Tapioca and Potato Patties

 Tapioca and Potato Patties

Tapioca is an important product of the American plant cassava, but the main producers are now in Asia and Africa.

bar Tapioca and Potato Patties
Tapioca is usually used for making milk puddings in the West, but in South India it is found in various savoury preparations, such as these spicy patties of tapioca pearls and potato.

Picture by Jason Lowe

Makes 15-20 Patties

200g (7 oz) tapioca
400g (14 oz) white potatoes, peeled and boiled
2 green finger chillies, finely chopped
½ tsp salt
12 whole peanuts, roasted and crushed (optional)
Vegetable or groundnut oil
30g (1oz) fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped


Soak the tapioca in about 255ml (9 fl oz) cold water for about 10 minutes. It should swell and absorb all the water. Coarsely mash the potatoes, chillies, salt and peanuts, if using, and coriander together. Mix in the tapioca. Heat the oil in a fryer or wok to 180C/350F.

To check that the oil is hot enough, drop a small piece of the potato mixture into the oil: if it sizzles, the oil is ready. With wet hands, roll the potato mixture into spheres the size of a golf ball, then flatten the balls to make patties. Depending on the size of the fryer, place a few patties at a time in the oil. Fry on one side for 2 minutes, then turn them over and fry for another 2 minutes until golden brown.

Remove with a slotted spoon and drain them on kitchen paper. Serve hot with coriander chutney.


(c) 2012