Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Onam Special 2012 - Ulli Paavakka Theeyal - Onion & Bitter gourd Curry In Spicy Tamarind Gravy



The spice and tang of the Theeyal beautifully complements the coconut and curd based sweetish curries like Avial and Kaalan in the feast. My family likes to savour Theeyal ( Puli Kozhambu ) with steaming hot rice topped with a spoon of fresh ghee. Similar to  Puli Inji, Theeyal  can also be enjoyed with curd rice. A lick of Theeyal is very refreshing after binging on  Paruppu Paayasam and Nendirampazha Halwa !


Fresh grated coconut - 1/2 cup 
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp 
Split chickpeas / Bengal gram dal - 2 tsps 
Red chillies - 4 
Sesame oil - 1/4 tsp 


1. Dry roast the coconut gratings on low flame till it turns light brown in colour. 
2. Remove the roasted coconut on to a plate and add oil to the same kadai
3. When the oil is hot add the coriander seeds, Bengal gram dal and red chillies. 
4. Roast the ingredients on low flame till they emanate a pleasant aroma. 
5. Cool all the roasted ingredients and grind them into a slightly coarse powder and keep aside.


Onion - 1 
Bitter gourd - 1 
Black Chickpeas ( pre soaked ) - 2 tbsps
Tamarind - the size of a big lime. 
Salt - 2 tsps 
Sambar powder - 2 tsps 
Powdered jaggery - 1 1/2 tsps 
Sesame oil - 1 tbsp 
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp 
Asafoetida powder - 1 pinch 
Fenugreek seeds - 1 pinch 
Ginger - 1'' piece ( peeled and slivered ) 
Red chillies - 2 ( broken ) 
Curry leaves - a few 
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch 


1. Soak tamarind in warm water, and extract the thick juice and keep aside. 
2. Peel and slice onion into long slivers. 
3. Wash and chop bitter gourd into one inch long strips. 
4. Heat oil in a kadai and add the mustard seeds. 
5. When the mustard seeds splutter reduce flame and add the fenugreek seeds. 
6. Add asafoetida when the fenugreek seeds become reddish in colour. 
7. Immediately add broken red chillies and then the ginger, and curry leaves. 
8. When the seasoning is ready add the chopped onion and bitter gourd. 

9. Saute for a few minutes and cover and cook on low flame. 
10. When the vegetables are almost done add turmeric powder and the presoaked Chickpeas. 

11. Stir for a couple of minutes and pour the tamarind juice into the kadai
12. Add jaggery, salt and sambar powder and let it cook on medium flame till the raw smell is gone.


13. Finally mix in the Theeyal podi and cook for a few more minutes till the oil separates.

Enjoy the Ulli Paavakka Theeyal along with the other Onam sadya dishes. 

5 Post your Comments:

Vijayalakshmi Dharmaraj said...

looks yummy...

Srimathi said...

I always looked forward to Onam spread at my friends house. It is so amazing. Thanks for sharing the recipe so that I have the chance to make them at my house.

Chitra said...

bookmarked.i was looking for this dish.. thnx :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Onam !!!

Chandra said...

Sabaash! Thank you for the great recipe!!
Peace :)