Thalassery Style Kozhi kaal/ Koyikaal

 Thalassery Style Kozhi Kaal

Today I introduce you to my most favorite snack from my native - "Kozhikal" or particularly in our slang the "Koyikal" literally personifies the chicken leg piece. But this particular snack does not use chicken in any form. This is purely a vegetarian delight. It is this typical 4 pm Chai time snack that you get to find on the road sides in tea stalls all over Thalassery. In short, this our street food. 

Let me tell you, I do not know exactly how to describe my love for koyikaal, it is a feeling, an emotion especially when we get to munch on these in front of the sea shore with salty winds gushing onto your face with a kozhikaal in one hand and the other the forever awesome thattukada Chai. It is something that gives me goosebumps. Literally blows me away each time I think it isn't non veg, having had a non veg name though. Thalassery being known for delicious food, this is one such revelation. I just realised, I still haven't  revealed the star ingredient of this snack... It is the very simple and humble Tapioca. 

Assuming the name comes from its shape, julienned tapioca are mixed in a spicy batter and crispy fried in the shape of a "kozhikal" (chicken leg piece), just like how we would hold a fried chicken leg piece. The batter has many variations to it, the popular one being the use of besan flour (gram flour). I completely disagree to the idea of using gram flour, well if you ask me why, gram flour does not give that crispy texture, nor does it taste like the ones you get in tea stalls. Everytime I visit my native, we have koyikal on a daily basis, until we are literaly tired of it. Another such snack is the kizhang porichat (tapioca fritters), which is also a street food. If you do not reach the tea stall in time, you might only get these tapioca fritters. Its like rush hour, when 4 strikes you gotto run for some kozhikaal. Now if you ask me why can't you just make some at home? Well, cutting tapioca in strips on a daily basis is a pain in the ass and frying these are time consuming, just being frank here, which is why it gets over in a blink of an eye. 

During my school days, my daily sights comprised of the cutting and prepping tapioca for the evening rush hour, when I walk to catch a bus to get to school. I was always amazed and awestruck at the speed at which they cut and prep the tapioca. 

Like I said earlier, since koyikal just vanishes , I remember this amazing ika (brother/uncle) Razak'ka, who sells kozhikaal next to my home. He is an old man, hilarious guy, seen me grow up, get married, and having my little one, and he still says each time he sees me and tells my husband, "I remember how she comes in school uniform right after school to buy my piping hot kozhikaal". His were the best in my town, I couldn't get enough of it. Like literally, making me homesick now..Aaah! Those were the days.

I can assure you, you can't find the same taste in the cafeterias/restaurants found in Dubai, not yet! It has been a hunt forever. Also going back to my native during this pandemic situation is not happening, I make these quite often now days to revive those memories. To experience what I have poured out above, do try making these at home and let me know how you liked it. Other than having the patience of cutting and frying these, this is such an easy snack. Here, I demonstrate to you with frozen tapioca, you may use fresh ones. Basically frozen tapioca is easier to cut, also cutting the tapioca and cleaning is a headche, and if someone has done the job for you, and made the whole process easier, why take the burden lol. Without further a-do, let's get started!


  • 350 gms Tapioca (fresh/ Frozen) 
  • 2 tbsp Kashmiri Red Chilli powder 
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic paste
  • 2 green chillies, slit
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves, chopped
  • 3 tbsp Corn Flour 
  • 3 tbsp Maida /All purpose flour 
  • Salt as required. 


  1. Cut the tapioca into lengthwise strips. 
  2. If using frozen tapioca, squeeze off excess water content by pressing the sliced tapioca in between your palms gently. 
  3. In a bowl, add chilli powder, Turmeric powder, garlic paste, slit green chillies and curry leaves. 
  4. Next add Maida and corn flour, and add salt as required, combine using a whisk. 
  5. Now gradually pour in water to make a thick batter. 
  6. Sprinkle some salt on the cut tapioca and mix well. 
  7. Now dump the tapioca little by little into the batter to get a even coat. 
  8. Now grab the batter coated tapioca in between your palms and shape thin and long manner and fry in hot oil on medium heat without flipping for 5 minutes. 
  9. Flip and fry for another 2-3 minutes without browning and drain onto a paper towel. 
  10. Enjoy it hot with a hot glass of chai. 

  • If using frozen taipoca, thaw it well and after cutting it into strips with the help of both your palm press and squeeze off the water content in it. You do not need to do this with fresh tapioca.
  • Before adding the tapioca to the batte , make sure your tapioca is dry. 
  • Make sure not to over fry or brown the koyikaal, the taste changes drastically. 
  • Ps: Yes, I took the pain to print a page of an old newspaper page to bring that naadan effectšŸ˜

Do try this recipe and don't forget to share your experience/feedback with me here in the comments or feel free to send me a mail. Also, do tag me at #taystedit if you try out my recipes on Facebook, Instagram etc so that I can see when you make it. ♡♡♡♡

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  1. Making this with sweet potatoes
    Afshan ��

    1. Yaaay! Thanks for trying Afshan.. <3
      So happy to see your feedbacks too :D