Friday, 4 April 2014

Poola kizhangu Malagushiyam {Spicy Tapioca Curry}

Doesnt that exhaustive name make you feel like,it should be worth it?Well,you are in for luck ;) ...its completely worth the toiling you do to pronounce the name !

Tapioca is  native to Northern Brazil but is spread throughout the South American continent. The plant was spread by Portuguese and Spanish explorers ,to most of the world ,including Gods own country.

There is a story that did rounds when I was in my school.My friends who also hail from Kerala told me a funny ,yet believable[remember I was still in school..naive levels are pretty high then!!] story.How did tapioca get that musical name ??
Apparently ,there was a woman who was uprooting kappa/poola from the ground ,when a Sayip [Britisher] came by.
He asked her "What is this " .
She answered in malayalam[ofcourse] "Thappi nokuaa" [which meant I am looking for hidden roots] 
He returned a happy man,satisfied that he got the name of that amazing root..Tapi-o-caa.
Isnt that the most believable story ,ever????

Contrary to my favorite story ,the name tapioca is derived from the word tipi'óka, the name for this starch in the Tupí language, which was spoken by the natives when the Portuguese first arrived in the Northeast of Brazil.[wikipedia to the rescue ]

Little did the Portuguese realize that this starchy root will one day become the staple to Gods own people :) ...the combinations that Malayalees have developed with this humble root are amazing.

The most favorite one is Kappa/Poola kizhangu with Meen curry.Simple cooked tapioca with a fiery fish curry.The burst of flavours is unimaginable .You have to eat it to believe it .

The recipe that I am posting is a simple curry no frills..just plain curry with the tempting aroma of curry leaves and coconut oil.

This Malagushiyam is a staple in our part of Kerala.Its light on the tummy,satisfying and tasty.There is a way to peel tapioca. The brown woody cover has to be removed,also the pinkish skin laying under the brown layer has to be peeled off...Only the white milky part of the root is to be cooked.People keep the fibrous almost twine like vein of the root or take it off as per personal preference.I keep the vein :)

So here goes..

Tapioca/Kappa/Poola kizhangu-1kg[peeled,cut into bite size pieces and washed well]
Chilly Powder-as per taste or 2 to 3 tsp
Turmeric Powder-1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Curry leaves and Coconut oil for seasoning


Put the cut tapioca,chilly and turmeric powders ,salt and water just a little more than the level of the tapioca[to cover it and a little more] .we dont want the gravy too watery.
Pressure cook for 2 whistles .Take off heat.
Once the pressure settles down,open and mash a few pieces to get a yummy thicker gravy.
Adjust salt.
Now add a few springs of curry leaves and a generous splash of coconut oil.I use virgin coconut oil..and the aroma makes me go "Coconuts"!!
Serve hot or cold with rice ,chapathi ,puri,idli ,dosa and even puttu....

The aroma of the curry leaves and coconut oil is heady!

The coconut oil I use

How do I look ? ;)

Ready to be served

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