Mom’s Recipes: Kappa (Spicy Mashed Yucca)

Today I’m sharing another favorite dish that I consider to be some serious comfort food: kappa, or spiced mashed yucca. The hardest part about this dish is peeling the tough rind off the yucca, but you are welcome to buy pre-cut frozen yucca instead. The rest of the cooking process is super simple and, as always, super delicious! You can find this at your local Indian or Asian grocery store. I have seen it at my regular grocery store as well (Harris Teeter).

Here’s a video that shows you how to peel yucca (can fast forward to 2:55).

Like many cultures around the world, Indians often eat spicy/savory meals for breakfast. This was often a treat for breakfast during the weekends when I was growing up. It can of course be eaten for any meal of the day. The vegetable source of starch along with healthy fat from coconut and a dash of turmeric give it both beautiful flavor and color.

Kappa is often eaten with fish curry (yes, for breakfast!), but you can definitely eat it however you want. Even a simple lemon or mango achar (Indian pickle, recipe here) will do. I personally like it best with fish curry (recipe here) or shrimp curry (recipe here). I also top it with a small ladle of moru curry (a simple yogurt/coconut/turmeric curry) because sauces are the best.

2 lbs peeled, cut cassava (fresh or frozen)
1.5 cups ground coconut (I use frozen)
1 small onion, quartered
2-3 green chilies
2 cloves garlic
3-4 curry leaves (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 cup water

1. In a large pot, cover the cassava with water, add salt, and boil on high heat until fork tender. Drain the water and return the cooked cassava to the pot.

2. While the cassava is boiling, put the remaining ingredients in a blender, single serve blender, or magic bullet and blend to make a runny paste. The paste should be thick but able to be poured out easily. Add more water slowly to reach this consistency.

3. Pour this paste over the cooked cassava and mash. I like to keep it with some lumps throughout (it’s not as smooth as mashed potatoes). Just mash it until you don’t see any white anymore. All of it should be yellow from the turmeric.

4. Add salt to taste. You can add a little hot water (I keep it boiled in the kettle) if you need a little more moisture to mash and mix the salt. No water should be running from it. If it is, just heat on the stove again to evaporate the water.

1 Boil cassava2 Kappa paste ingredients3 Kappa paste ingredients 24 Pour paste over cooked cassava5 Paste over cooked cassava6 Mash cassava and paste well

13 Kappa, fish curry, lemon pickle
Served here with fish curry and Indian lemon pickle


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