South Indian style onion tomato chutney - Fried onions and tomatoes ground along with some dry red chillies to make a wonderful side dish. Pairs well with idli & dosa & even rotis and flatbreads. Adjust the red chillies and make this as spicy as you want. A staple breakfast side dish in every South Indian home and dosa's taste ten times more flavourful!
The key to this wonderful dish are the shallots and fresh ripe tomatoes. Even though regular onions can be substituted, shallots give out a more delicate and sweet taste to this dish. On medium heat, fry the onions until they are golden brown. Make sure to stir them frequently so they don't burn. Evenly fried onions gives a sweet and full-flavoured flavour to this dish!
The key role for the fresh ripe tomatoes is to ablaze this dish with colour. Combined with dry red chillies, it lends the onion-tomato chutney a gorgeous orangish-red hue. When frying the tomatoes don't over cook them. On a medium high heat, fry them just until the skin bursts and is slightly charred.
Did you know that to get the best flavours of the tomatoes, you should leave them outside on the countertop. Only, if they are overripe refrigerate them until use. I feel that a refrigerated tomatoes become mushy and lose flavour. Check out at the detailed post at Foodal on how to keep your tomatoes fresh and longer.
This chutney can also be served on the side of Upma, Pongal or Khichdi
Now, to the recipe.
South Indian style spicy onion-tomato chutney, a side dish for idli and dosa. Simple, easy, gluten free and a vegan side dish.
- 1 tablespoon oil, divided
- ½ tablespoon channa dal
- ½ tablespoon urad dal
- 3 to 4 dry red chillies
- 350 grams shallots or normal onions, cubed
- 250 grams Tomato cubed
- 2 cloves garlic optional
- Salt to taste
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon urad dal
- Few curry leaves
Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a skillet over medium high heat and add the dal and fry them until it turn golden brown. Add the red chillies and fry them for 30 seconds. Remove and keep aside.
In the same skillet, add the remaining oil and sauté the onions and garlic(if using) until they turn golden brown. Remove and keep aside.
Then add the cubed tomatoes and fry them on high heat. Do not let the tomatoes get soggy and mushy. Keep frying them until the skin wilts and it softens a bit.
Cool everything. Grind the dal and red chillies first. Then add the tomatoes, onion and garlic (if using). Grind it to a smooth paste. Add salt as needed and mix well.
For tempering: Heat oil in the skillet over medium high. As soon as the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and let it crackle. Turn off the flame and then add the urad dal and curry leaves. Fry until the dal becomes golden brown. Th residual heat is enough to brown the dal.
Pour this mixture on the chutney and mix well.
Serve with idil, dosa or roti.
Sesame oil is preferred in this recipe. But if you don't have one, use any neutral oil.
Adjust the red chillies as per your spice preference. The amount mentioned in this recipe gives a medium spicy chutney.
To easily peel the shallots, immerse them in water for about 10 minutes. The skin comes off easily.
The nutrition info provided is for ¼ cup and it is approximate.