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Creamy Paal Kappa: Traditional Kerala Tapioca in Coconut Milk Recipe

Paal Kappa, also known as Tapioca in Coconut Milk, is a traditional Kerala dish that combines the simplicity of tapioca with the rich flavors of coconut milk. This hearty and comforting dish is popular in the southern region of India and makes for a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner option. The soft and chewy tapioca pearls are cooked to perfection and then simmered in a luscious coconut milk sauce infused with aromatic spices. Paal Kappa is typically enjoyed with a side of spicy fish curry or any other flavorful accompaniments. So, let’s dive into this delectable recipe and learn how to prepare Paal Kappa at home.

– 500 grams tapioca (cassava)
– 2 cups thick coconut milk
– 1 cup thin coconut milk
– 2 green chilies, slit lengthwise
– 2 sprigs curry leaves
– 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
– 2 tablespoons coconut oil
– 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
– Salt to taste


1. Peel and wash the tapioca thoroughly to remove any dirt or impurities. Cut it into small, bite-sized pieces and keep aside.

2. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add the tapioca pieces. Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until they turn translucent and are soft when pierced with a fork.

3. Drain the cooked tapioca and set it aside.

4. In a separate pan, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Then, add slit green chilies and curry leaves. Sauté for a minute to release their flavors.

5. Reduce the heat to low and add turmeric powder. Stir well to combine.

6. Pour the thin coconut milk into the pan and bring it to a gentle simmer.

7. Add the cooked tapioca pieces to the pan, followed by salt to taste. Mix everything together gently.

8. Allow the tapioca to simmer in the coconut milk for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the flavors meld together.

9. Finally, add the thick coconut milk to the pan, stirring gently to incorporate it into the dish. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to heat the coconut milk thoroughly.

10. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. If you prefer a thinner consistency, you can add a little more thin coconut milk or water at this stage.

11. Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes to allow the flavors to develop further.

12. Serve the Paal Kappa hot in bowls, garnished with a few curry leaves on top.

Enjoy the delightful combination of soft tapioca pearls and creamy coconut milk in this soul-warming Paal Kappa dish. It pairs wonderfully with spicy fish curry or any other side dish of your choice. This recipe brings the authentic flavors of Kerala right to your plate, giving you a taste of the rich culinary heritage of southern India.


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