Shwetha Bhat is passionate about food and cooking. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and share her recipes.
In South India, breakfast is incomplete without chutneys. A very traditional type of chutney, often served with idlis, dosas, and vadas, is tomato-onion chutney, or red chutney. This chutney is characterized by the deep flavors of onion, ginger, and garlic, and it gives a spicy twist to the regular white coconut chutney. It is very easy to make and doesn't take much time, either.
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- 1 onion, roughly chopped or cubed
- 1 tomato, roughly chopped
- 4-5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 inch ginger
- 1 guntur red chili, or to taste
- 1 byadagi red chili, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil, or any other vegetable oil
- 1-2 tablespoons fried gram
- 1/4 cup fresh coconut, grated
- Salt, to taste
- small piece tamarind, deseeded
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar (or jaggery)
- 3-4 teaspoons water, or as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- Roughly chop the onion, tomatoes, and ginger. Peel the garlic. Set aside.
- In a pan, heat the coconut oil. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
- Add the red chilies (I used two types of red chilies here, one type called byadagi red chili for the color and other type called guntur red chili for the spicy kick). Fry over low flame till the chilies become crisp (but take care not to burn them).
- Add the onion and fry till translucent.
- Add the tomatoes and fry till tender. Switch off the flame and let it cool down.
- In a mixer jar, add the grated coconut, fried gram, ginger, garlic, and the cooled-down fried tomato-onion-red chili mixture.
- Add the sugar and salt.
- Add a very small amount of water and grind to get a smooth paste. Transfer to the bowl.
- In a pan heat 1/2 teaspoon of oil, add mustard seeds, and let them splutter. Add fresh curry leaves.
- Pour the tempering over the chutney.
- Serve the chutney with idli, dosa, or vada.
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- If you don't have roasted chana dal handy, you can fry regular chana dal till brown.
- You can increase or decrease the number of red chilies as per your prefered level of spice and color.
- If you don't like the raw smell of garlic, you may saute them with onion before using.
- Don't add too much water while grinding. You don't want the chutney to be too watery.
- You can store this in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- Byadagi red chilies gives a fantastic red color to the chutney.
- You can replace sugar with jaggery.
- This chutney tastes great when prepared spicy.