Tomato Chutney

Simple Tomato Chutney is the perfect accompaniment to idli and dosas!

This vegan south Indian tomato chutney is easy to make with basic pantry ingredients. 

bowl of tomato chutney with curry leaves and mustard seeds thrown in the background

Even though I didn’t grew up eating South Indian food, I love it a lot – like a LOT and we eat it at least once a week.

Earlier when we would feel like eating South Indian, we mostly go out as I am was not as comfortable making dosa (rice lentil crepe)/idlis (steamed rice lentil cake) at home as I am in making rotis and parathas.

But over time, I have worked hard on my south Indian cooking skills and I can say that I finally made good dosa and idli at home. I also love all south Indian style chutneys from simple coconut chutney to this tomato chutney!

This recipe of tomato chutney is one of my favorites. It’s simple and goes well with so many things! 

India is a country of spices, achar (pickle) and chutney. There are way too many chutneys and everyone has their own way of making them.

I bet you have been to at at least one Indian restaurant named “Chutneys”! We have 3 to 4 Indian restaurants by this name in Seattle alone and I remember there were way too many in London as well.

Chutneys always reminds me of my nana ji (grandfather), he would not have his lunch until and unless there was some sort of chutney on the table. Yeah, he was that specific.

Mom made a chutney for him everyday with whatever was in season. The most common one was of course the cilantro chutney but then there were also chutneys made with whatever was in season – raw mango, gooseberry etc. 

Being an Indian, chutneys are an integral part of my lifestyle and food habits. I like experimenting with flavors and come up with different ones like in this peach chutney.

But this tomato chutney is as basic as it can get!

bowl of tomato chutney with a spoon placed on a blue round plate

This Tomato Chutney

✓ vegan and easy to make

✓ uses simple and basic ingredients

✓ perfect accompaniment to idli and dosa or even paratha

✓ mildly spiced and keeps well in refrigerator for a week

I have used very less spice here, only 2 dried red chilies. If you love spice, feel free to double or even triple the amount. Me and Sarvesh aren’t huge on spice so I have kept it minimal.

The process is super simple-  cook the ingredients a little until the raw smell goes away then grind to a paste and that’s about it!

A simple tadka (tempering) of curry leaves and mustard seeds in the end is optional but highly recommended. I can’t eat my chutney without a simple tadka but you can skip it. 

You can also add more flavors to this chutney- like you can add ginger or even roasted peanuts. They will definitely add to the flavors.

This recipe is vegan. To make it gluten-free, you may skip the hing (asafoetida) in the tadka.

Enjoy this tomato chutney with vada, idli, dosa!

Method

1- Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a kadai/pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chana dal and cook for around 2-3 minutes or until the dal is golden in color. Remove the dal from pan and set aside.

2- To the same pan now add garlic, onion and dried red chilies. Increase the amount of red chilies as per your taste.

3- Cook for around 3 minutes until the onions are soft. 

4- Then add in the tomatoes and salt and stir.

5- Cook the tomatoes until they are soft and mushy, around 6-7 minutes. 

6- Let it cool down a bit and then transfer to a blender along with the roasted chana dal.

7- Grind to a smooth paste. I also added 1/4 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder while grinding but that’s optional. Transfer chutney to a bowl.

8- To make the tadka/tempering, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and let them pop. Then add the hing and curry leaves. Saute for a minute until the curry leaves turn little crisp.

step by step pictures of making tomato chutney

Transfer the tempering to the tomato chutney and mix. Enjoy tomato chutney with dosa/idlis or even parathas.

I like this chutney more when it’s chilled so pop it in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours before serving.

bowl of tomato chutney with a spoon placed on a blue round plate

If you’ve tried this Tomato Chutney Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

This post has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in 2015.

Tomato Chutney

South Indian style Tomato Chutney is the perfect accompaniment to idli, dosa & vadas! It's easy to make with basic kitchen ingredients! Vegan

bowl of tomato chutney with curry leaves and mustard seeds thrown in the background
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Keyword tomato chutney
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 47 kcal
Author: Manali
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon oil, use oil of choice
  • 1.5 teaspoon chana dal
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion, chopped, 100 grams, I used white onion
  • 2-3 dried red chilies, adjust to taste
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped, 350 grams
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder, optional, for bright color

Tempering/Tadka

  • 1 teaspoon oil, use oil of choice
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • pinch hing, also known as asafoetida
  • 6-7 curry leaves

Instructions

  1. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a kadai/pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chana dal and cook for around 2-3 minutes or until the dal is golden in color. Remove the dal from pan and set aside.

  2. To the same pan now add garlic, onion and dried red chilies. Increase the amount of red chilies as per your taste.

  3. Cook for around 3 minutes until the onions are soft. Then add in the tomatoes and salt and stir.

  4. Cook the tomatoes until they are soft and mushy, around 6-7 minutes. 

  5. Let it cool down a bit and then transfer to a blender along with the roasted chana dal.

  6. Grind to a smooth paste. I also added 1/4 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder while grinding but that's optional. Transfer chutney to a bowl.

  7. To make the tadka/tempering, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small pan on medium heat. 

  8. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and let them pop. Then add the hing and curry leaves. Saute for a minute until the curry leaves turn little crisp.

  9. Transfer the tempering to the tomato chutney and mix. Enjoy tomato chutney with dosa/idlis or even parathas.

Recipe Notes

  1. I like this chutney more when it's chilled so pop it in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours before serving.
  2. If you like spicy food, increase the amount of dried red chilies in the chutney.
  3. You may also add roasted peanuts to the chutney.
Nutrition Facts
Tomato Chutney
Amount Per Serving
Calories 47 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Sodium 238mg 10%
Potassium 214mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 2g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 13.6%
Vitamin C 43.8%
Calcium 1.9%
Iron 1.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

39 thoughts on “Tomato Chutney

  1. Do you live in Seattle? I lived in Sammamish for 2 1/2 years. . I wish we could’ve stayed longer. . I loved Seattle. . and probably went to one of those Indian restaurants you mentioned several times! totally agree with you that India is a country of spices and chutneys. Thank goodness for Indian food. . it’s really so delicious!! what kind of dried red chilies do you recommend for this? any kind?

    1. Yes I do live in Seattle! 🙂 Aww I wish you were now, we could have met! I love seattle too! 🙂 I recommend the dry red chilies that we get at the Indian grocery store!


  2. Manali, this looks amazing! Onion and tomato is the perfect combo. Just let me know how to preserve it for longer shelf life. Should I fill it while hot?? ….to store at ambient? Can I pouch it?

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