1. Health & Lifestyle

Kerala's Tang to Tapioca, Cuisine From Snacks to Biryani

Anju M U
Anju M U

While it is exhausted and long hours pending to get your lunch, tapioca will serve you in the meantime as brunch. The root crop after being made as a 'puzhukku', can be added to the meal accompanied with fish curry, gives you another tang to the tongue. As popular as banana chips, the tapioca is also made into similar snacks and can be preserved by dehydrating the food.

It is known in different names as Tapioca reaches various districts. In the utmost southern part, mostly in Thiruvananthapuram Tapioca is called Kizhangu. In the next district it is Cheeni and for Kottayam, Tapioca becomes Kappa. In the middle part of the state, in Thrissur Tapioca is known as Kolli Kizhangu, while in Palakkadu it is Poola kizhangu. The northern Kerala districts such as Kozhikode and Wayanadu are also named Tapioca Kolli Kizhangu. But the most common name for the root vegetable of Cassava is Maracheeni.

Though it has variants in names, Kerala feels for tapioca with equal tastes the root crop is merely boiling in water or if added turmeric and coconut to it, very kinds of sweet and spicy dishes can be produced with it. The very classic food combo 'Kappa vevichath' with fish curry, is even asked by tourists from abroad while they are paying a visit to the 'God's Own Country.

The less used, but wider known dish is 'Tapioca puttu', which is made from the powder which in turn produced by filtering the water used for washing the tapioca. Not merely chips and Puzhukku, tapioca attracts biriyani lovers as it is a unique taste when made as Kappa Biriyani.

Many people consume it as a substitute for rice, having its dishes at any time in a day on regular basis. For both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, Tapioca offers a favourite plate to the taste. It is eaten with coconut chutney, or merely with onion- chilly coconut paste for vegetarians. For non- vegetarians 'Kappa puzhukku' or 'Kappa vevichath' is consumed with fish curry or chicken curry. It is used to make desserts and pies in various parts of the world.

Apart from the cuisines, pearls can be produced from Tapioca. Moreover, Kerala Finance Minister, at his maiden budget speech in the assembly last June, delivered a suggestion of producing  Extra Neutral Alcohol (ENA) from Tapioca. The ENA  is the primary material for the production of alcoholic beverages.

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