Ulli Kharam (Spicy Andhra Onion-Chilli Masala)

Ulli Kharam or Spicy Andhra Onion-Chilli Masala
Ulli Kharam or Spicy Andhra Onion-Chilli Masala

Ulli Kharam is a classic Andhra masala that can be used to spice up a range of vegetables. I used it yesterday to make Gutti Vankaya Ulli Kharam (Baby Brinjals). However, it can be used with Kakarakaya (Bitter Gourd or Karela), Beerakaya (Ridge Gourd), Chama Dumpa (Arbi or Taro), or even Bangala Dumpa (Potatoes). So I thought, I would blog the recipe of the masala by itself and then post its use with various vegetables.

Time: 15 Mins


  1. Onion – 1 Large
  2. Kashmiri Chillies – 2 (Optional, for the deep red colour only)
  3. Cloves – 2
  4. Cinnamon – 3/4″
  5. Coriander Powder – 1/2 tsp
  6. Spicy Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  7. Grated Jaggery – 1/4 tsp
  8. Thick Tamarind Pulp – 1/2 tsp
  9. Oil – 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
  10. Salt to Taste


  1. Peel and slice the onion.
  2. In a wok or kadai, heat 1 tbsp oil.
  3. Add the cloves and cinnamon.
  4. Stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the kashmiri chillies and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the sliced onion and stir-fry till the onion is transparent.
  7. Turn off the heat.
  8. Add red chilli and coriander powders.
  9. Mix well and let the onions cool.
  10. Grind the onion along with tamarind pulp, jaggery and salt into a smooth paste.
  11. Use it to make assorted vegetables.


I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do leave me a comment.