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Snake Gourd Theeyal (Padavalanga Theeyal)

 Published 2022-Oct-24   Updated 2022-Oct-24

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Podanlankai Theeyal, Snakegourd Theeyal)

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Theeyal is a special curry from Kerala with a deep brown colour that comes from slow roasted coconut. This roasted coconut not only imparts a beautiful colour but also gives that nice aroma. I’ve already shared ulli theeyal, inji theeyal and pavakka theeyal. Today I am sharing a less popular theeyal variety made with snake gourd known as Padavalanga Theeyal.

Few years back I had a Malayalali maid and she used to prepare all sorts of Kerala delicacies for us. This padavalanga theeyal is one dish introduced by her. Initially I was skeptical about the taste but enjoyed it  after I tasted. After all, any theeyal variety is amazing with a plate of hot rice and some papadam. Try this recipe and you will enjoy it too.

Recipe For Snake Gourd Theeyal

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4


  • Snake Gourd – 1 (sliced)
  • Small Onions – 1 cup 
  • Turmeric powder 1/2 Tsp
  • Tamarind – small gooseberry sized (soaked)
  • Water – as needed
  • Salt – to taste

To roast and grind

  • Grated Coconut – 1 cup
  • Red Chili powder – 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
  • Fennel Seeds – ½ tsp
  • Fenugreek Seeds – ¼ tsp
  • Curry leaves – few

For Tempering

  • Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds 1 Tsp
  • Dry red chillies – 2 (broken)
  • Curry Leaves -  few


  1. The longest process in the whole preparation is roasting the coconut. If you have roasted coconut on hand, this curry can be made in a jiffy.
  2. For roasting, take grated coconut in a heavy bottomed pan and roast on medium flame till the coconut completely dries out and later turns deep golden in colour. This needs to be constantly stirred for uniform browning. Also it has to be a deep brown colour and not burnt. Otherwise the curry wold taste bitter.
  3. When it is well roasted, add the remaining ingredients for roasting – fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, red chilli powder, coriander powder and curry leaves. Switch off the flame immediately. The heat in the coconut is enough to slightly awaken the aroma of the spices.
  4. Wash and scrape the skin of the snake gourd (padavalanga). Cut it into half, remove the pith and seeds and then slice into 1” pieces. Similarly slice the onions. 
  5. 5Heat a clay pot, add some coconut oil, splutter the mustard seeds. Add broken dry red chilies and curry leaves.
  6. Add the sliced onion and snake gourd pieces. Also add some salt and turmeric powder. Saute for a couple of minutes.
  7. Add about ¼ cup of water, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  8. In the meantime, grind the roasted coconut with spices in a mixie jar. No water needs to be added. Oil will come out of the coconut while grinding.
  9. Add this ground coconut paste to the curry. Also extract the tamarind juice and add. Adjust salt and water as required. Bring to a boil.
  10. Reduce the flame, cover partially with a lid and cook on medium low flame till the curry thickens and oil oozes out. Your whole house will be filled with the aroma of roasted coconut.

Serving Suggestion

  • Serve this theeyal with white rice and some thoran and papadam.

More Snake Gourd Recipes

Molakootal Molakootal Stuffed Snakegourd Stuffed Snakegourd No Image Snakegourd Salad Snakegourd Kootu Snakegourd Kootu
See more ⟩⟩

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 Published by on and last updated on 2022-10-24.