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Theeyal | Ulli Theeyal | Kerala style Onion Gravy
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5 from 2 votes

Theeyal | Ulli Theeyal | Kerala style Onion Gravy

Ulli Theeyal is a popular kuzhambu (gravy) made using shallots (pearl onion / Ulli) and fried ground coconut masala. Theeyal has a very nice flavor of roasted coconut and tanginess from tamarind. It goes well with rice as well as an accompaniment.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Kuzhambu
Cuisine: Kerala, Nanjil Nadu, South Indian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 101kcal
Author: Sowmya Venkatachalam


  • Mixer Grinder
  • Heavy Bottomed Pan


  • 15-20 nos Shallots / Baby Onions peeled
  • Few Curry leaves
  • 1 Goosberry Size Tamarind (or) 1 Tbsp Tamarind Paste
  • 1.5 tsp Salt (adjust to your taste)

For Theeyal Masala

  • 0.5 cup Grated Coconut 1 cup = 250 ml
  • 8 nos Red Chili Adjust to your spice level
  • 1 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp Whole Urad Dal
  • 0.5 tsp Peppercorns
  • 2 tsp Cooking Oil (coconut oil preferably)

For Tempering

  • 1 tsp Cooking Oil
  • few Curry leaves
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds



  • Soak tamarind in warm water for 10 mins and extract the juice and set it aside


  • Pour the oil in the pan and fry the red chillies, coriander seeds, urdhal, and pepper. Take this in a mixer. Add grated coconut to the pan and fry till it turns golden red color.

Preparing Masala

  • Add roasted coconut to the mixer and Grind the above ingredients to a fine paste and keep it aside


  • Pour the oil the in the pan and add mustard seeds once the oil is hot. When the mustard seeds begins to sputter, add curry leaves and then add the onions and fry till the onion changes it color

Cooking Theeyal

  • Now add the tamarind extract and salt and let the mixture boils for sometime. Finally add the ground paste
  • Stir well and let the theeyal boil in medium low flame for another 10 minutes. Remove theeyal off the flame.
  • Serve this yummy Ulli Theeyal Kuzhambu with hot steaming rice along with any stir-fried vegetable.



  • Kuzhambu tends to thicken as it rests, so adjust the qty of water accordingly.
  • Instead of Shallots you can also add Bittergourd 


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Fiber: 3g