Theeyal is a delicious Kerala dish. It is good with steamed rice. It also goes well with idly, dosa, appam and chapattis.
Theeyal is a South Indian dish. It is quite similar to Sambar, another popular South Indian dish. Theeyal originates from the state of Kerala in South India, a region where coconut is often used in cuisine. Theeyal is made from a spice mixture consisting of roasted coconut, coriander seeds, dried red chili and fenugreek. All spices are ground to a paste and cooked in tamarind water with vegetables. When completed it look like a rich medium brown gravy and is normally mixed with rice.
Theeyal, which means “burnt dish,” is a typical Kerala dish featuring burnt coconut and is usually dark brown in color. It gets its color from browning of coconut and also from another ingredient, tamarind. In some parts of Kerala, theeyal is included in a traditional sadya menu. Vegetables used for Theeyal include Pearl onion or Shallot, Bitter melon, Potato, Eggplant, Okra, Zucchini, Raw Mango, Granny Smith.
- Elephant yam(Chena) – 1/2 cup
- Potato – 1/2 cup
- Lady’s finger (cut into small pieces) – 1/2 cup
- Grated Coconut – 2 cups
- Small Onion – 3-4 nos
- Dry chillies – 2-3 nos
- Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
- Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Tamarind Juice – taken from lemon-sized tamarind
- Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
- Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp
- Salt and Water
- Curry leaves – 2 springs
- Cut the vegetables length-wise and cook them in water adding salt and turmeric powder.
- Roast the grated coconut with thinly sliced onions, dry chillies, and 1 spring curry leaves. Add 1 tsp of coconut oil for frying. Roast the mixture till golden brown.
- Allow it to cool. When cooled, grind them to a fine paste, without adding water.
- Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds. When the seeds starts to splutter, add a spring of curry leaves and 1 or 2 dry red chilles to it.
- Add the sliced ladies finger and fry it until done.
- Add coriander powder and chilli powder, allow to fry for sometime. Add the ground masala to this.
- Pour tamarind juice, water and the cooked vegetables and mix well. Simmer for a few minutes.
When the gravy is of medium thickness, switch off the flames.
Serve hot with steamed rice.