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September 15, 2016

Ulli Theeyal Recipe Kerala Style - Small Onion Theeyal /Shallot Curry

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Ulli theeyal recipe Kerala
Ulli Theeyal is a Kerala special, gravy kind of side dish served for rice. Ulli means onion in Malayalam. Theeyal curry preparation is usually made with pearl onions (Shallot/Small onions) as the main ingredient. For variations, drumstick(Muringakka), Bittergourd(Pavakka) or ladies finger(Vendakka) can also be added along with onion. It is also served in Onam sadya. This gravy tastes similar to Tamilnadu Arachuvitta Puli kuzhambu.

 Traditional, authentic theeyal recipe calls for roasting coconut along with whole spices like coriander seeds, red chilli whereas I followed an easy and quick version from Marias menu. I have used Dhania powder and red chilli powder along with coconut.It came out really well and finger licking delicious.I am sure I will make this kuzhambu very often in my kitchen.Lets see how to make Kerala style Ulli theeyal recipe with step by step photos !

Check out other Kerala recipes too.

Ulli theeyal recipe Kerala

Ulli theeyal recipe - Kerala style Shallot curry for rice

Ulli theeyal recipe - Kerala style Shallot curry for rice Ulli theeyal recipe - Kerala special spicy, tangy gravy made with small onion/Shallots
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Side dish for rice
Serves: Serves 2-3
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 20 Minutes
Total time: 30 Minutes

1 cup - 240 ml
  • Small onions/ Shallots - 15 nos
  • Tamarind - Big gooseberry size
  • Salt & water - as needed
To saute in oil
  • Coconut oil - 2 tbsp
  • Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
  • Red chilli powder – 1.5 - 2 tsp
  • Dhania powder - 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
To temper
  • Coconut oil – 1.5 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds - 1/8 tsp
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Red chilli - 1 no ( pinched)

  • Soak tamarind in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes and take the extract.Wash and peel the small onions. Slice it into two if its very big. Set aside.
  • In a big kadai, heat oil and roast the grated coconut along with 5 small onions.Roast till coconut starts to turn golden brown with a nice roasted smell. It takes nearly 10 minutes to do this. So stay nearby and roast it patiently with continuous stirring. Keep the flame medium. Finally add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and dhania powder. Mix well for a minute till raw smell leaves and switch off the flame. Let it cool down completely. Then grind them to a paste.
    Ulli theeyal - Kerala style
    Ulli theeyal - Kerala style
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a kadai. Splutter mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves. Saute the  small onions till transparent. To this, add tamarind extract and required salt. Boil the gravy till onions cook well. After the onion is cooked, add the ground coconut paste. Check for taste, add more red chilli powder & dhania powder if it tastes tangy. Boil well till the gravy thickens and leave oil.
    Ulli theeyal - Kerala style
    Ulli theeyal - Kerala style
  • Enjoy ! This gravy thickens  more in time. So adjust the consistency by adding some water and give a boil before serving. check for taste and add more salt or red chilli powder, dhania powder if needed. Boil and serve !
  • This gravy stays good for weeks stored in refrigerator ! Use clean spoon for every use.

  • Add more chilli powder if you like spicy gravy.
  • This gravy tastes the best with small onions. so its better to use it. If you don’t have them in hand, you can use big onion but flavors may differ.
  • Add less tamarind if its more tangy.

Yummy, finger licking Kerala ulli theeyal is ready to serve ! I served with Chena Erissery, Nendran chips and rice !!
Ulli theeyal recipe

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