Sambar,Rasam,Gojju & Dal


ulli theeyal recipe

Ulli theeyal recipe | Kerala style Ulli Theeyal Recipe | Kerala style small onions curry | South Indian Shallots curry

ulli theeyal recipe

Today I have for you all a delicious accompaniment from Kerala Cuisine which is part of Onam sadya. Ulli theeyal is a tasty gravy made from small onions ( Shallots / Pearl Onions ) which is tangy, spicy with a tinge of sweetness. Freshly roasted spices along with coconut, sourness from tamarind, heat from chillies, little jaggery make Ulli theeyal very flavorful.

What is Ulli Theeyal ?

Theeyal basically means burnt dish, featuring roasted coconut. Using the same theeyal masala, one can make with bitter gourd, brinjal, ladysfinger etc. For today the chosen one is ulli ie Onion. One can use regular onions or the very flavorful small onions shallots. I always make it with shallots as it enhances the taste and makes the gravy more delicious.

For authentic Kerala taste , coconut oil is preferred .

Quick and easy to prepare, goes well with rice. Do try & enjoy ….

You can also check out small onion chutney 

ulli theeyal recipe


Smitha Kalluraya
Course Side Dish
Cuisine kerala, south indian
Servings 4 nos


  • 10-12 nos Pearl onions/shallots
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric/ Haldi
  • small lemon sized Tamarind, soaked in water
  • small piece Jaggery

Masala for Grinding

  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1 1/2 tsp Coriander /Dhania seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds /Jeera
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds/ methi
  • few Pepper corns
  • 4-6 nos Red Chillies
  • 1 tsp Oil

To Temper

  • 2-3 tsp Oil / coconut oil, Coconut oil pref
  • 1 tsp Mustard
  • a pinch of Hing /Asafoetida
  • few Curry Leaves


  • Peel and slice pearl onions.
  • In a pan / kadai.. preparing tempering. Add oil and splutter mustard. Later add hing and curry leaves.
  • Add shallots, salt and haldi. Saute well for 4-5 mins .
  • Mean while prepare masala. In a kadai add few drops of oil. Add all the ingredients mentioned under "masala to grind". Fry till crisp. Allow to cool and grind it smooth adding little water .
  • Saute onions till it's translucent and soft.
  • Add tamarind pulp, salt, jaggery and ground masala. Mix and add water as required. It will be tangy, spicy with a hint of sweetness.
  • Simmer on low flame and boil well.
  • Tangy spicy Ulli Theeyal is ready. Relish it with rice.
    ulli theeyal recipe

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