Today, I've got a lip-smacking recipe for you - spicy, sweet and sour Tomato Onion Chutney! It's the perfect partner for dosa, idli, or any South-Indian breakfast dish that needs a zesty kick.
This easy chutney recipe with tomatoes and onion is a versatile dish enjoyed year-round with South-Indian breakfast dishes. You can make this red chutney in many different ways, but here's my coconut-free take on it! Whip up this tomato chutney for dosa, idli and appams and tell me if you too loved it.
Here's a imag and a list of what you'll need to make the spicy South-Indian tomato chutney recipe:
- ripe tomatoes
- red onion
- garlic cloves
- mini shallots
- dried red chillies: adjust based on your spice preference.
- cumin seeds
- pottukadalai (roasted chana dal)
- mustard seeds
- urad dal
- curry leaves
- sesame oil or coconut oil
See recipe card for quantities.
So, how to make this onion tomato chutney for dosa? You can make this recipe in two ways. The usual method would be to saute the tomato and onion with spices. Blitz them to a puree and then prepare tadka and pour over the chutney before serving. While this method is good, what is even better is to blend first and slowly cook down the puree to a thick intense tomato chutney!
Here's your step-by-step guide to make tomato & onion chutney:
Add the dried red chillies, jaggery, cumin seeds, mini shallots, garlic cloves, ripe tomatoes, red onion, and pottukadalai to a blender or mixie grinder and blend to a smooth texture.
Grab a pan and heat 3 tablespoons of sesame oil. Start the tadka with mustard seeds. Wait until they splutter and pop then add the urad dal and curry leaves.
Reduce the heat and carefully pour the blended tomato mix into the pan. It will sizzle and spatter a bit. You can use a little water to clean out the jar and add it to the pan.
Season with salt and mix that tadka goodness into the chutney. Let this cook low and slow for about 15 to 20 minutes. Switch off when the water content is reduced, oil surfaces and the chutney is thickened.
Your garlic tomato chutney with onion is now ready to serve! You can serve it warm or at room temperature. Scoop it up, pair it with dosa, idli, or even on your sandwiches!
Substitutions and Variations
Here are a few substitutions you can try:
- Tomatoes: If you're out of ripe tomatoes, you can use canned tomatoes or even tomato puree. Just adjust the quantity accordingly. If your tomatoes are not tangy, add a knob of tamarind pulp.
- Red Onion: You can use yellow onions or add more shallots. If you want to skip onions, then add a pinch of hing for a flavour.
- Garlic: If garlic isn't your fav, you can replace it with a bit of ginger for a different flavour.
- Dried Red Chilies: Adjust the number of red chilies based on how spicy you want the chutney. You can also use chilli powder or paprika if you're out of dried chillies.
- Pottukadalai: If you cannot source this roasted chana dal, then roasted sesame seeds, roasted peanuts, cashews or grated coconut can give your chutney a similar nutty flavour and texture.
- Jaggery: You can use any other sugar of your choice.
- Curry Leaves: If you can't find curry leaves, you can leave them out or use a bit of fresh cilantro aka coriander leaves.
- Oil: I like the flavour sesame oil brings to this chutney but somedays I do use coconut oil. Any cooking oil works for the tadka, so use what you have on hand.
Feel free to play around with these substitutions and make the chutney that suits your taste buds best!
Here's what you'll need in to whip up the this chutney in your kitchen:
- blender or mixer
- a shallow pan or a skillet preferably stainless steel or non-stick
- spatula or wooden spoon
If you're planning to have the chutney within a week or so, pop it into an airtight container and store it in the fridge. It'll stay fresh and fabulous.
"Cook Down the Chutney!"
Let the chutney simmer on low heat for a bit. This gives all those fantastic flavors a chance to mingle, develop, and intensify. Plus, it helps to achieve the perfect texture – not too watery, but wonderfully rich.
Absolutely! You can control the heat by adding more or fewer dried red chillies. Kashmiri chillies can add color without too much spice, so you can play around with the combination. You can even remove the seeds from the chilies if you want less heat.
Definitely. If you're out of fresh tomatoes, canned ones work too. Just adjust the quantity to match the recipe, and keep in mind that canned tomatoes might have a slightly different flavor.
No, it's not recommended to skip the tadka (tempering). The tadka adds a layer of aromatic flavours that enhance the overall taste of this Tomato Onion Chutney. The oil also helps in getting the ingredients cooked and infused with flavours.
For a no onion and garlic recipe, try adding a pinch of hing and a clove or a piece of cinnamon to the tadka.
Looking for other recipes using fresh tomatoes? Try these:
These are my favourite dishes to serve with tomato chutney recipe:
Tomato Onion Chutney
- 5 to 8 dried red chillies add a few Kashmiri dried red chillies for colour
- jaggery (thumb tip size)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 50 grams mini shallots approx. 10 shallots
- 5 garlic cloves
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes approx. 250 grams
- 1 small-sized red onion
- 1 tablespoon pottukadalai (roasted bengal gram)
- 3 tablespoon sesame oil (or coconut oil)
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon urad dal
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- Add all the chutney ingredients into a blender and blend until you achieve a smooth chutney consistency. You don't need to add water. You may have to stop, stir and blend again so the items blend uniformly. Make sure to not have any large specks of pottukadalai visible.5 to 8 dried red chillies, jaggery, ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, ½ teaspoon salt, 50 grams mini shallots, 5 garlic cloves, 2 medium-sized tomatoes, 1 small-sized red onion, 1 tablespoon pottukadalai
- Heat some sesame oil or coconut oil in a shallow frying pan on low to medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and wait until they start to pop. Then add the urad dal and curry leaves and fry until the dal starts to turn yellow.3 tablespoon sesame oil, ½ teaspoon mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon urad dal, 1 sprig of curry leaves
- Reduce the heat to low or move the pan from the hob and pour the blended tomato mixture. It will sizzle and spatter a bit. You can use a little water to clean out the blender jar and add it to the pan.
- Season with salt and mix that tadka goodness into the chutney. Let this cook low and slow for about 15 to 20 minutes. Switch off when the water content is reduced, oil surfaces and the chutney is thickened.
- Your tomato onion chutney is good to go! Serve it warm or at room temperature. Enjoy with dosa, idli, or even on sandwiches!