Onam is a beautiful festival celebrated in Kerala and by Malayalees around the world. My first association with Onam was when we had a 'rangoli' competition in school. I was terrible at using the coloured powders and making this, so I used the idea of the rangoli made with flowers - this is made during Onam, using colourful flower petals in a beautiful design. I used this idea and made one and I actually won !
Over the years, I have really enjoyed the food from this region. It reminds me of the food made at home, since both Mangalorean and Kerala cuisine use a lot of coconut.
We don't traditionally celebrate Onam, but I like to celebrate all possible festivals in my own little way, so that my child learns to appreciate what each community celebrates and also its a great chance to cook something new
The recipe is from 'Flavours of the Spice Coast' by Mrs K M Mathew. It was my first ever (and only one so far) win from a blog. I got this book from Sig of Live to Eat almost 2 years back and have tried many recipes from it.
I had tried this theeyal with appams in Coconut Grove, a restaurant in Bangalore, many many years back and decided to try this at home today.
I love the taste of the chinna vengayam / button onions, so added more than the recipe asked for. They have a sweetish taste and not pungent at all. Goes beautifully with the spices and tamarind in this theeyal
Kerala to me is beautiful beaches, amazing food, mundu veshti, endless stretches of coconut trees, banana chips, gold, red rice, fish, pappadum and many wonderful friends from this beautiful state. Happy Onam to all of you...
Adapted from Flavours of the Spice Coast by Mrs K M Mathew
What you need -
1 cup grated fresh coconut
2-3 red chillies
7-8 button onions
1 tsp coriander seeds
a pinch of turmeric powder
4 brinjals cut into 1" pieces
3-4 green chillies slit
a ball of tamarind soaked in warm water / 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
1/2 cup water
salt to taste
1 tsp oil
1 tsp oil (use coconut oil for an authentic taste)
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
2 red chillies halved
2-3 button onions sliced
What you do with it -
In a deep pan, roast the grated coconut, red chillies, coriander seeds and 2-3 button onions sliced. Then grind to a fine paste and keep aside
In the same pan, heat 1 tsp oil and add turmeric powder. Add the brinjal, green chillies and the button onions and saute well
Add the tamarind water / tamarind paste and ground masala
Add 1/2 cup water and bring to a slow boil till it thickens
Heat oil in a small pan for seasoning. Add the mustard seeds and allow to splutter. Add the red chillies and sliced onions. fry till the onions turn brown and then pour over the curry
Serve with appam or rice