What’s for evening, amma? The girls asked the mother who sat on the verandha, leaning on to the wall,caressing her silver locks. The teeth missing,the bright red bindi shining on her forehead,she reminded the girls of her once famed beauty. But she said, go pluck tapioca..
So they went on to the fields armed suitably, heckling, cutting and pulling the tubers out. Muddy waters ran as a basket full of kappa was scrubbed clean.
With the expertise only experience can bring, the eldest of the girls, peeled and cut them into large chunks before throwing the pieces into boiling water.
A pinch of turmeric and some rock salt later, the tapioca was cooked and drained. It was time for seasoning. Into the cheenachatti went 2 tsp of coconut oil, mustard seeds, sliced green chilly, small onions and some curry leaves.
The aroma brought the men of the house rushing to the kitchen for tea. The boys back from school and college lined up for a plateful of yummy kappa with spicy red chilly paste.
The youngest of the 11 siblings caught hold of a large piece of tapioca,rushed to the crackling wood fire and pushed it in. His fingers burnt a little,but he was ecstatic.
A little later the tapioca looked at him invitingly, revealing a white powdery stuff that made ships sail in his mouth, literally!
What happens to a true blue keralite at the sight of Kappa is indescribable .
A rush of memories, a host of aroma of the taste of spicy chutney and finely cooked kappa leaves him terribly homesick.
And the next thing you see is that he is on board travelling to where Kappa Kalls!