Tomato Onion Chutney Recipe

Tomato Onion Chutney

Tomato Onion Chutney

A sweet, sour and spicy chutney!

Tomato onion chutney as the name suggests is primarily made from tomato and onions. It is usually served alongside coconut chutney to be eaten with Idli, Medu Vada, Dosa, and Uttapam. This chutney is sweet, sour and at the same time spicy.

My mother never made this chutney at home as everyone preferred the coconut chutney. I remember eating it in bucketfuls whenever we went out to eat South Indian food. I love it so much that I asked a friend whose family is from South India to share the recipe. He is an expert in making South Indian food and I usually get my Sambhar masala from him.

Like all chutneys from South India, there are lots of variations to each recipe. If you are new to cooking South Indian food, I would suggest exploring and experimenting with a few dishes and in no time you will have a collection of your own favourites.

Other South Indian recipes you might like are South Indian Vegetable Korma, Murukku Chettinad Prawn Chukka, Appe, Paneer 65, Malgapodi Powder, Chicken 65, Raw Mango Curd Rice, Onion Rava dosa, Toor Dal Rasam and Coconut Chutney to name a few.


For Chutney

1½ tablespoons oil
4 dried red Kashmiri chilli (soak in warm water for an hour)
1 roughly chopped onion
1 roughly chopped tomato
1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
a small piece of tamarind (optional)
1 teaspoon jaggery (optional)

For Tempering

1 teaspoon oil
¼ teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
¼ teaspoon urad dal(black gram skinned -optional)
¼ teaspoon chana dal (split chickpea -optional)
a pinch of asafoetida powder (hing)
1 sprig curry leaves (fresh/dried)



Heat 1½ tablespoons of oil in a pan and sauté the chopped onions until slightly soft and brown.

Soak the tamarind in water for an hour and then strain the water.


Add the chopped tomatoes, soaked red chillies and salt and sauté till the tomatoes are soft and mushy. It should take around 3-4 minutes.

Switch off the heat and add the tamarind water and jaggery (both optional).

Remove the mixture from the pan and let it cool slightly. Blend it to a smooth paste in a blender. Do not add any water while grinding. Empty in a serving bowl.


Heat oil in a pan and add the lentils and mustard seeds. Let it splutter.  Add the curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida.  Add the tempering to the prepared chutney.

Serve with Idli or Dosa.

Tips & Variations

  1. Only use ripe red fresh tomatoes for the dish.
  2. Wash the onions and that will take away the extra sharpness from them.
  3. You can omit the red chillies or adjust the quantity if you want.
  4. Tamarind and jaggery gives it a sweet and sour taste which is delicious. If you do not like sweet and sour flavouring, then you can omit that.
  5. Instead of jaggery you can use sugar.
  6. This chutney will store well in the fridge for a few days.
  7. If you like garlic, you can add 3-4 cloves of garlic when you sauté the onions.

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