Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Ulli Theeyal | Shallots in Tamarind Gravy

Ulli Theeyal, a tangy & spicy curry made with pearl onions and it's one of the  regional famous dishes in South Tamilnadu and also in kerala. In our family, we often make this curry for our lunch meal along with steamed rice and some veggies.

Appa is very fond of this curry and he always says that aachi(grandma) makes the best Theeyal and still he fondly remembers that it tastes best with palaya satham(leftover rice soaked in water to use it on the next day). That's the  best way to preserve the leftover cooked rice in those non-refrigerator days :-)

What's Theeyal ? 

"Theeyal" means "burnt" . Since all the ingredients in this curry are roasted till it's dark brown, it got its name "Theeyal".
Moreover, this curry is made with a lot of pearl onions which is commonly known as "Ulli" in South Tamil nadu and Kerala, hence the name "Ulli Theeyal"  

What are the other vegetables added in this curry? 

As i said earlier, mainly pearl onions are used in this curry. But for a change, you can use country vegetables like drumstick, brinja & so on.

How long can I store this curry?

As we roast all the ingredients for making this curry, it stays well for 2-3 days at room temperature and upto 10 days in the refrigerator.

 Now let's see how to make this delicious Ulli Theeyal

Ulli Theeyal

Preparation Time : 1/2 hr for soaking | Cooking Time : 25 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Curry | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
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Shallots / Pearl onion - 7
Tomato - 1 
Tamarind - a gooseberry size
Garlic - 2 
Salt - to taste
Sesame Oil - 11/2 tbsp
Curry leave - few
Mustard & urad dal - 1/2 tsp

To roast & grind
Red chili - 3
Coriander seed - 1 tbsp
Cumin seed - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seed - 1/4 tsp
Grated Coconut - 1/4 cup tightly packed
Shallots/Pearl onion - 2
Garlic - 2 pods
Oil - few drops

Heat the pan with few drops of oil, add red chili, coriander seed, cumin seed & fenugreek seed and roast it till nice aroma comes and also all the ingredients becomes brown.
Keep it aside, in the same pan, add the grated coconut, garlic & shallots and roast till coconut becomes red in color.
Let it cool down completely and put it in mixie jar along with the previously roasted ingredients and grind into smooth paste with water.
Soak the tamarind for 1/2 hr and peal the shallots and cut into half/quart or keep as it is depends on the size of shallots,cut tomato into small pieces and roughly chop the garlic. Heat the kadai with oil.
Add mustard & urad dal, let the mustard splutter, add the shallots, garlic and curry leaves, once the shallots becomes translucent, add the tomatoes. Fry it in oil for 1 min.
Extract the tamarind juice from the soaked tamarind and add into the shallots,  then add the grounded masala and salt.
If need add more water to your preferred consistency and mix it well, let it comes to boil and keep the flame in medium until oil floats on the top.
Tasty & finger licking Ulli Theeyal is ready.

Related : More Curries and veggies

  • Roast the coconut well till all the moisture leaves and it becomes red in color.
  • Curry is mildly spicy, if you want more spicy add more chilies.
  • Sesame oil gives great flavor to the curry, but you can use other vegetable oil too.
  • While grinding, first grind into coarse powder,then add water and make into smooth paste.
  • Keep the flame in medium while roasting the ingredients and also make sure it's not burnt.

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