August 4, 2013

Kappa Ishtoo / Kolli Ishtoo / Tapioca Coconut Stew / Tapioca Stew

          Ishtoo is one classic preparation from Kerala. Typical flavors of tapioca, curry leaves and ginger in coconut milk gravy that would simply melt in our mouth. Well this is yet another amazing combination for Kuzhal Pittu; but you can have them like soup too. Freshly ground coconut oil to curry leaves plucked from the tree...We always have everything in stock in our Tharavadu (joint family home) in Kerala.

         Our ammamma picks up everything from our garden and makes this fresh. And that lovely smell when it gets boiled simply drives us to the dining room. A magical preparation in no time with very less ingredients but rich with flavors.  Good tapiocas give the best gravy!!

Tapioca / Kappa - 450 grams
Coconut Milk - 1/2 cup (First milk that is the thick milk)
Ginger - 1/2 inch sized piece (sliced thin)
Green chilli - 2 no's (Small, de-seed, Slit in to two)
Curry leaves - 12 leaves
Coconut oil - 1-1/2 tablespoons
Salt - as needed
Water - 2-1/2 cups

  • Clean and cut Tapioca to 1 inch diced pieces. Add diced pieces, green chilli, ginger and salt with water upto the level of tapioca and pressure cook for 3 whistles(Fresh tapiocas cook in 2 to 3 whistles, some take 4 to 5 whistles too).

  • Open after pressure is down. Do not drain the water. Cooked tapioca will be light creamy yellow. Keep that back on low fire and add coconut milk. Switch off before it starts to boil(Please don't boil, it spoils the taste). Add coconut oil and curry leaves, give a stir and keep it closed for sometime(15 to 20 minutes).

  • Ishtoo is ready to serve.
It gets a little thicker after it cools down.

My Notes:
  • Tapioca's cooking differs based on its quality. some cook in 2 to 3 whistles and some take more time.
  • Adding water upto the level of tapioca helps to cook them even and will help the stew to be perfect in consistency though the stew gets thicker after sometime.
  • Green chillies can be increased or decreased according to the need.
  • Curry leaves play a great role in this recipe, so please do not substitute or avoid.
  • Closing and keeping it to rest for sometime after cooking process lets the stew to inherit the flavors of curry leaves and coconut oil.
  • We can also prepare this stew with Potato by substituting Tapioca.
  • Update : Tapioca need to selected perfectly and sometimes tapioca might be bitter after pressure cooking. so taste before adding.

Happy to link this to "Cooking Healthy in a Hurry" Event at Archana's Kitchen: