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ulli theeyal

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


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


  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.