clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

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



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


  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.


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