Indian Main Course Recipes · Kerala Cuisine · Vegetarian Recipe

Kerala style Kadala Theeyal Recipe / Chickpeas Curry / Chickpeas in a roasted coconut sauce

Theeyal is an authentic Kerala dish and is prepared using vegetables, okra, bittergourd, brinjal and so on.

Theeyal means burnt dish which means coconut is roasted till it becomes dark brown in color. The dish gets its color from the roasted coconut and the tamarind paste.

Somedays based on the season or the festivities around the corner, you may get to cook so early or go on a trip and so you compromise on the food. But with the best choice being a dish that doesn’t gets spoiled easily tops the list is roasted coconut gravy.

And that’s my amma’s/ grandma’s and everyother lady in neighbourhood would pull off as a life saver, Theeyal 😋

Theeyal is made in many households of Kerala and also in regions of Kanyakumari.  The soul cum comfort food from the hearts of every Malayalee !!! Theeyal has got a sour and spiced taste which goes well with hot rice.

Chickpeas, Shallots, Brinjal and Drumsticks Simmered in an Aromatic Roasted Coconut Gravy…

Author: Nathiya Adiseshan

Cooking Time: 20 mins

Preparation Time: 15 mins

Serves: 3 people


  • 1 cup Chickpeas/ Chana, boiled
  • 1 cup Coconut, grated
  • 1 tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp Black peppercorns
  • 3-4 Garlic pods (optional)
  • 4-5 Shallots/ Pearl Onions/ chinna vengayam
  • 2 tbsp Chilli powder 
  • 1 1/2 -2 tbsp Coriander powder 
  • Tamarind, size of gooseberry
  • 1/2 cup Veggies diced (Brinjal, Drumstick, Yam)
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/8 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • Red chillies
  • Curry leaves
  • Coconut Oil

Here we go…

  1. Soak chickpeas overnight. Pressure cook and keep aside.
  2. Heat a tbsp of oil and add grated coconut, cumin seeds, shallots, peppercorns, and curry leaves (garlic pods, optional). 
  3. Fry the coconut till it turns a darker shade of brown. Reduce the flame to low, add chilli and coriander powder. Cook for a min.
  4. Once it is cooled completely, grind the coconut mixture to a smooth paste (If required, add little water). 
  1. Soak tamarind in 1/4 cup of water and keep aside.
  2. In a pan, add the diced brinjal, yam/drumstick and shallots with little water ( I have added brinjal and shallots alone today). Cook till its soft.
  1. Add coconut paste, tamarind water and salt. Mix well. Add half cup of hot water to it. Bring it to boil.
  2. Now add the boiled chickpeas. Stir well.
  3. Reduce flame to lowest and cook for 4-5 mins. When the oil starts oozing out, switch off the flame.
  4. Heat oil in a pan and crackle mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, red chillies and curry leaves. Add this to theeyal.
  5. Serve with hot rice.


  • Coconut oil imparts a distinct aroma and flavour. You can use any oil of your choice too.
  • Its important to fry the coconut really golden/brown. Do not char it while roasting.
  • The oil from the coconut will separate while grinding and the mixture will become into a paste. If required, add little water.

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