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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 1 teaspoon oil use oil of choice
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
- pinch hing also known as asafoetida
- 6-7 curry leaves
- 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.
- To the same pan now add garlic, onion and dried red chilies. Increase the amount of red chilies as per your taste.
- Cook for around 3 minutes until the onions are soft. Then add in the tomatoes and salt and stir.
- Cook the tomatoes until they are soft and mushy, around 6-7 minutes.
- Let it cool down a bit and then transfer to a blender along with the roasted chana dal.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- If you like spicy food, increase the amount of dried red chilies in the chutney.
- You may also add roasted peanuts to the chutney.
61 thoughts on “Tomato Chutney”
I tried today 26th Dec.2021. It has come out very tasty. My family enjoyed with Idli. Easy to make.
Thanks for your receipe.
Sadguna Reddy 🙏
welcome! glad to know!
The best tomato chutney I have tried so far!! It came out perfect with right amount of tanginess and spice levels. Colorful and flavorful. My family loved it. Thank you for the recipe.
glad to know!
I have made thrice by now…. it’s taken me quite some hits and misses to finally use your easy peasie recipe as ‘the one’.
Thank you very much for sharing.
This is the second time to make your tomato chutney. This time I added 1/4 teaspoon of hot paprika from Spain to add a different heat. I don’t think it added the color for this amount like your suggestion of Kashmiri chili though. I have to make tadka tomorrow when I buy fresh curry leave.
I followed your recipe because it sounds similar to the one my Indian friend made in Chennai. Yes, it is very close to hers. Thank you for the recipe.
Great recipe thanks
Can you add water to this tomato chutney which was awesome btw?
Hey that way very easy and a relishing taste especially when served cold…my addons for the dosa.
Thank you very much ?
I was looking for perfect tinto chutney recipe and I think I have found it. Your recipes are always so good☺️
I have been looking for a good tomato chutney recipe because NONE of the Indian restaurants in Silicon Valley seem to have it anymore. This chutney is almost perfect. It has a wonderful tanginess and the spices are lovely but, it think I will add green chili next time because it just was not spicy enough for me.
Good texture and easy recipe. I will try it for sure.