Theeyal, a traditional Kerala dish finds a prominent place in a Kerala sadya or feast. In the land of coconut trees Keralam, coconut is used in various forms. This dish is a blend of roasted coconut, shallots and aromatic spices cooked in tamarind juice.
It's a great accompaniment with rice. I even enjoy it with 'kappa vevichathu' - tapioca.
SHALLOTS ----- 10 to 15
COCONUT GRATED ---- 1 cup
CHILLY POWDER ---- 1tsp
CORIANDER POWDER --- 1tsp
TURMERIC POWDER ---- 1/2tsp
PEPPERCORN ----- 2 to 3
FENUGREEK ----- a pinch
TAMARIND ----- a small lemon size
DRY RED CHILLY ---- 2 to 3
MUSTARD SEEDS ---- 1/2tsp
CURRY LEAVES ----- 2 springs
- In a dry pan add the grated coconut and roast it until dark brown, just a little before it gets burnt. Put off the flame and to the hot pan add the chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, peppercorns and fenugreek. Mix it along with the roasted coconut. The heat is sufficient to fry the spices. When it cools down grind it to a fine paste by adding little water
- Peel, wash and slice the shallots to thin long pieces
- Soak tamarind in water and extract the juice
- In a pan add oil and splutter mustard seeds, add curry leaves and dry red chillies.
- Add the sliced onions and sauté it along with 1/4tsp salt. The onions have to turn pink but not brown
- Now add the tamarind juice, cover and cook until the onions are soft and oil leaves the sides of the pan
- Mix along the ground coconut paste, add little more water if required and enough salt
- Cover and cook on medium flame for another 5 mins letting the mixture blend with the spices and tamarind juice
- When done and oil floats on top of the pan, put off the flame
- Transfer it to a bowl and serve with hot rice
- The coconut should turn dark brown but not get burnt while roasting
- It is better to use grated coconut. It gets roasted evenly
- This dish should not taste sour, so less of tamarind
- The consistency of the gravy can be adjusted, but usually it is not made very thin
- If you have peeled onions in fridge ready, this is one easy recipe. You can also store the roasted coconut in fridge. It is easier when you are in a jiffy!