ulli theeyal
Ulli Theeyal / Kerala Shallot Curry
Written by Jayashree
Published on October 2, 2018

Ulli theeyal/ kerala shallot curry is a tasty accompaniment with hot steamed rice. It is often prepared in daily cooking in Kerala cuisine.

Kerala is a state in the south western region of India, a beautiful state and a tourists pride. As one enters the state, palm lined beaches and backwaters, a network of canals and estates of spices, tea and coffee are witnessed and mesmerising. It is called as “Gods Own Country” and  ” Land of Spices”

But the recent devastation has taken a toll of the life of most people. It was one of the severe floods that the state has witnessed in last hundred years.  Many people lost their lives while some are left homeless and still struggling. My heart goes out to these poor souls.

Shhhhh Secretly Challenge group has now reached Kerala where we are paired and given two ingredients to prepare dish of a particular selected state. I was paired with Vidya Narayan who blogs at Masala Chilli and she gave me shallots and tamarind as the secret ingredients. Do visit her blog www.masalachilli.com for delicious dishes.

The recipe that I have chosen to prepare is the Ulli Theeyal, a kerala style onion curry. It is tasty and pairs well with hot steamed rice. A mixture of spices are roasted and powdered, the shallots are cooked in seasoning and then tamarind pulp is added to it along with the spice mix.

As every cuisine, Kerala cuisine too is unique, different and tasty. Fresh grated coconut is one of the essentials in their cooking. Spices as cumin and pepper are regularly. Vegetables of many kind are consumed. Shallots are commonly used in this cuisine. The oil generally used is coconut oil. Now, let’s get cooking Ulli Theeyal

ulli theeyal
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ulli theeyal

Ulli Theeyal / Kerala Shallot Curry

Ingredients:

For the curry: 
  • 300 grams shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • small lemon ball sized tamarind
  • salt
For the paste:
  • 1/2 cup fresh coconut
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 dry red chilly
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
For the tempering:
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • curry leaves
  • 2 dry red chilly

Method:

  1. Remove the skin of the shallots.
  2. Soak tamarind in water.
  3. Dry roast the spices for a few minutes, put them aside, then dry roast the coconut until it is golden in colour and you get a good aroma.
  4. Let cool. Grind all ingredients to a paste with water.
  5. Take oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds, as it crackles put turmeric powder and the shallots. Let cook for four to five minutes.
  6. Extract the pulp from the soaked tamarind.
  7. Add the pulp to the shallots, let cook for ten minutes.
  8. Put the ground paste and salt to it. Let cook for two minutes.
  9. Make seasoning, heat coconut oil, add the mustard seeds, as it cracles put the dry red chilly and curry leaves. Pour it over the curry.
  10. Ulli Theeyal is ready to serve.

Take a tip:

  1. I have not made it very spicy, add two more dry chilly while roasting if you want.
  2. Shallots can be easily peeled by putting in water.
  3. Oil may be added while roasting the ingredients but I have not used.
  4. Use coconut oil for a good taste of the dish.

making of ulli theeyal
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making of ulli theeyal

ulli theeyal
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Ulli Theeyal / Kerala Shallot Curry

Ulli Theeyal is a spicy curry of shallots cooked in paste of roasted coconut and other spices along with tamarind extract. It pairs well with hot steamed rice. 

Course dinner, lunch, lunch ideas, Side Dish
Cuisine kerala, south india
Keyword kerala shallot curry, shallot curry, ulli theeyal
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Jayashree

Ingredients

For the curry

  • 300 grams shallots/ small onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • tamarind small lemon size ball
  • salt to taste

For the paste

  • 1/2 cup fresh coconut
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 dry red chilli
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

For the tempering

  • 2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard
  • 2 dry red chilli
  • a few curry leaves

Instructions

  1. Remove the skin of shallots.

  2. Soak tamarind in water.

  3. Dry roast the spices for a few minutes. Put them aside.

  4. Dry roast the coconut until light brown in colour. 

  5. When cool, grind the ingredients to a paste. 

  6. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, as it crackles put the shallots and garlic cloves in it. Let cook for sometime. 

  7. Extract tamarind pulp.

  8. Put the pulp to it, let cook for ten minutes.

  9. Add the ground masala, chilly powder and salt to it. Let cook for sometime.

  10. In a small pan, make the tempering. Heat oil, add mustard seeds, as it crackles, thrown in red chilly and curry leaves. Pour it over ulli theeyal curry. 

Recipe Notes

Take a tip:

  1. I have not made it very spicy, add two more dry chilly while roasting if you want. 
  2. Shallots can be easily peeled by putting in water. 
  3. Oil may be added while roasting the ingredients but I have not used. 
  4. Use coconut oil for a good taste of the dish. 

 

If you have liked this post, do pin it for your reference. If you ever recreate this dish, do share it on Instagram, tag @foodiejayashree, it will be nice to see your creation.

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29 Comments

  1. The Girl Next Door

    The ulli theeyal looks delicious! A ladleful of this, some piping hot rice and a bit of ghee, and one would be in foodie heaven! 🙂

    Reply
  2. Vidya Narayan

    Ulli Theeyal is one amazing curry to be enjoyed with Rice or Choru as they call in Malayalam, nei and papadams. Glad you enjoyed the ingredients given and turned them into a delicious main course option.

    Reply
  3. Jagruti Dhanecha

    This shallot curry is new to me, I thought you only use in making sambhar. Sounds so delicious and tempting.

    Reply
  4. Vanitha Bhat

    Beautiful and tasty dish from Kerala 🙂 Love the combo of spices, onions and especially the garlic in it! This tangy Kerala curry I am sure tastes fabulous with rice! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply
  5. Sasmita Sahoo Samanta

    This currry using shallot is looking so amazing. I think this will go well with some steamed rice 🙂 LOvely share jayashree 🙂

    Reply
  6. Sandhya

    I like all the flavors going into this shallot curry, Jayashree. I am bookmarking it!

    Reply
  7. Freda @ Aromatic essence

    I love Kerala style dishes and this one sounds really nice! Hope to try it out sometime 🙂

    Reply
  8. Pavani

    Shallot curry looks delicious and full of flavours.Thanks for the recipe

    Reply
  9. Geetha Priyanka

    I had a impression that shallots are used only in sambar, never knew it is used to prepare such a delicious curry as well. Bookmarking it to try sometime.

    Reply
  10. Dhwani Mehta

    Love all the flavors here. Love anything with shallots. Bookmarking this recipe to try soon. Thanks

    Reply
  11. Poonam Bachhav

    This is new recipe to me Jayashree but i I love the flavors going in it. Thanks for the share.

    Reply
  12. code2cook

    This Ulli theeyal recipe looks so mouthwatering. Love the consistency and color. I am sure it must have tasted heavenly.

    Reply
  13. theculinarypeace

    I remember eating this back in Kerala. Not sure if it was done properly. Your recipe seems like the kind I would really enjoy. Next time when I buy shallots, I’ll remember to try this. Thanks for sharing it.

    Reply
  14. Meghna Chatterjee

    Look at that gorgeous rich color, wow! I am drooling here, what an awesome share.

    Reply
  15. Padma

    Tangy curry is totally my kind and these shallots swimming in the gravy will taste out of the world…Nice share Jaya 🙂

    Reply
  16. Jolly

    This is such a nice & easy recipe, just perfect for me. will make it for sure & loved the presentation too…..

    Reply
  17. Renu Agrawal Dongre

    This looks so yummy, perfect with some hot rice.

    Reply
  18. Shobha Keshwani

    I love theeyal .. so yummy and spicy. Love to eat with plain rice and fried appalams.

    Reply
  19. themadscientistskitchen

    Oooo! You can useshallots like this in a curry. Yummy I assumed they go only in Sambhar only. Thanks

    Reply
  20. Priya

    yumm…yummm..give me a bowl of hot rice with a dollop of ghee and i am set

    Reply
  21. Priya Suresh

    Lipsmacking here.. Cant explain how much i like this ulli theeyal, serve me this curry i can sit and have daily without any fuss.. Mouthwatering dish.

    Reply
  22. Anu Kollon

    Ulli Theeyal looks so delicious. I love to have this with a cup of boiled rice.

    Reply
  23. Sujata Roy

    Shallot curry looks super tempting. A new dish for me. I can imagine the taste and flavour. Bookmaking it. Lovely share.

    Reply
  24. mayurisjikoni

    Jayashree, such a wonderful delicious spicy curry. I would have never thought that we could make a curry using only shallots. Wonderful share for the theme.

    Reply
  25. Kalyani

    This is similar to the gojju (tangy gravy) with Shallots that we make from karnataka cuisine. but there is a twist. I loved ur version of Ulli Theeyal, Jayashree . Will try this after Navratri …

    Reply
  26. Aruna

    Isn’t Ulli Theeyal so flavourful that you just cannot stop eating it? Looks lovely, Jayashree

    Reply
  27. Seema Doraiswamy Sriram

    Ulli theyal and papadam with red matta rice and jaya…. you made my day….

    Reply
  28. Sujata Shukla

    This Ulli Theyal looks spicy and very very delicious. I don’t recollect having it before and it adds one more to the variety of kuzhambus one can make to have with hot rice and poriyal. And of course, appalams!. Thumbs up for this recipe Jayashree.

    Reply

Appreciate all your comments.

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