Today I want to share this delicious one pot meal recipe of cassava and shrimp(prawns).
Every time I visit my favorite aunt, I always learn a new recipe! She lives in Kerala in India and makes the best Keralan food! In my son’s words…. “everything this grandma cooks is just so tasty!” Very true! I am so grateful to be able to visit her and learn traditional recipes from her! In the past 5 years since I started AIP, I must have visited her a few times and so now she totally understands what AIP is and always makes sure there is enough kappa (cassava) for me! Two months ago I visited Kerala for a family wedding and even amidst our crazy schedules, she cooked so many delicious dishes for me. This mashed cassava dish with shrimp(prawns) is what blew me away completely! Omg, so, so delicious! How had I not known of this traditional dish till now!
The combination just works perfectly as the cassava helps to soften the shrimp and the shrimp imparts a lovely flavor to the cassava! It’s a pair made in heaven if you ask me! So I had to make it as soon as I got back home and I made it in the Instant Pot. My family absolutely LOVED it!
What is Shrimp Cassava / Kappa Chemeen?
Kappa means cassava in malayalam and chemeen means prawns or shrimp. So this combination is just a one pot meal that is easy to make and delicious. Kappa Chemeen is a form of mashed cassava with some spices and shrimp added for flavor. It is an easy one pot paleo (and AIP) meal!
What are the ingredients in Shrimp Cassava / Kappa Chemeen?
You don’t need too many ingredients for this dish.
Cassava root : Either Fresh cassava root or fresh, frozen cassava can work in this recipe.
Shrimp: Raw, Uncooked shrimp of any size
- Sea salt – Any type of sea salt can be used.
- Turmeric powder – Good quality organic turmeric powder is recommended.
- Green chilies (serrano) – chillies are a part of the traditional dish. However, they can be completely avoided. Fresh grated ginger can be used as a substitute.
- Red chilli powder – Red chilli powder is used in the traditional dish. However, they can be completely avoided. Fresh grated ginger can be used as a substitute.
- Fresh curry leaves – Curry leaves add a subtle flavor to this dish. However if they are not available, you can use some other herbs like fresh cilantro.
- Coconut Oil: Extra virgin coconut oil gives this dish a lot of flavor.
- Shallots: Finely chopped shallots sautéed in coconut oil adds a lot of flavor to this dish. However this step is optional and you can skip it and still make Kappa chemeen.
Do you need an Instant Pot to make this recipe?
An Instant Pot makes it easier to make this recipe however this recipe can also be cooked in a regular cooking pot but you will need to cook it for a longer time. You will also need to add more water than what the recipe recommends and cover all the cassava pieces with water and then simmer covered on low heat for about 20 minutes. Then follow the rest of the recipe below.
I have made a step by step video that you can watch before making this recipe:
You can also watch my video on how to cut and cook fresh cassava / yuca:
- 1 lb of cassava root, cut into pieces (you can use fresh cassava that is peeled and cut or frozen cassava pieces)
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tsp of sea salt
- ½ tsp of turmeric
- ½ tsp of red chilli powder (OMIT for AIP)
- 2 green chillies, slit length wise (OMIT for AIP)
- ½ a lb of raw, uncooked shrimp (peeled and deveined), about 10 large
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 6-8 fresh curry leaves (optional)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
- 3-4 fresh curry leaves
- Add the cassava and all the rest of the ingredients except the coconut oil and curry leaves into the instant pot. Stir to mix the spices in with the water. Cover the lid and pressure cook on high for 10 mins. Let pressure release naturally (about 12 mins) and then open the lid. Carefully drain most of the water out of the pot and then add ¼ cup of fresh water. Using a masher, mash the cassava pieces until they are creamy and there are no huge lumps. The shrimp will be very soft too.
- Add the coconut oil and curry leaves.
- If adding garnish, in a small pan heat the coconut oil and then add the shallots and curry leaves. Stir fry for 4-5 mins until the shallots are golden brown and the curry leaves are crisp. Add this garnish mixture on top of the mashed cassava and stir to mix. Serve warm.
If you are cooking this in a regular cooking pot, you will need to add more water and cover all the cassava pieces with water and then simmer covered on low heat for about 20 minutes. Then follow the rest of the recipe above.