Tomato chutney step-by-step recipe with photos.
About South Indian Chutney
Chutney is a condiment that is served alongside breakfast, snacks, and street food. Their taste may vary - sweet, tangy, savory, spicy. The chutney served with snacks is usually sweet and tangy whereas the chutney served with breakfast is savory.
When we talk about South Indian chutney, the first ingredient that comes to mind is coconut, and coriander coconut chutney is the most common variation. Well, here is a South Indian chutney that is made without coconut and is perfect for your idli and dosa.
About this recipe
This tomato chutney is very simple to make and goes very well with any South Indian breakfast dish. This tomato onion chutney tastes great not just with South Indian breakfast, it is very versatile and can also be used as a spread for wraps and sandwiches or as a dip with finger foods.
There are numerous ways of making this chutney. My version of this recipe calls for cooking the tomatoes with onion and spices, grinding and topping it with a very simple tempering (seasoning/tadka). It is important to use ripe and juicy tomatoes to make this chutney. Adding the seasoning is optional and can be skipped.
Tomatoes: Use ripe and juicy tomatoes to make the chutney.
Onions: I prefer to use red/pink onions but you may also use brown onions to make the chutney.
Garlic: This is an optional ingredient but I recommend not skipping it.
Chana dal and urad dal: (split yellow peas and split black lentils) They form the base of the chutney.
Green chili and curry leaves: You may adjust the amount of green chili based on your preference.
Tempering: I use mustard seeds, black gram, dried chili, and hing to make the tempering for the chutney.
Fry chana dal, urad dal, curry leaves, and green chili in oil (step 1)
Add onion and garlic, and saute for 2-3 minutes (step 2).
Add the chopped tomatoes. Simmer until the tomatoes are fully cooked, then cool the mixture completely (steps 3,4).
Cool the mixture and blend into a smooth paste (steps 5,6).
Prepare the tempering in a small pan. Pour the tempering on the chutney and mix well before serving (steps 7,8).
There is no need to add any water when cooking the tomatoes or grinding the chutney as the moisture in the chutney is sufficient. If you want to make a thin or runny chutney, add some water when grinding.
This chutney can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. It can also be frozen for up to three months. Make sure you defrost it overnight in the fridge before using it.
Making the tempering for the chutney is purely optional. It can be skipped and the chutney can be served without tempering.
This tomato onion chutney tastes great not just with South Indian breakfasts. It can also be used as a spread for sandwiches or a dip with finger foods.
Also, check out this peanut chutney recipe, which is also made without coconut.
This tomato onion chutney is:
- very easy to make and uses minimal spices,
- vegan and gluten-free,
- goes very well with all types of dosa and idli,
- keeps good in the refrigerator for up to five days,
- a great alternative to spreads in sandwiches and wraps.
For the chutney:
- 5 large tomatoes diced
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoon oil
- 3 tablespoon split Bengal gram chana dal
- 1 tablespoon split black gram urad dal
- 5-6 curry leaves
- 2-3 green chili or serreno (adjust as per taste)
- Salt to taste
For tempering (tadka/seasoning) - Optional:
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1-2 dried red chili
- 1 teaspoon urad dal
- ½ teaspoon hing asafetida
- 5-6 curry leaves
Make the chutney:
- Heat a frying pan or kadhai and add 2 teaspoons of oil.
- Add chana dal, urad dal, curry leaves, and green chili. Saute for one minute.
- Add garlic and onions. Saute for 2-3 minutes, until the onions begin to soften.
- Add tomatoes and salt, and mix well. Cover and simmer until the tomatoes are completely done.
- Turn off the heat and let it cool completely.
- Blend it into a smooth paste.
- The chutney is ready to be served at this stage.
Prepare the tadka and finish: (see notes)
- Heat a small frying pan and add one teaspoon of oil.
- Add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
- Add the rest of the ingredients for tempering - dried chili, curry leaves, urad dal, and hing.
- Turn off the heat and add the temper to the chutney.
- Mix well and serve.