Ulli theeyal is a Popular nadan preparation from Kerala cuisine. The mild sweetness of the onions when cooked with the tamarind and with the roasted coconut masala, tastes irresistible. I need nothing more than this to finish my lunch happily.

       This dish is a pouring curry (ozhichu curry) served with rice. From my childhood I love this dish to the core. Whenever i make this dish i feel nostalgic about the memories of mom makes this for lunch. Simple yet delicious curry to serve with steamed rice.

Shallots Theeyal

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Cuisine: Kerala
Serves: 4


Pearl Onion/ Kochu ulli, chopped- 15 nos (2 cups)
Ginger, chopped- 1/4 inch (optional)
Oil- 2 teaspoons
Tamarind- small gooseberry size

To roast and grind:
Coconut, grated-1 cup
pearl onion, finely chopped-5
Curry leaves- 1 srtand
Jeera/ cumin seeds- 1/4 teaspoon
Turmeric powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Red chilli powder- 1½ teaspoons
Coriander powder- 1½ teaspoons

To temper:
Oil- 2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds- 1/4 teaspoons
Dried red Chilli, broken- 2
Curry leaves- 1 strand

Pearl Onion Theeyal

  • In a pan roast the coconut, onion, curry leaves, jeera  till you get the dark golden colour. Add little oil if needed. 
  • Once it browns add the turmeric, chilli powder and coriander powder and mix well with coconut and allow to leave the raw masala smell for about fifteen seconds and turn off the gas and allow to cool.
  • Grind this coconut mixture inside a blender. First powder the coconut then add water and grind as a paste.
  • Heat oil in a pan and mustard seeds once it starts to splutter add the broken dried red chilli and curry leaves and fry for fifteen seconds.
  • Now add the chopped pearl onion and ginger; saute in the oil till the cut edges starts to get golden colour. Sprinkle some salt and fry for fifteen seconds.
  • Soak tamarind in water and extract the juice and add with this. Allow to cook for a minute or two till the raw taste of tamarind leaves.
  • Now add the ground coconut paste and mix well. Add a cup of water to dilute the curry.
  • Allow the curry to slightly thicken and get light brown colour.
  • Notes: Theeyal can be prepared with the addition of onions and tomatoes sauteed  at the beginning.
  • Pepper powder, fenugreek powder can be added if you wish.
Kunjulli Theeyal

Shallots Theeyal

Onam Sadya Vibavangal

Nadan Recipes