Today on menu Ulli Theeyal -Small Red Onion/Pearl Onion-Shallots Theeyal. Theeyal originates from the state of Kerala in South India.The word ‘ulli’ in Malayalam refers to small onions /shallots /sambar onion. Theeyal means burnt dish,referring to roasted coconut used as the main ingredient and is usually dark brown in color, flavored with tamarind. It goes well with rice and any side dish.
Theeyal is very versatile and can be prepared with pearl onion,bitter gourd, brinjal,okra, yam, sometimes with mixed vegetables or even with seafood, shrimp-prawns etc. In some parts of Kerala, theeyal is included in a traditional sadya menu.There are several versions and changes made from region to region in Kerala, but this is the way I make it and enjoy it! Try this version and let me know how it turned out buddies.
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How to make Ulli Theeyal – Small Red Onion-Shallots Theeyal -Pearl Onions cooked in Roasted Coconut Gravy
- Shallots /Small Onions : 15-20 (peeled & sliced into thin pieces)
- Tamarind : 1 small lemon sized
- Grated Coconut : ½ cup
- Dried Red Chillies : 5-6
- Coriander seeds : 11/2 tsp
- Cumin Seeds : ¼ tsp
- Whole Black Pepper : 5-10
- Turmeric Powder : ¼ tsp
- Asafoetida : a pinch
- Fenugreek Powder : a pinch
- Mustard Seeds : ½ tsp
- Curry Leaves : a few
- Sugar : a pinch (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Oil as needed
- Slice the small onions lengthwise into thin pieces.Soak tamarind in ½ cup of warm water and take the extract from it.
- Heat 1 tsp of oil stir fry the red chilly,coriander seeds ,cumin seeds, black pepper corns, grated coconut and turmeric powder till it gives an aroma and turns to brown in colour.Keep it aside and let it cool.Grind it to a smooth paste.
- (Note : Make sure not burn the spices)
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil; splutter mustard seeds,add curry leaves,sliced small onions and saute till the onion turn light brown in color.
- Add asafoetida,salt and fenugreek powder into it. Saute for a while.
- Add tamarind extract into it and allow it to boil for 4-5 minutes by stirring occasionally. (Note : Add water if necessary)
- Add the ground paste and sugar into it and simmer for further 3-4 minutes. Remove from the fire and serve hot with steamed rice and Enjoy!
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