Kerala Style Ulli Theeyal Recipe

ulli-theeyal-recipe

This recipe is very special. This recipe is from Priya Sidharth. Remember “Metro” Priya??? When we were young, there used to be a channel called DD Metro and the anchor was Priya. Oh golden days they were πŸ™‚ This Ulli theeyal is from her and her mother. This is one delicious curry to be had with rice. If you like coconut flavour, this is a must try. I love traditional recipes like these a lot. This is a very classic traditional Kerala style curry. The flavor of the nicely roasted coconut is to die for. The gravy is simmered in a tamarind sauce and goes very well with rice. I have used coconut oil today. You can use any oil of your choice but I strongly suggest you to use coconut oil. It imparts a distinct aroma and flavour to this dish. Here is how to do it.

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Here is how to make Kerala Style Ulli Theeyal Recipe
Soak a lime size tamarind in one cup of water for 20 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind in the water to extract all the juices. Strain the juice and set aside the tamarind pulp. Discard the tamarind seeds and the pith.

Also chop the shallots (small onions). The shallots needs to be chopped as it gives a different flavor than adding shallots whole. Set aside.

The main prep work for this curry is the theeyal masala and here is how to do it. Heat 2 tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan. Add in the coriander seeds, dried red chillies and fresh shredded coconut. Fry on medium flame, sauteing constantly until the coconut turns golden. Its important to fry well till the coconut turns really golden. I call it fiery gold!

ulli-theeyal-recipe-masala

Grind the masala to a fine paste without adding any water. The oil from the coconut will separate while grinding and the mixture will become into a paste. Set aside.

ulli-theeyal-recipe-masala-ground

Heat oil in a pan and add in the curry leaves and the chopped shallots. Fry till the shallots are soft and slightly starting to brown. Add in the tamarind juice, the theeyal masala, turmeric and the salt. Add in half a cup of water. Let it simmer in medium flame for 10 minutes. Stir once in a while.

ulli-theeyal-recipe-cook

After 10 minutes, the oil will separate and float on top. Now add in the coconut milk and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Switch off the flame.

ulli-theeyal-recipe-coconut-milk

Tempering Ulli Theeyal
Now lets do the tempering for the curry. Heat oil in a small kadai and add in the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds (vendayam) and curry leaves when the oil is hot. Let the mustard seeds splutter. Add it to the curry.

ulli-theeyal-tempering

Ulli Theeyal is ready for serving. It goes amazingly well with rice and some ghee.

ulli-theeyal

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ulli-theeyal

Ulli Theeyal Recipe

Traditional Kerala Style Ulli Theeyal Recipe. Made with roasted coconut and spices simmered in a tamarind gravy.

  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 4 persons 1x

Ingredients

Scale

For the Theeyal Masala

  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup fresh shredded coconut
  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 6 dried red chillies

For the Gravy

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 20 shallots, chopped (about 200 grams)
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • small lime size tamarind
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk

For the Tempering

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 sprig curry leaves

Instructions

  1. Heat 2 tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan. Add in the coriander seeds, dried red chillies and fresh shredded coconut. Fry on medium flame, sauteing constantly until the coconut turns golden. Grind the masala to a fine paste without adding any water.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add in the curry leaves and the chopped shallots. Fry till the shallots are soft and slightly starting to brown. Add in the tamarind extract (soaked in a cup of water and extracted), the theeyal masala, turmeric and the salt. Add in half a cup of water. Let it simmer in medium flame for 10 minutes.
  3. After 10 minutes, the oil will separate and float on top. Now add in the coconut milk and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Switch off the flame.
  4. Heat oil in a small kadai and add in the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds (vendayam) and curry leaves when the oil is hot. Let the mustard seeds splutter. Add it to the curry.

Notes

For a fiery dark colour, add in a couple of Byadagi red chillies / Kashmiri red chillies. They impart a deep red colour to the gravy.

  • Author: Kannamma - Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Kerala, South Indian

Keywords: ulli theeyal

ulli-theeyal

35 thoughts on “Kerala Style Ulli Theeyal Recipe”

  1. Whole tamarind is totally unavailable in my area, but I do have access to tamarind paste. Is it possible to make this with the paste, and how much to use if so?

  2. Hi Suguna, tried this today. However, I was unable to make a paste of the masala and I was at it for around half hour, I even added extra oil, but it did not work. Can you left me know where I am going wrong? The taste was good though, probably not authentic, since my masala was not right. Thanks in advance.






        1. Tried again today, got the paste perfectly and my husband who never comments on the food I prepare, said be liked it… Wow made my day!!! Thank you






  3. I tried this today following your steps . It came out very well in the end but I could not get the paste of Theeyal without adding water .So I had to add a little water to get the paste . What could have been the problem ?

  4. Hi Suguna,

    Very nicely explained and the name if your site us cute…

    Lovely recipe…thanks a lot

    Can u please write More kili recipe?

    Veena

  5. Nice…We often prepare the theeyal sans coconut milk. It goes well with chapatti & dhosa as well. Bhindi/ladies finger also can be used for theeyal…split it after cutting in to almost 1 inch size before frying & sautering!Rest well explainedπŸ™πŸ™πŸ™






      1. With Ladies finger/tomato/bitter guard/ cashew nut etc theeyal can be made. Bitter guard theeyal is my favorite

  6. Priya Siddharth

    Hi suguna, let me introduce myself.
    I am Priya ( metro ) . Was going through your kannama cooks ,thanks for mentioning and to try out my recipe.






  7. Prakash Iyer

    My first visit to your site. Extremely well written, easy and precise! Was looking for details about theeyal, which my mom and aunt used to make 30 to 40 years ago, when I was young. And your recipe is bang on! Authentic Kerala style!






    1. Vidhya Renjith

      Does anyone use coconut milk in the traditional kerala ullitheeyal?I never heard about coconut milk in any theeyal.






    2. Vidhya Renjith

      Does anyone use coconut milk in the traditional kerala ullitheeyal?I never heard about coconut milk in any theeyal. The ingredients I usually use to make theeyal is Coconut, Red chilli, Coriander, few shallots,Curry leaves. Roast all these & grind without adding any water. So it will get the real texture of the theeyal .Adding water will change the taste and texture.Shallow fry the thinly sliced shallots and add the grinded gravy in to it.Add tamarind water &salt. Bring it to boil. Season it. Shallots can be replaced with bittermelon, green tomatoe, ginger and so on.

  8. lakshmi Ramakrishnan

    You can use even bitter gourd, nicely chopped along with small onions to make the theeyal. It gives a different taste, very famous in Kerala Kottayam district. I used to make it often.

  9. HELLO SIS
    LAST WEEK I COOKED THEEYAL,.. IT TURNED OUT REALLY WELL . I WANNA THANK U FOR UR AWESOME RECEIPES … TQ






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