For Onam 2009, I had made mixed vegetable theeyal. Theeyal is another Kerala gravy made using fried coconut and spices. The gravy has a nice aroma of roasted coconut and tastes heavenly.
The most common varieties of Theeyal are:-
- Pavakka (Bitter Gourd) Theeyal
- Padavalanga (Snake Gourd) Theeyal
- Chemmeen (Prawns) Theeyal
- Ulli (Shallots) Theeyal
Here is my recipe for Mixed Vegetable Theeyal.
- Mixed Vegetables (cut into bite sized vegetables) – 3 Cups (I used 1 carrot, 1/2 of a small beetroot, 6 beans, 1 small potato, 6 ladies finger/okra )
- Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
- Tamarind – gooseberry sized ball / Tamarind Paste – 2 tbsp
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
- Water – as needed
For dry roasting and grinding
- Grated Coconut – 1 cup
- Coriander Powder- 2 tbsp
- Red Chilly Powder – 1 tbsp
- Fenugreek (Uluva) powder – 1/4 tsp
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Finely sliced shallots – 4 or 5
- Dry Red Chillies – 4
- Curry Leaves – A few
- Cook all the vegetables (except okra) in little water along with salt and turmeric until soft but not mushy.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non stick pan and fry the okra pieces until lightly browned.
- Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup warm water for some time and extract the juice and keep aside.
- Meanwhile dry roast coconut on medium-low flame until it turns into a dark brown color. The coconut should be thoroughly roasted till it’s almost burnt.
- Remove from heat, add coriander, chilly and fenugreek powders and continue roasting for 2 more minutes.
- Grind everything to a smooth paste along with 1 cup water.
- Take a big pan and add the ground paste, cooked vegetables and fried okra along with more water and salt. Simmer on medium flame for 5 -7 minutes.
- Add tamarind juice and bring everything to a slow boil. Reduce flame and allow the gravy to thicken.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Saute shallots, dry red chillies and curry leaves.
- Pour the seasoning over the theeyal and mix gently.
- You can alter the consistency of the gravy by increasing or decreasing water content.
- If using tamarind paste, adjust the sourness accordingly.
- The color of Theeyal depends on how well you roast the coconut and spices.