Simple Tomato Chutney | Spicy Tomato Sauce à la Indian on

Simple Tomato Chutney | Spicy Tomato Sauce à la Indian

The simple tomato chutney performs a sour and spicy tango on your tongue in close embrace. Bold notes of tangy bruised tomatoes lead the way and the heat follows in a flourish. Ah, you cannot resist the beat! Made with just 7 ingredients, and equal parts sour and spicy, this super easy spicy tomato sauce à la Indian is the perfect accompaniment to dosais and idlis, and makes for a tasty base for tomato rice, and scrambled eggs in spicy tomato sauce.
Prep Time 6 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 2 tablespoons groundnut or sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon split black gram optional
  • 1 large onion, or 2 small-medium ones weighing about 160-170 g
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves optional
  • 5 medium tomatoes weighing about 450 g
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3/4-1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat oil over a medium flame in a pan.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the onions.
  3. When it’s hot, add the mustard seeds, and wait till they crackle.
  4. Once they do, add the split black gram and wait for them to start turning brown.

  5. Soon after, add the chopped onions, and fry them until they are light pink and just about start turning golden. Then add the curry leaves.
  6. While the onions fry, you can chop the tomatoes.
  7. Add the turmeric powder and the chilli powder and let them fry for 30 seconds.
  8. Add the chopped tomatoes and salt, mix them in, and fry them till they’re slightly cooked — for about 10 minutes on medium flame. Don't add water, the tomatoes will give out their water, and they'll cook in it, and tomato chutney will slowly thicken.


Stand close to the stove — you don’t want the tomatoes to cook fully as they turn a little sweet then — the sugars start breaking down with the heat. When you press a piece of tomato with a wooden spoon, it mustn’t give way easily. You want them to retain their tangy bite, and stay pulpy.