Vendaikai Theeyal

“Theeyal” is a typical Kerala dish. It is similar to Tamil Nadu “Kuzhambu”, but the difference is, in Theeyal all the spices along with coconut are fried to a brown colour, grind it to a fine paste and added to the Kuzhambu. It can be prepared with different vegetables and also only with sambar onion too.

This theeyal is served with hot rice accompanied by fried papad or with any mild vegetable poriyal.

Vendaikai Theeyal

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Recipe by S Kamala Course: KuzhambuCuisine: Indian, KeralaDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



This Kerala dish is made with pearl onions (sambar onions), coconut and tamarind. This theeyal is served with hot rice accompanied by fried papad or with any mild vegetable poriyal.


  • Okra (Vendaikai) – 6 to 8

  • Tamarind – a big gooseberry size

  • To fry and grind:
  • Coconut gratings – ½ cup

  • Red Chillies – 4 to 5

  • Coriander seeds – 1 tablespoon

  • Cumin (Jeeragam) – 1 teaspoon

  • Fenugreek Seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

  • Turmeric Powder – ¼ teaspoon

  • For seasoning:
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon

  • Mustard – ½ teaspoon

  • Red Chillies – 2

  • Chopped Onion – 2 tablespoons

  • Curry Leaves – few

  • Salt – 1 teaspoon or as per taste


  • Wash the okra and wipe it with clean cloth or paper towel. Cut it into 2 inch long pieces.
  • Soak tamarind in little water and squeeze out the juice. Add sufficient water and make 2 cups of tamarind water.
  • In a dry kadai put the coriander seeds and fry till it is hot to touch.
  • Then add cumin, fenugreek and red chillies and fry for few seconds.
  • Add coconut gratings and fry till it become light brown.
  • Add turmeric powder and stir it well. Remove and cool it. Grind it to a fine paste.
  • In a thick bottomed vessel put one teaspoon oil and add okra pieces along with a pinch of salt. Stir fry till light brown spots appear on the okra.
  • Add ground paste and mix it well.
  • Add tamarind water and salt. Stir it well and allow to boil on medium flame.
  • In a small kadai add the oil and when it is hot add mustard. When it starts crackling add chopped onion, red chillies and curry leaves. Fry for few seconds and add this seasoning to the boiling kuzhambu and switch off the stove.


  • Serve with hot rice accompanied by fried papad or with any mild vegetable poriyal.
  • You can also use red chilli/coriander/cumin powders instead of whole spices. In such case first put the coconut gratings in a kadai and dry fry till it become light brown. Then add one or two teaspoon red chilli powder, one tablespoon coriander powder, one teaspoon cumin powder and ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and fry everything together for few more seconds. Cool it and grind it to a fine paste.


  1. never heard of this will surely try.looks yummy!

  2. V prabhakaran

    Very simple words to get through.thank u.

    Can u mention me the quantities to prepare for 200 members

    • Hi Prabhakaran,

      Thank you for visiting my site. It depends upon the menu which you are preparing for 200 people. And also the type of serving buffet or leaf service. If I give me more info on this, I can calculate and let you know.

  3. we call it as ‘puli kuzhambu’ in our side..

  4. hey kamal, made this recipe yesterday and my family loved it.. its yum.. 🙂 thanks for this wonderful recipe.. can u share any recipe that can keep us warm in rainy season

    • Hi Teju,

      Thank you for your kind words. To keep us warm in rainy season, you can add black pepper in your dishes. You can make “Pepper Kuzhambu” and any other Kara Kuzhambu.

  5. Nice taste really good

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