Back with a vengeance-Sardines in Tomato, chilly sauce on a bed of cassava mash

Ha, Ha I got your attention. For those of you from Kerala ,yes this is nothing more than our favorite old time buddy Kappa* & Meen**(Cassava mash & Sardines cooked in red chilly sauce). Just tried to jazz up the old buddy.
Before I start, I like to thank all my buddies who came in during the past one month , left comments on my blog. I saw those but I was caught in a whirlwind of things happening in life. Curious what was happening? Just click this link.
My house was swamped with people on thanks giving day and life has never been same. On T day I made the whole deal . Turkey with Balsamic vinegar marinade, corn bread(my 3yr old and 5 yr old made) , Sweet potato casserole, Potato casserole, Mashed potato, cranberry salad, corn with garlic and parmesaen cheese, vegetable pie, Green bean casserole, Dinner roll, Tandoori chicken full baked, dinner rolls, cornbread stuffing , pecan pie andp each pie .The Thanksgiving leftovers lasted me for 3 weeks. First time in my life the whole 14 ponder turkey was over. On day after Thanksgiving I made turkey barbecue sandwiches for a picnic at the beach. Sweet potato casserole was the dessert. Mashed potatoes become topping on turkey pie on day two. The next week I made a Turkey Pasta hot soup and on third week turkey took the form of Turkey paratha and said goodbye to me for another year.

Turkey Pictures

Picnic at the Beach( this years christmas pictures were taken here. hence Xmas ornaments on the sand)

Now back to Kappa and meen. This dish has now attained the popularity which was un thought of 15 years ago. Kappa and meen originally was a poor mans food. In my father in laws place kappa is still an unappreciated food as it was what all the workers were fed in the good old times after a day of hard work in the paddy fields. My husband aunt still doesn't eat Kappa, and Fish curry made of sardines is looked down upon. I always tell her she doesn't know what she is missing.

There are many versions to Kappa & Meen . In the blog world these are some versions of Mighty Kappa & Mean Meen Curry

So why is that my Kappa & Meen different from these seasoned cooks?Because this lazy cook used frozen yucca and sardines in can to make her version.

Why ? Because I live in a place where I don't get fresh Yucca all the time and the only fish, I have access to without paying through the nose is Tilapia & Salmon from Costco(a warehouse shop).

In the coastal town, I live either you go out in the sea and catch fish or else pay the white fisherman the hefty price they ask or it is Costco to rescue. After having the same fish for quite a while now, I decided to buy canned sardines and make curry. This was a first for me or than canned tuna which I love. After looking thoroughly to get fish in oil or water, I accidentally grabbed fish in tomato sauce.(oooooooooopsey)

But I was determined not to quit and my experiment turned out to be good.

Ingredients for Kappa

  • 3LBS Frozen yucca root
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seed
  • 1/3 cup of coconut(grated frozen used)
  • 1 green chilly
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 sprig curry leaf
  • salt as per taste
  • 1 tsp Coconut oil


Cover kappa with water and microwave in a microwave safe bowl for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile in a blender grind coconut, chilly, turmeric and cumin seeds to coarse paste. Once yucca is done drain and mash yucca. Add the coconut paste , curry leaf to this and microwave for 5 more minutes. Now drizzle the oil in hot kappa and serve. Your fast track Kappa is done.


Being sceptic I am, I wasn't sure about this method. But this came very close to real kappa.I microwaved for 30 minutes and next time I reduce the time to 25 as I like Kappa not to be mushy. I have not tried microwaving fresh kappa, so don't know how long It is going to takes. Recommended when you have other stuff to do and cant stand in kitchen and check Kappa.

Mathi Curry:

  • 1 can sardines in Tomato Sauce
  • 3 tsp chilly powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek powder
  • 1 tsp fish curry masala
  • 1 small onion
  • 1" ginger peeled and chopped
  • 1 green chilly
  • salt as recq
  • 1tb oil


Heat a pan. Add oil and saute onion, ginger and chilly. Before it turns the color add chilly powder, coriander powder , salt , and saute till you get rich color. Now add 1/2-1 cup of water, fenugreek powder and kodum puli.Bring it to boil. Now add the sardines in can and fish curry powder. You can omit fish curry powder is you want homemade taste. Simmer till gravy thickens and remove from fire


The gravy was thick and coated fish very well. I think it is tomato sauce. The fish had absorbed all the spices and it was yummy. Usually I don't add tomatoes to my fish curry so this was a bit different(i mean in good way). It tasted like i prepared in meen chatti and kept it for couple of days.

So my friends you can take Keralite away from kappa and meen but you can never take meen & kappa from a Keralite heart.

Few facts about Kappa from wikipedia

The leaves are used to treat hypertension, headache, and pain.
Cubans commonly use cassava to treat irritable bowel syndrome, the paste is eaten in excess during treatment.

*Kappa: Yucca

**Meen : Fish


Mishmash ! said...

How come I wasnt invited for TG dinner ? :D

Thats one great feast you made and cant think of all that time and effort and planning!

It's lunch time here...oru plate kappyum meenum tharo :P

remya said...

my fav naadan dish..hmmm mouthwatering kappa n meen hubby makes fun of me everytime that i'm addicited to fish...wat to do..they have a heavenly!! u had wonderful thanksgiving..wat a spread dear....turkey looks fab!!!

Mocha said...

Ur version is adipoli version . This is kalipiru version. But believ me the taste of meen was like the one you get after keeping in meen chatti for couple of days. I think the sardines absorbed all flavors as it was already mariated with tomato sauce.
I hate turkey and anything to enhance flavor I do it. I used a recipe with balsamic vinegar and mixed it with Tandoori masala to give it red color. I love Kappa too

Cynthia said...

When you say back with a vengence, you really mean it don't you? :)

All I want is the cassava mash.

Mocha said...

Cynthia : I hope I am back.For the first time back in November I felt I was enjoying blogging a lot. Then suddenly I stopped.Now I have get back. Ages since i written or read any blog. Nearly a month.

Seena said...

whatever kalipiru or adipoli version, I love kappa and meen.Can't forget the one I got from idukki.
went to your other blog, hm, thats why you were missing ....?

Anonymous said...

Loved the fact that you take so much effort in putting this up... may be u r not aware but some words r misspelt.

Mocha said...

Hi ANonymous:
Sorry if I sound rude. I am not writing any paper here. It is my blog and if you couldnt understand the spelling clarify with me. First of all I dont like people who are anonymous or rather cowardly while posting their message. I have feeling u posted a similar comment in my other blog too. Get over it , if i spell somethin wrong and you cant deal with it dont come here any more.