
  • Garlic, crushed -5 cloves
  • Dry red chillies – 5
  • Coconut oil -1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Split urad dal or uzhunnu parippu – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves, torn into pieces – 1 strand
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp


  1. Peel the tapioca and wash it thoroughly. Cut into rough cubes by driving the knife in and splitting it off the centre of the tapioca.
  2. Cook the tapioca in a pan with enough water to cover it by an inch, until the pieces are soft (about 10-15 mins).
  3. Crush or coarsely grind the garlic and red chillies together in a pestle and Mortar.
  4. Heat oil and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the garlic-chilli paste along with the turmeric powder and fry for 10 seconds until fragrant.
  5. Add the cooked tapioca, salt, and the curry leaves. Mix well and continue to stir until the spices coat the tapioca.




This Fish Curry goes well with tapioca . The curry tastes best when prepared the day before . It lets the fish absorb the flavours of the spices, the fiery red chilli powder and the tanginess of coccum. Also cooking in an earthen pot will add a unique flavour to the fish curry.

The curry gets its deep red colour from the kashmiri chilli powder. Use kashmiri chilli powder that is less spicy , as the recipe calls for 4 tbsp of chilly powder. Or you can cut down the quantity of the chilli powder depending on how spicy you need the curry to be.



  • Kingfish (or any other big fish ) – 1 kg
  • Small onions / Shallots  – 20
  • Garlic cloves – 4
  • Ginger  – 1″ piece
  • Kashmiri chilli powder – 4 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Coccum (kudempuli in malayalam) – 4
  • Fenugreek seeds (uluva  in malayalam) – 1 tsp
  • Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
  • Curry leaves – a handful
  • Salt – to taste


  1. Clean the coccum and keep it aside in 1/2 cup of water.
  2. Chop thinly the shallots, garlic and ginger .
  3. Mix the kashmiri chilli powder ans turmeric powder in 1/2 cup of water to form a smooth paste. Keep aside.
  4. Heat oil in a  pan or earthn pot . Add fenugreek leaves and let it splutter. Add the curry leaves
  5. Saute the shallots, garlic and ginger.
  6. Add the chilli and turmeric powder paste and saute well for 7-10 minutes .
  7. Add 2 cups of water and coccum.
  8. Add salt to taste and let it boil
  9. Add the fish pieces, cover with lid and boil the curry on medium flame till the fish pieces are cooked well and oil floats on top.
  10. Turn off the flame and garnish with handful of curry leaves

NOTE : You can adjust the quantity of the kashmiri chilli powder depending on how spicy you want.  The fish curry gets it deep red colour from the kashmiri chilli powder.