Jun 26, 2012

Kappayum Irachiyum (Tapioca cooked with beef)-Malabar Style

                This is a dish which doesn't need a second introduction to Keralites. Tapioca had been and still is a   staple food in many parts of Kerala. For the same reason there is a myriad of delicious dishes made with tapioca unique to the Kerala cuisine. Combination of tapioca with meat as well as fish is widely popular and enjoyed by people from every walks of life. The small local crappy restaurants with the board, reading, "Kappayum irachiyum ivede kittum"(tapioca and beef is available here) is a common site in villages and suburban towns. In fact, it is one of those dishes which always bring a few of the childhood memories back home.

              Homely food has always been alluring and appetizing to me as well as some of my friends. Apart from eating, memorising them with touches of poetry and a whole lot of 'Oohs' and 'Aahs' is my friend, S's favourite pass time.(Not that I don't enjoy it :)). She has tricked me into making a hell lot of dishes with her little bit exaggerated exclamations. It was one of those nostalgic narrations about 'Kappayum beefum',which made me drool like a dog and pushed me into the act of writing 'Tapioca' under the list of 'urgently needed things' on the weekend purchase. How impatiently I waited for those tapiocas to reach home so that I could throw my culinary fists around it to quench my greedy cravings!  And I thoroughly enjoyed the 'Oohs' and 'Aahs' Mr.KB send forth, while he devoured it with undiluted devotion.

        Usually while making 'Kappayum Irachiyum', the tapioca and beef are cooked separately, then combined and cooked in low heat to blend the flavors well. The tapioca is usually boiled with a lot of water and then drained. It is then combined with cooked beef and cooked further to attain that pulpy,pudding like gravy. This dish tastes great when prepared with 'fresh from the farm' tapiocas as was made back home. As I couldn't get fresh tapioca here, I used frozen tapioca and it was not bad after all.

Kappayum Beefum- Malabar style

Things you need:

1/2 kg Indian beef , cut into small cubes
1 kg tapioca, cut into small pieces
7 to 10 shallots/ cheriyulli, sliced
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground garlic
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ground red chillis
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp fennel seeds/perum jeera
Salt to taste
A sprig of curry leaves


Cook the tapioca with adequate water and salt. Drain and keep aside. Cook the beef with adequate salt and all the other ingredients in a pressure cooker until well cooked.Now mix the cooked tapioca with the cooked beef in a heavy bottomed sauce pan and cook in medium to low heat until the tapioca becomes gummy and thick and the tastes well blended. Take care to stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.When it is well cooked and well  blended add curry leaves and stir to combine. Remove from heat and serve hot.



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