A delicious main curry with rice in Kerala cuisine. Dry roasted coconut paste is the main ingredient !!
1 teaspoon oil
180 g (or 18 - 20 nos) chuvannulli ( shallots / small onion), peeled
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 cup water ( 200 ml )
½ teaspoon thick tamarind paste or 2 tablespoon tamarind juice (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt ( or to taste )
For the Coconut Paste:
1 cup or 10 - 13 tablespoon (Indian standard measuring cup of 200 ml / 8 oz capacity) coconut, grated
10 red chillies
2 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon jeera ( cumin seeds )
1/2 teaspoon urad dal
In a wide iron kadai, dry roast all the ingredients till golden color (also the quantity of the grated coconut will reduce to 3/4th when dry roasting) and fragrant (approximate roasting time 25 - 30 minutes, depending upon the freshness of the coconut ). Grind all the ingredients together in a mixer to a fine paste. Sprinkle very little water if required to make a smooth paste.
For the theeyal:
In a pan, heat oil. Saute shallots on a low heat for 2- 3 minutes ( till you get a nice aroma ).
Add chopped tomatoes. Saute for 2 minutes.
Add 2 - 3 tablespoon coconut paste / theeyal masala or to taste (store leftover theeyal masla in refrigerator, you can use same masala for prawns theeyal / chemmeen theeyal) and mix well, saute on a low heat for 2 minutes.
Add 1 cup / 200 ml water, thick tamarind paste or juice (optional) and salt to taste.
Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 15 minutes or till done / gravy slightly thickens / tomatoes are well blended. Consume this curry after one hour. Then it will absorb all the flavors. Best with rice (or with cabbage thoran, moru kachiyathu, boiled egg, pappadam & fish fry).