Kappa Biriyani

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Kappa Biriyani is one of the most delicious specialties of Kerala. Kappa stands for tapioca; this form of biriyani generally involves a rich blend of tapioca and beef, two favorites of Keralites. It is also very popular street food that can be either had as a snack or as an entire meal depending on your appetite.


  • Kappa (Tapioca) - 1 1/2 kgDSC_0014 (Medium)
  • Beef - 1/2 kg

For cooking kappa

  • Kappa
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp

For beef preparation

  • Beef
  • Beef stock - liquid extract got after boiling the beef
  • Onion - 1 medium sized, chopped
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  • Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
  • Meat masala - 1 tbsp
  • Tomato - 1 medium sized
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Green chilli - 2, crushed
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Egg - 1
  • Bay leaves - 1
  • Cardamom - 2
  • Cinnamon - 1
  • Cloves - 3

For garnishing

  • Onion - 2 tsp, chopped
  • kismis (raisins) - 1 tsp
  • cashew nuts - 3
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Egg - 1 boiled
  • Dry chilli - 2


Cook the kappa

Take a large sized pan with about 3/4 of it covered with water. Add turmeric powder, kappa and salt to it. Stir the contents well and switch on the stove on high flame. Ensure the kappa is fully covered by the water in the pan. Cover the pan and allow to boil. After about 20 minutes, use a spoon to check if the kappa is well done. It should be in a soft and easy to mash state. If not continue to cook till this state is reached. Turn off the heat and drain the water. Allow the kappa to cool.

Cooking the beef

Apply turmeric powder, salt, chilli powder and pepper powder on to the beef. Use your hand to mix everything well so that the spices get uniformly applied to the meat. If you have a pressure cooker, use that to cook the beef. Take the marinated beef in the cooker and add 1/2 cup of water to it. Turn on the heat on low flame. After about 4 whistles, the meat should be cooked. Switch off the heat and separate the cooked beef and the stock. In case you do not have a pressure cooker, use the method you generally use to cook hard meat.

Preparing the beefDSC_0021 (Medium)

Heat a pan on low flame with 2 tbsp of oil in it. Once hot, add bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Stir well till you get a nice aroma of the spices. Next add onions and saute well. When the onions turn transparent, add turmeric powder, green chillis, chilli powder and ginger garlic paste. Give a good stir to the mixture. Add tomato, garam masala, pepper powder, curry leaves and salt to it. Again give a nice stir to it. Next add the boiled beef and mix well. Finally add the beef stock and mix everything thoroughly.

DSC_0023 (Medium)DSC_0030 (Medium)Cover the pan and allow to cook for about 10 minutes. Next add meat masala to the contents and continue to cook for another 5 minutes with the pan covered till we get a thick gravy consistency. Also check for salt and add if needed.

Next add kappa, mash it and mix it well with the rest of the contents. Move the contents of the pan to one side, drop an egg on to the pan and scramble it. Now mix the scrambled egg with the rest of the contents. Stir the contents well so that everything is uniformly and thoroughly mixed. Switch off the heat.

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DSC_0034 (Medium)Garnishing

Heat a pan with 2 tbsp of oil on low flame. Once hot, add chopped onions to it. Saute well till the onions turn golden brown in color. Remove the onions from pan and keep aside. Next add cashew nuts to the oil and saute well till they turn golden brown. Remove the cashew nuts from pan and keep aside. Now add the raisins (kismis) to the pan, saute well till they start to pop. Remove the raisins from the pan and keep aside. Finally add dry chillis, curry leaves and crushed pepper to the oil. Saute well till a nice aroma of the spices come out. Switch off the heat. Add the onions, cashew nuts, raisins, chillis, curry leaves and pepper to the biriyani mixture prepared earlier. Mix them well. Finally drop slices of boiled egg along with few sauteed onion on to the biriyani to complete the garnishing.

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Enjoy your kappa biriyani ! 🙂

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