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Kappa (tapioca) cassava root health benefits,nutrition facts

What is tapioca (kappa or maracheeni or cassava root) made out of?

Kappa Tapioca

Tapioca (tapiˈɔkɐ) is a starch extracted from cassava root (Manihot esculenta). Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz,Euphorbiaceae,Dicotyledon) is the sixth most important crop (after wheat,rice,maize,potato and barley) in the world. In India the Portuguese settlers introduced cassava to Goa during 16th century,and it seems that its cultivation really expanded in South East Asia during 19th century

Kappa-Cassava Root (Tapioca-Maracheeni) The Layman’s Root

Cassava-kappa -maracheeni


Tapioca – This perennial plant that grows best under moist,tropical,fertile soils.  Its underground tuber cassava root is one of the popular edible root vegetable and enjoying food all over the world.  This  crop played a significant role to overcome food shortage among the low income group of people in Kerala.It is considered as one of the staple food of Kerala.In Kerala kappa is used in different forms like dried kappa (unakka kappa),vattu kappa,avilu kappa etc.  The two main tapioca dishes which are popular in Kerala are Chenda kappa (plain boiled tapioca) and Kappa puzhkku (mashed tapioca with grounded coconut). Fish curry and kappa puzhukku is undoubtedly one of the highlights of Kerala cuisines. Mashed tapioca with grounded coconut mixture also goes well with chicken or beef recipes

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Kappa food uses – Cassava root nutritional values and health benefits 

Kappa Puzhukku or Mashed tapioca with grounded coconut mixture

Cassava roots are a good source of energy,an average source of minerals and vitamins and poor source of proteins.  Cassava leaves are rich in calcium and good supplier of proteins.  The use of edible leaves as a green vegetable in popular in Africa and Madagascar.  Cassava root predominantly consists of carbohydrates,it is low in saturated fat  and sodium.  It has no significant essential vitamins or dietary minerals.

Cassava root in In Kerala


Cassava, often referred to as tapioca,is called Kappa Kizhangu or Maracheeni or Cheeni or Kolli or Mathock or Poola kizhangu in malayalam. It is widely consumed usually as breakfast or in the evening. In Kerala it is boiled (after skinning and cutting it into  large pieces of about 6-8 cm long or into small cubes) in water till properly cooked,and the water is drained off.  Once it cooked,it can be mixed with grated coconut,chilli,salt,turmeric.

Matured tapiocas are parboiled and dried in the sun so that it can be stored for longer periods. These dried tapiocas are called by the name ‘Unakka Kappa’ or ‘Vaattu Kappa’ (dried tapioca). During winter season these dried tapioca or Unakka kappa is normally used for the preparation of ‘Kappa Puzhukku

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Delectable taste of Kerala – Kappa Recipes


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