5 Delicious Tapioca Root Recipes For You To Try At Home
Image Credit: The Catalyst

Tapioca root is a popular fasting food for most festivals in India and is a staple food across many different cultures and cuisines. The starchy root vegetable is known to be an excellent gluten-free replacement in flour form as well as eaten as pearls (sabudana), most often. While the ingredient is quite prominent across regional food in Kerala and Maharashtra, not much is known about how to cook the vegetable itself, which lends its fibrous, mushy textures to all kinds of sweet and savoury recipes.

Kappa Puzhukku

Image Credits: The Food Hog

This upgraded version of mashed potatoes with a typical South Indian tempering can put any kind of creamy mash to shame. This delicious but simple preparation mainly involves steaming the tapioca until it turns soft and mushy, before it is tempered with spices and a touch of turmeric powder to enhance its pale yellow colour, once cooked. The flavours of this dish range from savoury to slightly spicy, and pairs well with a coconut chutney on the side or a bowl of fresh yoghurt.


  • 2 medium-sized tapioca roots, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 3 red chillies
  • 10-12 pearl onions
  • 1 green chilli
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons grated coconut
  • Salt, to taste


  • Peel and dice the tapioca root and remove the fibrous thread-like substance from the centre, if needed and add to salted boiling water. Cover with a lid and let it boil on a medium heat for 12-15 minutes, until soft to touch.
  • Drain and set aside while you break the red chillies and add it to hot coconut oil, followed by the mustard seeds, green chilli, curry leaves, smashed pearl onions and let everything brown slightly, to turn aromatic.
  • Once it begins to splutter, turn off the heat. Sprinkle the turmeric powder over the boiled tapioca and add the tempering and season with plenty of salt. Mash everything with a spoon and serve warm.

Kappa Podimas


Image Credits: Yummy Tummy Aarthi

This finely chopped dry sabzi preparation of the tapioca root is a quintessential Tamil regional dish that is eaten as an accompaniment to rasam and rice. Since tapioca root is a dense tuber, it helps to parboil the diced tapioca, before tossing in oil and spices. Depending on what you have stocked up, you can switch or mix-and-match spices and ingredients to see what you enjoy most, since tapioca absorbs the flavours from other ingredients it is usually combined with.


  • 1 large tapioca root, peeled
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 green chillies, slit
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons red chilli powder
  • ½ tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Heat the oil in a pan while you dice and parboil the tapioca root for 7-8 minutes. Add the smashed garlic, curry leaves, green chillies and onions to the oil and fry until slightly browned.
  • Add all the spice powders and mix well, until aromatic. Add the tamarind paste, followed by a couple of teaspoons of water, and let the tamarind cook until it loses its raw flavour. Add the chopped and parboiled tapioca to the mixture and steam for 5 minutes.
  • Serve hot with rasam or sambar, rice and poppadums.

Tapioca-Prawn Curry

Image Credits: Seasonal Spuds

An interesting take on the kappa-meen curry classic that is eaten around toddy shops in Kerala, this prawn curry with delicious, fluffy cubes of tapioca is a great accompaniment to a bowl of steamed rice. The perfect kind of weekend dinner, you could swap the prawns with any kind of seafood of your choice – mackerel, clams, surmai or pomfret. Adding a bit of raw mango gives it some tartness and a classic summery touch, which can easily be replaced by tomatoes during other times of the year.


  • 1 medium-sized tapioca, peeled
  • 250 grams prawns, cleaned
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 7-8 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1-inch piece ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 4-5 slices raw mango
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper powder
  • Salt, to taste


  • Cube and boil the tapioca until almost cooked through and drain. Marinate the prawns with half the amount of spice powders while saving the rest for the curry.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the smashed ginger-garlic and sliced onions to fry for 4-5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the remaining spice powders and toss to combine before adding the tapioca and mixing.
  • Add half a cup of water and let it cook through completely before adding the tamarind paste and coconut milk. Allow it to simmer for 3-4 minutes, before seasoning with black pepper and salt.
  • Add the raw mango slices and mix well. Add the prawns right at the end and cook for a couple of minutes in the simmering curry before taking off the heat and serving warm with rice.

Old Fashioned Tapioca Pudding

Image Credits: Simply Lebanese

A classic dessert recipe across many ethnicities around the world, tapioca pudding is one of those comfort food recipes, you would find yourself making over and over. Using any kinds of whole spices to infuse the milk in which the tapioca cooks, is a great way of letting it permeate through the tapioca, before it is made into an airy souffle-like pudding, best enjoyed straight out of the oven.


  • 1 medium-sized tapioca, peeled
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon saffron milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 pinch salt


  • Add the cinnamon, clove and nutmeg powder to the milk and stir. Dice the tapioca root and add it to the milk to cook until completely mushy. Mash the cooked tapioca into the milk after extracting the whole spices.
  • Whisk the eggs and egg yolk along with vanilla and saffron milk. Add the sugar to the tapioca mash while still warm so it melts evenly. Use a wooden spoon to combine thoroughly before adding the egg mixture.
  • Mix vigorously to beat some air into the mixture before adding a pinch of salt and folding gently. Bake in a preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, at 170 degrees Celsius Serve hot.

Tapioca Chips

Image Credits: Jopreetskitchen

One of the easiest and best ways to enjoy tapioca root, these chips are crunchier and slightly thicker than a standard potato chip and taste delicious when used as a dipper to eat with hummus, tomato chutney or even on its own, along with a cup of chai. Since this recipe does not involve pre-cooking the tapioca before it is fried in hot oil, it is important to keep the tuber soaked in some water for at least 20 minutes, before it is cooked with.


1 large tapioca root

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

Oil, for frying

Salt, to taste


Peel and clean the tapioca root thoroughly before soaking in some water for 15-20 minutes. Remove it and pat dry thoroughly before slicing into thin roundels with a really sharp knife.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and drop the tapioca slices, few at a time, into the oil. Once it fries, you will see it brown on the edges as your indicator that it has cooked completely.

Remove on to absorbent kitchen towels and season with plenty of red chilli powder and salt.