Kappa meen – Kerala yellowtail curry with mashed tapioca

  • medium
  • 4
  • 1 hour 10 minutes
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Alfred Prasad shares his wondrous kappa meen – a Kerala fish curry recipe in which yellowtail, also known as kingfish, is cooked in a tamarind and shallot based sauce and served with mashed tapioca flavoured with coconut.

First published in 2015




Meen curry




Begin by preparing the 'kappa', or tapioca tuber. Add the tapioca to a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, then drain. Once again, fill the pan with just enough cold water to cover the tapioca, add the salt and turmeric and cook until tender once pierced, approximately 12-15 minutes


Grind the grated coconut, chillies, onion and turmeric powder together with a pinch of salt. Add the mixture to the pan with the cooked tapioca and combine well over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Check the seasoning, add the coconut powder and mix well


Place a small wok over a medium-high heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and once they start to pop, add the dried chillies and curry leaves, stirring quickly to combine. Then, pour into the semi-mashed kappa, mix well to combine and set aside


To prepare the curry, clean the kingfish and cut into medium-sized pieces. Soak the kudampuli in a cup of warm water and set aside

  • 500g of yellowtail, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 4 kudampuli, (tamarind) or 1 tsp tamarind paste

Place a saucepan over a medium-high heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and once they start to pop, add the fenugreek seeds, shallots, garlic, ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and salt. Sauté until the shallots are soft


Prepare a paste by stirring together the chilli powder, ground coriander, ground turmeric and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Add to the saucepan and fry over a low heat until the oil separates


Add the soaked kudampuli, along with the water it was soaked in, or 1 tsp of tamarind paste and 1 cup of water. Bring to the boil, add the fish and cook over a medium heat until the fish is cooked, approximately 5 minutes. Set aside for approximately 20 minutes


Before serving, reheat the curry on the hob until warmed through


Divide the hot kappa and fish curry into 2 separate dishes and place on the table to share

First published in 2015

Alfred Prasad’s years at Tamarind saw the restaurant awarded one Michelin star, which it retained, and a stack of accolades (including numerous ‘Indian Restaurant Of The Year’ titles).

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