After sambar, theeyal is the next favourite of Malayalees.. My sister asked me to write this recipe. We’re separated by thousands of miles.. but sharing the same food now 🙂 . Prawns theeyal is slightly different from normal vegetable theeyal. You can adjust the heat of the dish by adding or redusing the whole dry chillies added to the coconut. This dish best goes with hot rice.. The colour of the dish depends on how well you roast the coconut. Theeyal in malayalam means burned coconut. You have to burn the grated coconut without burning it 🙂 ..

Preparation time : 15 mts

Cooking time : 10 + 1

Serves : 4


  • Prawns – 500 g (you can use small shrimp too)
  • Small shallots (kunjulli) – 1 cup (pealed and keep it whole)
  • Curry leaves – 2 stem
  • Musturd seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds (uluva) – 1/4 tsp
  • Whole red chilli – 2
  • Coconut oil – 2 tsp
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Tamarind – 1 marble size (or 1/2 tsp tamarind pulp)

Ingredients for roasting/grinding :

  • Fresh grated coconut – 1/2 cup
  • Whole red chilli – 4
  • Small shallots – 7
  • Sliced ginger – 1 tsp
  • Garlic – 5 (small, big ones – 2)
  • Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder  – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Coconut oil – 1 tsp

Method :

  1. In a flat pan start roasting the coconut, whole red chilli, shallots, ginger and garlic. Do not leave the pan unattended.
  2. Once the coconut starts to turn slight brown, it’ll change its  colour soon.
  3. When the coconut is properly roasted add in the dry spices, chilli and coriander powder along with 1 tsp of oil.
  4. Adding oil is important at this stage to stop burning the spices.
  5. Saute for 1 more minute and leave it to cool.
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  7. Once it is cooled, grid it without adding water at first. When the coconut is broken down add in 1/4 cup of water.
  8. In a bowl soak tamarind in the remaining water.
  9. Now let’s start cooking the prawns.. for that heat a pan in medium fire.
  10. When the pan is heated add in the oil and when when the oil starts to burn add in the fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds.
  11. When mustard seeds starts to splutter add in the whole dry chillies and curry leaves.
  12. Now you can add the shallots and saute till the shallots starts to soften.
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  14. Mash and squeeze the tamarind to make tamarind water.
  15. Mix in the grinded coconut along with the tamarind water and bring it to boil.
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  17. Keep the pan covered leaving a small gap to release the steam.
  18. when the curry is well cooked and the oil starts to separate and flot on top add in the prawns and cook for a minute.
  19. Prawns need very little time to cook.Do not over cook the prawns, otherwise it’ll become hard and chewy.
  20. Your theeyal is ready. 🙂