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Kappa Bonda / Tapioca Balls

Kerala Style Kappa Bonda is boiled tapioca dipped in spicy besan (kadalamavu) batter and deep fried. It is perfect as an after school snack or as an appetizer.

Bite sized tapioca balls is another version of Mysore Bonda; which is made with boiled potato. Tapioca is cooked and mashed and made into small balls and dipped in besan (kadalamavu) batter and deep fried. Just the way potato is done for Mysore bonda.

It all happened, when a dear "uncle" of mine sent me a grainy mobile picture of "Kappa Bonda" which he had at a high end hotel in Kochi. To him finding "kappa/tapioca" in star hotel was surprising as it is commonly known as poor mans meal...(well that was decades ago!!)...anyways, uncle inspired me to try out this and I am so glad that I did...its cheap, economical, and easy!!

Author: Nisa Homey.
Yield: About 20-25 balls.
Kappa/Tapioca: 1/2 kg, boiled and mashed.
Onions: 2, medium.
Ginger: 1 inch piece.
Green Chilly: 1
Curry leaves: 1 sprig.
Salt as needed.

For the batter:
Besan flour/Kadala mavu: 8- 10 tbsp.
Rice flour: 1 tbsp (optional, this is to make the balls crispy)
Kashmiri chilly Powder: 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp.
Amchur/dry mango powder: 1/2 tsp (optional)
Asafoitida/Kayam: !/4 tsp.
Soda Powder: A fat pinch
Mustard Seeds: 1/2 tsp.
Oil: 1 tbsp.
Salt: 1/2 tsp (or as needed).
Water as needed to make it into a thick batter...thick like idili batter.

Oil for frying the bondas.

First, lets get the tapioca ready.
You can always make this with leftover mashed boiled tapioca.(I have also, shown how to peel tapioca easily, here)
Here, I made this with a fresh one; though I bought 1 kg tapioca, I took half of this for bonda and the other half for cutlets; which I will be posting next.
The peeled tapioca is chopped up (kothi) so that it is easier remove the fibre/naru in the middle and also to mashed up once boiled..

Wash two or three times or until the water is clean and then put it in a pressure cooker with salt and water...and cook and then strain it....(please refer to this post if you have any doubt in peeling, cooking, and straining tapioca). I used my potato masher to mash the boiled tapioca; it is best to mash while it is still hot....keep it aside.

I used two medium onions, ginger, one green chilly, and curry leaves

You can either, chop this up or use a food processor, like I did.

Heat a pan or kadai with oil, and add in the mustard seeds...once it starts to crack, add in the chopped onion mix. Simmer the fire, and once it is lightly fried, add in the turmeric and salt.

Than add in the mashed tapioca....mix can even make this ahead and refrigerate and use when needed.

While it is cooling down, lets mix up the batter....mix everything for the batter, the batter should be thick...check if salt is correct.

Make small lemon sized balls.

Dip each one in the thick batter.

And fry in hot oil, until golden brown....strain on a paper napkin.

Enjoy with tea or coffee...



  1. This is your innovation is it? Kollam. adipoli, chaya ude koodi adipoli.

    1. Yes Swathi!! My innovation for tea time after school snack :)

  2. Wow. I want to take a bite right now. So nice.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. So golden brown and delicious! Bet they are addictive too.

  4. Like this innovative and tasty recipe!

  5. Woooow its easy.. thank you for sharing such a nice recipe..

  6. Wooow its easy thank you for sharing such a nice and easy recipe. It's more easy for staters like me..

  7. Hi , I would like to know is there any replacement for kadalai mavu ?


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