Ulli Theeyal

Ulli Theeyal

Ulli Theeyal, is a Kerala dish. It is quite similar to Sambar, another popular South Indian dish. Theeyal, which means “burnt dish”, featuring burnt coconut and is usually dark brown in color. It gets its color from the browning of coconut and also from tamarind. Theeyal is made from a mixture of spices consisting of roasted coconut, coriander seeds, dried red chili and fenugreek. All spices are ground to a paste and cooked in tamarind water with Shallot or Small/Perl Onion.

In some parts of Kerala, theeyal is included in a traditional sadya menu. A little spicy, tangy & rich in taste are its qualities.When completed it looks like a rich medium brown gravy and serve as a good accomplishment with brown rice.


  • Shallot or Small Onion 1 Cup Sliced 1 Cup
  • Grated Coconut 1 Cup
  • Dry Red chilly 5 Nos.
  • Coriander Seeds 1.5 Teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder 1/4 Teaspoon
  • Fenugreek Seeds a Pinch
  • Cumin Seeds a Pinch
  • Tamarind pulp 1/4 cup
  • Coconut Oil, Curry Leaves and Salt as required


  1. Heat up your favourite pan with a little coconut oil
  2. Add the sliced Onion and curry leaves, Sauté till it tender and keep aside.
  3. Pour little coconut oil in the same pan; add grated coconut, Dried Red Chilly, Fenugreek Seeds, Coriander Seeds, Cumin Seeds and sauté it till it turns to a darker shade of brown.
  4. Reduce the flame to low, add turmeric powder; cook for a minute.
  5. Take it off from the flames and let it cool for grinding.
  6. Grinde the above mixture nicely to become a smooth paste.
  7. Mix this with the Onion, curry leaves and Tamarind Pulp, Add required salt, cook in a medium flame till to get the required consistency.

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