Theeyal was made at our house only ‘ on demand’. It does take a bit of time and is not suited for those ‘curry in a hurry’ moments. When we think of coconuts and some delicious Kerala dishes to go with it, theeyal definitely is the one for me.
We make this with shallots, bittergourd or brinjal. I am sure there are more variations, but these are all I know. I decided to use whole baby eggplants instead of slicing them, only because I thought the baby eggplants would look very cute dressed up in a dark brown coconut sauce. And it did!!
Recipe source: by Mrs. K.M.Mathew
Step 1: Making the coconut paste
Coconut – 1 cup
Shallots – 1 small sliced
In a pan, add a bit of oil ( 1 tsp). Add the coconut and shallots and fry till dark brown in color. You might need to stir frequently and keep a close eye on them. Add the browned coconut to the blender.
Dry coriander seeds – 1/2 tsp
Dry red chilis- 3
Fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds – a small pinch of each
In the same pan, dry roast the above ingredients and add them to the blender also. ( You could definitely add these to the coconut as it is turning brown and roast them)
Grind all these to a smooth silky paste. Add water as necessary to help with the grinding.
Step 2: Dressing up the brinjals
Brinjals – 9 baby brinjals.( Substitute with 2 larger slender asian eggplants)
Turmeric – a small pinch (optional)
Tomato- 1 plum tomato, sliced.
Green chilies 5 small slit.
Tamarind water – add a small piece to 1/4 cup water, use your hands to extract the tamarind.
Make slits on the brinjal ( make the slits as if you were stuffing the brinjal, but leave the stem intact).
Add a teaspoon of oil to the hot pan, add turmeric (optional), followed by brinjals. Then add green chillies and tomato and saute for a few minutes.
To this add the ground coconut paste, tamarind water, salt. Add more water if needed to make enough gravy.Cover and cook till the brinjals are cooked.
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves – one sprig
Fenugreek seeds- a small pinch
Sliced shallot- 1
Dry red chilies – one, cut into small pieces.
Take some oil, add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, shallots, and dry red chilis. Fry till the shallots are dark in color. Add to the brinjals. Stir well and serve.
Annita’s recipe here
Ulli theeyal from Priya here
Inji’s Bittergourd theeyal here.