Ulli Theeyal | Kerala Style Ulli Theeyal | Small Onion Theeyal

Ulli Theeyal Recipe | Kerala Style Ulli Theeyal | Small Onion Theeyal

Ulli Theeyal

Ulli Theeyal is an delicious and traditional Kerala style tamarind based gravy made with shallots and special coconut masala.In Malayalam "ulli" means small onions or shallots and "Theeyal" means burnt flavour which is imparted by the roasting of the coconut to brown colour. This ulli theeyal is an important Onam Sadya dish served with steamed Kerala matta rice or ordinary steamed rice.
The most important thing to keep in mind is the roasting of the ingredients for masala ,this is what imparts the unique flavour to the theeyal.Make sure you roast them (especially the coconut) to nice golden brown colour being cautious not to burn.There are many variations of this dish ,like instead of small onions you can use bitter gourd,brinjal, ladies finger,yam or mixed veggies of your choice.Check out how to make this yummy spicy tangy traditional Kerala style ulli theeyal recipe below.


For Masala 

Coriander seeds-1 Tbsp 

Pepper corns-1 tsp

Fenugreek-1/8 tsp 

Red chillies -6-8 nos 

Grated coconut-1/2 cup 

Coconut oil-1 tsp 

Other Ingredients-

Small onions-1 cup 

Tamarind extract-from lemon sized tamarind

Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp 

Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp 

Fenugreek-1/4 tsp 

Red chilli-1 no 

Green chillies-2 nos slit lengthwise 

Curry leaves few 

Asafoetida a pinch 

Jaggery-1 tsp

Coconut oil-3 Tbsps 

Salt to taste 

Recipe Video


👉Heat coconut oil in a kadai add coriander seeds, fenugreek, pepper,red chillies and sauté well until aromatic.Transfer the ingredients to mixie jar and allow it to cool down.

👉In the same kadai add grated coconut and sauté well until it turns nice golden brown colour.Add the coconut to the mixie jar along with other ingredients cool it completely and grind to fine paste adding very little water set aside.

👉Soak medium lemon sized tamarind in 1 cup water for 15 mins, extract the juice and discard the pulp.

👉Peel and wash the small onions well, chop it if you want or use it as such.

👉Again heat coconut oil in a kadai add mustard seeds,red chilli, fenugreek, green chillies, curry leaves and allow it to splutter.

👉Now add shallots and sauté well until onions turn translucent.

👉Add the ground masala paste and saute for a minute in medium flame.

👉Add tamarind extract, required salt, turmeric powder, asafoetida mix well.

👉Pour 1 1/2 cups of water and allow the gravy to boil until it thickens,raw smell goes and oil oozes on top.Finally add jaggery mix well.

👉Switch off the gas and serve hot.

Preparation time-30 mins 


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