Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Ulli Theeyal

Theeyal is not made often at my home. It just makes its appearance once in a while. However, my mom-in-law makes it often. It is from her that I learnt to make it.

The only difficult part in making it is the frying of the coconut mixture. And, mom-in-law would make a huge batch of this fried mixture to take along to Bangalore. Now when the hardest part was made easy, we would make theeyal quite often. The only difference would the different veggies that went into it- bitter gourd, brinjal, shallots etc. It would make a meal, finger licking good.

This Onam, while I was making theeyal, I thought of those days and how it has become a rare affair at our home these days. When it was served for our Onam Sadya, Jacob kept saying, "the highlight on this entire platter is Theeyal." Now, I got the message from his repeated statement that he would love to have it often on the menu. If you have never tried making it at home, you should. But beware, they are SUPER addictive !!!!


  1. 1 1/4 cups of Shallots, peeled and sliced into smaller pieces
  2. 1 inch sized ball of tamarind
  3. 3/4 cup of warm water
  4. 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
  5. Salt to taste
  6. 1 tbsp of coconut oil
For Roasting of coconut
  1. 1 cup of freshly grated coconut
  2. 1/4 tsp of Fenugreek seeds
  3. 1 1/4 tbsp of Coriander seeds
  4. 2-3 Dry Red chillies
  5. 1 Strand of curry leaves
  6. 2-3 Shallots, peeled and sliced
  7. 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil
For tempering
  1. 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
  2. 2-3 Dry Red Chilly
  3. 1 tbsp of coconut oil

Roasting the Coconut
  • Heat a pan (nonstick or thick bottom). Once hot, add the oil. Now add the grated coconut and stir it well. Turn down the heat to medium and continue stirring it to avoid burning. Once they turn light brown in colour, add the remaining ingredients listed under Roasting of coconut. Mix it well and continue stirring, untill the coconut turns dark brown in colour.
  • Cool the mixture. Grind it into a fine paste by adding minimal amount of water possible.
Making of Theeyal
  • Soak the tamarind in warm water. Squeeze the pulp out of it.
  • In a pan, heat the oil. Once hot, add the shallots and salt. Stir it well. Turn down the heat to medium. Once the shallots turn tender, sprinkle the turmeric powder and add the tamarind pulp water to it. Let it come to a boil. 
  • Now add the ground coconut mixture to it. Stir it well. Let it boil for another couple of minutes. Switch of the heat.
  • In another pan, pour in the oil for tempering. Once hot, add the mustard seeds and wait for it to pop. Now add the red chillies and fry it. Pout it on top of the theeyal. Serve hot.
  1. If you feel that the gravy is bit less, add in more water before adding the coconut mixture.
  2. A thick bottom pan or nonstick pan is recommended to roast the coconut, so as to avoid burning of coconut and sticking on the surface.
  3. If you would like to store the coconut mixture to make theeyal later with ease, you should grind the coconut mixture without adding water. This would help it to not go bad. Freeze it and thaw it before you use it.


  1. Wow.... super tempting theeyal....... theeyalum chorum thairum koodae kazhikkan thonnunnu...... no wonder that ur better half rated theeyal as a a great highlight..... :) These pics are making me mouthwatering...... :)

  2. Haven't had theeyal but looks so mouthwatering... I love that kudam, so colorful!

  3. love the pot,theeyal looks super delicious..choodu chorum koodi ayaal adipoli dear :)

  4. lovely theeyal..loved your presentation ,the pot looks superb


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