Ulli Theeyal

We are meeting after a small gap, right? Well, it was an unintentional break. It all started when I began to read a book. I got carried away with it. I was on a mission to finish the book and got lost in the fictional world. At the time living in the “la-la” land (that’s what Jose calls my Utopian state) seemed more interesting and occasional peeks into the real world weren’t too promising either.

Anyways, back to reality and the first thing I did was to reply to your mails and comments. Next thing to do is post a recipe, so here it is. No fluff, just a good ol’ recipe…

Onam posts and pictures are slowly popping up everywhere. I thought I’ll also join the bandwagon and post a related recipe. Coming to this recipe, Theeyal is one of my fav veg side dishes. The making of Theeyal requires a fine balancing of flavours. When I think of Theeyal, the first thing that comes to my mind is the flavour of roasted coconut and tanginess from tamarind. Both flavours should go hand in hand and not overpowering the other.

There are different varieties of Theeyal like Pavakka Theeyal, Ulli Theeyal, even Prawns Theeyal. Though I tend to make Pavakka Theeyal more often, my fav one is Ulli Theeyal. I do hope you’ll also enjoy making this recipe.

Here is the recipe…

Fry the coconut till it turns a darker shade of brown. Make sure you stir it continuously. Remove it from fire and add all masala powders (chilli, coriander & turmeric). Bring back to fire and cook for a min. Remove from fire and let it cool completely. Grind the coconut without water to a smooth paste. The oil from coconut will be released while grinding and the paste will be liquidy…

Step 1 - Ulli Theeyal Recipe
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Heat oil and add the sliced onion and curry leaves. Cook till the onion begins to brown…

Step 2 - Ulli Theeyal Recipe
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Add coconut paste, soaked tamarind and salt. Mix well. Add half cup hot water. Bring it to boil. Reduce flame to lowest and cook for 4-5 mins. Remove from fire. Heat oil in a pan and crackle mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Add this to theeyal…

Step 3 - Ulli Theeyal Recipe
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Ulli Theeyal

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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Kerala, South Indian
Servings: 3 -4
Author: Maria Jose Martin

Ingredients

  • 25 – 30 Small onion / Pearl onion (sliced)
  • 1 cup Grated coconut
  • 1.5 – 2 tsp Chilli powder
  • 1.5 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • a pinch Fenugreek seeds (3-4 seeds)
  • size of a gooseberry Tamarind (refer notes)
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
  • Salt
  • Curry leaves
  • Coconut oil

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a pan and add coconut. Fry the coconut till it turns a darker shade of brown. Make sure you stir it continuously. Remove it from fire and add all masala powders (chilli, coriander & turmeric). Bring back to fire and cook for a min. Remove from fire and let it cool completely.
  • Grind the coconut without water to a smooth paste. The oil from coconut will be released while grinding and the paste will be liquidy.
  • Soak tamarind in 1/4 cup of warm water and keep aside.
  • Heat oil and add the sliced onion and curry leaves. Cook till the onion begins to brown. Add coconut paste, soaked tamarind and salt. Mix well. Add half cup hot water. Bring it to boil. Reduce flame to lowest and cook for 4-5 mins. Remove from fire.
  • Heat oil in a pan and crackle mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Add this to theeyal. Serve with rice.

Notes

The qty of tamarind varies depending on its strength. Do a taste test of tamarind first and add accordingly. Also, tamarind can be salty at times, so be careful while adding salt to the curry.
Note that the curry tends to thicken as it rests, so adjust the qty of water accordingly. Curry keeps well in fridge for 3-4 days.
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  • What is supposed to be done with the fenugreek seeds?(no mention in instructions, though listed under ingredients) is it too naive to ask :p ?

  • Ulli thiyal is made out of the pearl onions. I have a question the small onions are very costly at Mumbai, so can we use the large onions instead . Any difference of taste or do we have to add any other masalas?

    • Hi,

      I guess the small onion version gives more authentic taste of theeyal. I havent tried making it with big onions. If you want you can try it and see :) I dont think you need to use any other masala as such.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Hi …
    This blog is too good…i jst startd cooking very recent…nd ds blog been ma bible…t helpd me survive…nd i have promised myself dat..i vl def try as much receipes as possible…
    Continue updating….cheers

  • HI Maria, I just made Ulli Theeyal, Thank You.. But I didn’t tasted yet, Amma told good.. ??every day addicted to pin interest and Marias Menu..

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