Shallots (Ulli) Theeyal

This is one of my favorite side dishes for rice. My mom and my mother in law used to make this often. I don’t make it that often, because it is hard to get the right kind of shallots in Minnesota. Recently I found them in the frozen section of our nearby Indian grocery store. After making the theeyal, I didn’t notice any taste difference between the fresh and frozen shallots. If you can get this kind of shallots, give it a try and I am sure you won’t be disappointed.


  • Shallots ———————————– 1 lb
  • Grated coconut ———————- 1/4 cub
  • Coriander powder —————– 2 tsp
  • Chili powder ————————– 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder —————— 1/4 tsp
  • Tamarind juice ———————- 1/4 cup (or 4 to 5 cubes)
  • Mustard seeds ———————— 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves ————————— 2 springs
  • Cooking oil —————————— 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • For Seasoning (optional)
  • Cooking oil —————————— 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds ———————— 1/4 tsp
  • Cumin seeds ————————— 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves —————————- 1 spring

How To Make

  • If you are using frozen shallots (small/baby onions), thaw it to the room temperature
  • Cut them into small pieces
  • In a heavy bottom pan add the grated coconut, cumin seeds and curry leaves and dry roast for couple of minutes
  • Then add the chili powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder and roast for few more minutes
  • Then make this into a fine coconut paste
  • Now in the same pan add the oil and mustard seeds
  • Once it crackles, add the curry leaves
  • Add the small onions and stir fry for about 10 minutes
  • Now add the tamarind juice/cubes and salt and wait for couple of minutes
  • Then add the coconut paste and 1/2 cup of water
  • Cook for few more minutes and switch off the stove
  • For seasoning, take a small pan and keep it on the stove in medium heat
  • Add oil, mustard seeds and cumin seeds
  • Once it crackles, add the curry leaves and pour this on the theeyal

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