Tuesday, April 29, 2014



I love to try new dishes, particularly from other parts of India which I am not so familiar with. I recently tried out a Kerala dish called , "Ulli Theeyal" which gets its name from "Ulli" being the name for shallots (small onions) in Malayalam, while "theeyal" is the word for a roasted curry. Shallots are cooked in roasted coconut gravy to make this delicious dish.

My friend Rema Srinivas Kamath, who is from Kerala, pointed me to this dish, which I have adapted from  "Ulli Theeyal" from the "Kothiyavun" blog. I tried it out and we had this with rice. It was delicious.

  •  Shallots, peeled and sliced into thin pieces, 15-20 # ( I kept  them whole)
  • Tamarind, small, lemon-sized, 1
  • Grated Coconut, 1/2 cup
  • Dried Red Chillies, 5-6
  • Coriander Seeds, 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/4 tsp
  • Whole Black Pepper, 5-10
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida, a pinch
  • Fenugreek Powder, a pinch
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves, a few
  • Sugar, a pinch ( optional)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, as needed
Slice the shallots lengthwise into thin pieces.
Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup of warm water and take out the extract.
Heat 1 tsp of oil and stir fry the red chilly, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper corns, grated coconut and turmeric powder till it gives off an aroma and turns brown. Take care not to burn the spices.
Keep it aside and let it cool.
Grind it to a smooth paste
Heat 2 tbsp. oil and splutter mustard seeds, add curry leaves, sliced shallots.
Saute till shallots turn light brown,
Add asafoetida, salt, fenugreek powder, into it and saute for a while.
Add tamarind extract and allow it to boil for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add water, if necessary.
Add the ground paste and sugar and simmer for another 3-4 minutes
Remove from fire and serve hot with steamed rice.

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