Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan. Add grated coconut, coriander seeds and red chilies and roast on low flame until it turns brown and a nice coconutty aroma starts coming. Let cool and grind it coarsely in a mixer.
Mix tamarind paste in 1/4 cup water and keep aside.
Heat oil ina frying pan. Add mustard and let splutter. add cumin, fenugreek and curry leaves and saute' for a minute. Now add the peeled whole onions and saute again until the external of the onion turns golden brown. Now, add tamarind water , asafoetida and turmeric and let cook well so that the water content is halved. Now, add salt and the ground mixture and let boil for a couple of minutes.