Are you bored with the coconut chutney served all the time with your idlis and dosas? Duh! That’s why you’re here, isn’t it? It’s time you introduced this easy peasy onion tomato chutney in your household and added it to your chutney repertoire. Tangy and spicy, it makes for a great accompaniment for dosas, idlis, appams and even rice. Oh, and did I mention that it can be made in under half an hour? No? Well, it sure is easy and quick to make.
Not quite a gravy, not quite a sauce, and mostly a chutney, the onion tomato chutney is a variant of the simple tomato chutney found here, and is a dish made frequently and perfected by my dear father. He knows I like it, and ensures that there is an unusually large portion of it whenever I am in his house. You see, he knows that his daughter is going to take five times the onion tomato chutney a normal person would take!
Yes, that’s how much I like it. Nay, love it. And I hope you do too. I assure you that it’s unlike any other chutney you’ve eaten. You see, it dons the role of a gravy and a sauce when you aren’t in need of a chutney. Oh yeah. Go on, mix it with rice. Go on, dip that chip in it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by this versatile dish.
Rich and earthy and so beautifully ochre, this chutney holds a special place in my heart, and I hope it winds its way to yours as well. And when it does, do let me know, okay? It doesn’t lean so much on the tempering to add to it’s character, though, so you can leave that step out if you wish. If you want to temper it, go ahead, for you’ll have elevated the dish with more flavour. It’s yours now.
Easy Peasy Onion Tomato Chutney
- 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
- 4 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon split black gram (urad dal)
- 5 dry red chillies (broken, and with most of the seeds out — tap the open end on your countertop yo loosen the dry seeds)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2” ball of tamarind soaked in water for about 10 minutes
- 3 tablespoons oil (groundnut or sunflower or rice bran or olive)
To temper (optional):
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon split black gram
- 1 broken red chilli
- A sprig of curry leaves
- Heat oil in a kadai or wok or pan over medium heat.
- When it’s hot, add the split black gram.
- When it turns light brown, add the red chillies, onions and salt.
- Sauté until the onion turns light pink, then add the tomatoes and garlic cloves.
- Let it fry for 10 minutes till the tomatoes are all mushy, and you can see pools of oil seeping through.
- After 2 minutes add the tamarind juice — give the tamarind a tight squeeze to extract all the pulp you can.
- Give it all a good stir and let it simmer over low heat for two minutes, then switch off the heat.
- Let everything cool, then grind it.
- To temper, add oil to a small pan — or to the same pan, and when it is hot, add the mustard seeds.
- Let them splutter before you add the split black gram.
- Once the gram turns light brown, add the chilli and curry leaves.
- Turn off the heat once you see the chilli and the curry leaves turning crisp.
- Add this on top of the chutney when you serve it, or mix it all up before you serve it — either way is fine. Tempering this onion tomato chutney is optional.
Serving: Serve immediately. Onion tomato chutney can be served with dosas, idlis, appams and even rice. This rich and earthy and so beautifully ochre onion tomato chutney moonlights as a gravy and sauce as well, so feel free to pour it over rice or pasta (add a few pieces of fried vegetables or chicken), or dip chips in it.
Storage: When covered, the chutney can rest outside the fridge for half a day. When stored in an airtight jar, and kept in the fridge, it stays for 4 days.
PS: There’s double the quantity of onion tomato chutney in the pictures. I’ve shared the recipe for half this amount.