Thursday, April 28, 2016

Xtra Spicy Tomato Onion Chutney

Blogging Marathon# 63 -Journey through the cuisines: Day 24
State: Tamil Nadu
Dish: Xtra Spicy Tomato Onion Chutney

It is hard to believe that the Mega Marathon is coming to an end. Before I started out, it seemed like these 30 days with 26 days of continuous blogging will be very tedious. But it turned out rather easy to keep up with the Marathon. Today is day 24 and we have just two to go. The letter for today is X and it seemed like a tough one to crack. But once I started listing out what I want to make, I ended up with two options. I even made the two but finally decided to post this one.

To explain why the recipe is called in such a funny way because of two reasons; one because it is supposed to start from X and second because I made a simple replacement of chilli type and the result was a fiercely spicy one!! So the name is perfect for the chutney I ended up making. 

Most recipes that call for dried red chilli generally refer to either Kashmiri chilli or the long red chillies. However the day I made idlis and wanted to make this chutney, I was out of both! So i ended up using the ball type red chillies and they made my chutney super hot and the color slightly faint. I would strongly advise to use a milder chilli so that you can get a bright color but not end up with a very spicy one!

This chutney is from the Southern state of Tamil Nadu. Generally enjoyed with Idlis or Dosas, this tomato based chutney tasted really good with rasam and rice too. The traditional recipe calls for adding mustard seeds in the pan with all the ingredients while cooking. However, we like our chutneys tempered and so I modified the recipe to temper it with mustard. The red chilli on top of the chutney is just to show the kind I used to make the chutney Xtra spicy! From start to end, the recipe needs 15 minutes and the end result is a really delicious chutney to enjoy with all sorts of dishes. 

Adapted from here.


Onions 2 medium, diced
Tomatoes 3 medium, diced
Tamarind 1 inch piece
Jaggery 1 tbsp
Curry Leaves 3-4
Urad Dal 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds a pinch
Dried red chilli 3-4
Salt 1 tsp
Oil 1 tbsp


Heat oil in a pan. Add urad dal and dried red chilli. Once the the dal is fried to a nice golden color, add the curry leaves and onions and saute. Let the onions cook before adding the tomatoes. 

Add the tomatoes and cook it all till it becomes mushy. Adjust the amount of salt needed and mix well. 

Turn down the flame, add the jaggery and tamarind and mix well. Once it cools down, blend to a paste. Generally prepared dry, you can add some water if you prefer a slight wet version.

Just before serving, heat some oil, add mustard seeds and dry red chilli. Once the mustard seeds pop, add the tempering to the chutney. Serve with idlis/dosas.


  1. The chutney looks delicious. Adding mustard seeds at the beginning and grinding it along with other ingredients gives another flavor.

  2. Love your presentation. I would have never thought of presenting idlys in pan. Great idea. Love those clicks and of course great chutney too.

  3. That is a tasty combination of idli and chutney. Looks super inviting..

  4. So beautifully decked up Smruti...I can have this anytime of the day!

  5. Chutney looks yum!! Red chilies always scare me. Though I buy same brand and variety every time, I feel the spiciness varies from packet to packet. Idli look so puffy and beautifully presented.

  6. Wow, idli and chutney looks fantastic, i can finish that plate of spongy idli and chutney rite now without any guilt.

  7. Lovely chutney to go with idli or dosa, love it.

  8. Chutney looks amazing with those super soft idlis.

  9. Love the way you styled the chutney Smruthi -- you made it look so pretty. Tomato chutney sounds delicious.

  10. The complete platter looks fantastic, lovely chutney and beautiful presentation.