Kappa Biriyani/ Erachi Kappa - Tapioca with Beef

I still can't believe this. I have had this pending very close to when I started my blog, I suppose!!! I had mentioned in my Kappa Masala post way back in February, how the kappa (tapioca) I had bought for the Kerala Kitchen challenge of that month got siphoned onto making this Kappa Biriyani. Now it is already June, and I have already made this three more times in these past months and still I haven't posted it... Hmmm....

Actually speaking, if there is one dish of mine which umma adores - even though she wouldn't publicly admit it!!! :) - is this. Upon her request, I have made it for her those three times, despite the fact that she is diabetic and cannot have too much tapioca as it is majorly carbohydrate. In fact, all times I have made it, we have had guests coming over in the form of cousins close to dinner time and they used to get served this with their tea, and Alhamdulillah, everybody had a good opinion. :)

Kappa Biriyani is not a specialty of our side. I feel that it is more cooked towards the south of Kerala. We people normally boil our tapioca with turmeric and serve it with spicy fish curry or as is done towards my HD's side, the tapioca is cooked in the fish curry itself! And the fish that is majorly used is sardines, so I guess you can imagine the difficulty in eating it through all that fish bones... Grr... Anyways, I will move towards how I make it. Even though the list is long, it is more of a cook-separate-and-mix kind of a recipe and I really love the way it has turned out every time...

Kappa Biriyani/ Erachi Kappa - Tapioca with Beef
Serves 5-6


For the tapioca:
1.5 kg tapioca, skin peeled and cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Sufficient water for cooking
For beef:
700 gm boneless beef, cleaned
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 large onion sliced
3 chillies, slit
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp black pepper powder
3/4 tsp garam masala
For grinding:
4 tbsp coconut
2 green chillies
1 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp fennel powder
For tempering:
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
7-8 shallots, thinly sliced
A handful curry leaves
5-6 dried red chillies


First let's cook the tapioca. Peel the tapioca and chop into small peices. Wash in lots of water. Add double the water of the tapioca along with the tapioca, salt and turmeric into a pressure cooker and cook until one whistle. Allow the pressure to go on itself. Drain the tapioca and set aside.

Wash the beef well and keep aside to drain.

In another pressure cooker, heat the oil. Splutter the fenugreek seeds. Saute the onion and the green chillies till the onion turns soft. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes, around two minutes. Add in the masalas and saute for atleast five minutes till the masalas gets cooked and the raw smell is gone. Now add the beef, mix well so that the masala gets coated well and close the lid of the cooker. There is no need to add any water as the beef will release the water in itself. Cook on high flame till three whistles, and leave it for 15-20 minutes on low flame. Switch off and allow the pressure to go on its own.

Open the pressure cooker and cook till the fluid in the curry is reduced to half. Do not make it too dry!

In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Splutter the mustard seeds. Add the tempering ingredients one by one and fry till the shallots are slightly browned. Add in the cooked tapioca and beef and give it a nice mix till the whole mixture is incorporated. Leave it on low flame for 10 minutes with a tight lid on for the flavors to sink in. Serve warm!

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