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Tapioca with Fish Curry (Kappa and Meen Curry)

When my husband told me about using tapioca in savoury dishes I thought it was one of his silly jokes. I love tapioca but I have never tried it savoury. We use tapioca a lot in sweet dishes in Thailand. Tapioca in sugar syrup was simply comforting and delightful, and with the drizzle of thick coconut cream made it even more heavenly. I love simple bake tapioca on the live-charcoal and sprinkle the sparkles crystal of sugar on top. There is even deep fried shredded tapioca coated in hot sugar amber. You see, there are hundreds of sweet tapioca dishes I know, but zero savoury tapioca dishes.

When my husband cooked tapioca with fish curry for me for the first time it was really an eyes-opening. It’s not only savoury, but aromatic, hot, spicy and full of flavour. Cooked tapioca tempered with mustard seed, green chili, curry leaves and shallot was one of the most rustic and comforting flavour to the stomach. Spicy and sour, Kerala style fish curry was served along this exotic tapioca dish. The sassy red lava whips up the hot and mushy tapioca so wonderfully. At first bite, this combination has climbed up to the top of my favourite dishes.


Tapioca with Fish Curry

Ingredients: (4 Servings)

Fish curry- see how to make fish curry here

500 gm tapioca- peeled and cut into small pieces

1 tsp salt

3 cups water

4 shallots- sliced

4 curry leaves

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 green chili- slit lengthwise

3/4 cup grated coconut

1 tbsp oil


  1. Cook tapioca with water and salt in the large pot for 20-30 minutes or until the tapioca is cooked and tender. Check and stir occasionally to make sure it is not burning at the bottom.
  2. Heat oil in another pan over the medium heat. Add mustard seed, when the mustard seed are spluttering, add curry leaves and green chili. Add shallot and stir fry until the shallot turns slightly brown.
  3. Add cooked tapioca and grated coconut. Mix well until all flavour and aroma are combined.
  4. Ladle some tapioca to the serving plate and pour in some spicy fish curry along the side. Serve immediately.

I came to know that tapioca made a delicious savoury dish. It’s not only great with fish curry but wonderful with chicken or beef stew. I love the creamy and earthy tune of tapioca. It felt lighter and fresher than potato. Grated coconut really gave an amazing texture to the sipping hot, mushy tapioca. The beautiful contrast of flavour between warm tapioca and spicy and pungent fish curry was out of this world. It was hot and delicious.

Have a wonderful day,

12 comments to Tapioca with Fish Curry (Kappa and Meen Curry)

  • What an interesting idea Tes. I have only ever had tapioca as a pudding before.
    🙂 Mandy

  • I have had sweet tapioca pudding but this is an interesting variation! Curry looks out of this world good!

  • I don’t think I’ve ever had tapioca, even in a sweet dish! I’m intrigued by this and the fish curry sounds wonderful!

  • This is so interesting! I’ve never seen a dish like this. I love reading all of your neat recipes!

  • Kiri W.

    Wow, that looks incredibly flavorful! I love fish curry, but have never had it with tapioca. I’ll definitely want to try this recipe!

  • Chitra Nair

    Hi Tes,
    What a wonderful blog! I was looking for a tapioca meen curry recipe and that led me here! And then I find that you have authentic Thai recipes too! Just this morning, I declared to my husband and son that of all the different cuisines I’ve had, Thai food is my favorite. I am longing to browse through your blog a little later…can’t wait! I live in Singapore so I have access to all the wonderful flavours of South East Asia. In fact, when I came here from India, I didn’t know that tapioca was used in desserts:-)….I too love tapioca with sweetened coconut cream…its such a delicious combination! And now my son is a big fan of Thai food too! So I am going to be hopping over very often….and BTW, that fish curry looks really yummy!

  • I’ve never had Tapioca in a savory dish before, sounds very interesting. Great post!

  • you have a wonderful site here 🙂 this is a staple food in Kerala, where I am from, almost a comfort food. Lovely pictures, brought back a lot of memories!

  • Angelica

    Wow…Very interesting use of tapioca in a curry recipe. Never had tapioca prepared in this way before although I can get quite a lot of tapioca from where I come from. But still it sounds wonderful!

  • A heavenly dessert! I have always loved tapioca. It is so versatile and delicious.

  • Wahid

    It looks nice in picture even though we are so familiar with it
    But missing the “IRACHIYUM POOLAYUM” (Tesney must ask Sadik to interpret it) is not justifiable
    It seems that the in-laws in Kerala never presented u that fantastic dish ( it’s my favorite)

    good luck

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