Ulli Theeyal is a spicy and tangy dish from Kerala. This is made with shallots and sometimes other vegetables are added. The base of the gravy is tamarind cooked with other spices. This can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. It goes well with plain rice and can be relished with dosas and appams also.
Shallots .... 12-15 (I used 8 small sized onions as I did not get shallots)
Garlic ...... 1 pod (peeled and whole)
Tamarind .... lemon size (soak in water)
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves .. handful
Jaggery .... 1 small piece (1 tsp)
Dessicated coconut ... 3-4 tbsps( dry roast to brown colour)
Dry red chillies ....... 2-3
Cumin seeds ....... 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds ... 1 tsp
Pepper corns ...... 6-8
Asafoetida .. 1 pinch
Mustard seeds .. 1 tsp
Methi seeds .... 1/2 tso
Dry red chillies .. 2
Curry leaves ... 1 sprig
Oil ...... 3-4 tbsps (preferably coconut oil)
1. In a pan dry roast the red chillies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and pepper corns till they give out an aroma. Remove and dry roast the coconut separately to a nice brown colour.
2. Grind all this together to a smooth paste.
3. In a pan heat oil and add the tempering ingredients.
4.When they crackle, add the whole garlic cloves and saute.
5. Tip in the shallots and saute for a minute.
6. Add the tamarind water, salt and turmeric powder and simmer until onion is translucent.
7. Now add the ground masala, coriander leaves and jaggery.
8. Simmer until the masala cooks. This cooks very well on very low flame.
Serve with plain rice. This curry stays good for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.