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Theeyal is a typical Kerala side dish and is very similar to sambar or kuzhambu. Ulli theeyal is made with pearl onions with an amazing roasted coconut & tamarind spice paste. It tastes great when served with steamed rice.


4 serving

Total time

40 minutes


  • 12 ~ 15 Pearl Onions (, peeled* (I used frozen pearl onions))
  • ⅛ tsp Asafoetida (/ Hing)
  • 15 oz. can black beans
  • 15 oz. can black beans
  • 8 ~ 10 Curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp tamarind (pulp)
  • to taste Salt
  • 15 oz. can black beans (Grated)
  • 3 ~ 4 chilies (Dry Red)
  • 1 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 15 oz. can black beans
  • 15 oz. can black beans
  • ⅛ tsp Fenugreek Seeds


  1. Make the Spice paste: Heat 1tsp oil in a pan, add coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns and fenugreek seeds. Saute till aromatic, next add grated coconut and cook on low flame, stirring constantly, until coconut turns golden brown. This step requires some serious patience -- so make sure to take some time.
  2. Let it cool and then grind to a smooth paste adding just enough water.
  3. Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds and once the seeds start to splutter, add asafoetida, curry leaves and the pearl onions. Saute till the onions are lightly browned.
  4. Add the tamarind paste along with ½cup of water, bring to a boil and simmer for 3~4 minutes.
  5. Add the ground paste and simmer for another 3~4 minutes. Remove from fire and serve hot with steamed rice. Enjoy!!
  6. View the recipe instructions at Cook's Hideout

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