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Ulli Theeyal! - Salt and Sour

Ulli Theeyal!


I did not have much love for ulli theeyal before I came to Singapore. But when something which was easily available suddenly becomes unavailable, the demand will gradually increase. Later I felt my hidden love for theeyal and the craving kept on increasing day by day.  I was a beginner in cooking and it was difficult for me do all the hard work alone. Roasting the coconut was a time consuming task and for someone as lazy as me, it was very difficult. So, the very next vacation onwards I started bringing roasted theeyal mix coconut from home. 

Now my level of laziness has gone down and I make the roasted coconut by myself. So here is the complete recipe for ulli theeyal. The roasted coconut I make for this can be used for making all different types of theeyal like pavakka theeyal, chemmeen theeyal, mix veg theeyal etc.


For roasted coconut, You will need:

  1. Grated coconut from half a coconut.
  2. Shallots- 1  or 2
  3. Chilli powder-1/2 tsp
  4. Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  5. Coriander powder- 1/2 tsp
  6. Pepper powder- 1/4 tsp
  7. Fenu greek seeds- a pinch
  8. Tamarind- gooseberry sized
  9. Curry leaves- 2 stalks
  10. Oil- 1/4 tsp
  11. Salt to taste

You can use the whole chilli, pepper, coriander etc instead of the powders. Adjust the quantity of ingredients accordingly.


  • Heat oil in a deep bottom pan, preferably a non-stick pan. Add the grated coconut, turmeric, tamarind, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves shallots and salt.
  • Keep stirring on a low flame occasionally. Do not burn.
  • Once  it starts becoming golden brown add the rest of the ingredients if you are using the whole spices.
  • If you are using the powders, wait until the coconut becomes dark brown. Then add all the powders and heat the contents once. Again, do not burn.
  • Grind this to a paste with little water and add it to the veggies fo the theeyal directly.
  • You can make them and freeze them for later use. This is what I do nowadays.

For ulli theeyal, you will need:

  1. Theeyal mix- as given above
  2. Shallots-  1cup
  3. Mustard seeds, curry leaves, dried red chillies and oil for seasoning.
  4. Water- Half cup or more
  5. Salt to taste.

Method for ulli theeyal:

  • In a pan, pour some oil and splutter mustard seeds. Season with curry leaves and dry red chillies.
  • Add the shallots followed by salt. Saute until the shallots become transparent.
  • Add the theeyal mix made into a paste along with water.
  • Keep closed and boil. Continue until the theeyal thickens itself.
  • Serve hot with rice.

Special tip: A pinch of sugar enhances the taste of the ulli theeyal.

Enjoy cooking! 

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  4 comments for “Ulli Theeyal!

  1. October 20, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Ne kalkunundallo… Theeyal pande ente favr8 aanu.. alapuzha is famous for meencurrys and theeyals. When i was at bangalore, amma used to give me theeyal mix for easy cooking, paavam amma.. i used to take the credit of the dishes i make with it, but i think the real taste depends on the mix.:)

  2. October 21, 2015 at 12:35 am

    I love ulli theeyal..one of my fav 🙂

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