South Indian Tomato Chutney


South Indian Tomato Chutney is one of the most important chutneys in a South Indian Thali. The chutney always accompanied with Sambar , Rasam and Onion Namul ( Onions in a spice base ) .   If you love South Indian food, this recipe will perfectly compliment your regular meals. It’s extremely appetizing and mouth watering. I was never a chutney fan before, but my husband introduced me to this lovely recipe and now I can’t get enough of it.

South Indian Tomato Chutney

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.

When we wanted South Indian food in the past, we would typically dine out because I was more at ease preparing rotis and parathas at home than I was making dosas (a rice lentil crepe) or idlis (a steamed rice lentil cake).

But with time and effort, I was able to improve my south Indian culinary abilities to the point that I could make decent dosa and idli at home. As well as this tomato chutney, I adore other chutneys made in the south Indian way.

One of my favorite tomato chutney recipes is this one. It’s easy to use and complements a lot of things!

India is a nation of spices, chutney, and achar (pickles). Chutneys are simply too plentiful, and everyone makes them differently.

You’ve probably been to at least one “Chutneys”-named Indian eatery. In Seattle alone, there are three to four Indian eateries by this name, and from what I can recall, there were also much too many in London.

Chutneys always make me think of my nana ji (grandfather), who would wait till there was some form of chutney on the table before eating his lunch. Yes, he was that particular.

Every day, Mom cooked chutney for him using seasonal ingredients. Of course, cilantro chutney was the most popular, but there were also chutneys produced with other seasonal ingredients, such as raw mango and gooseberries.

Chutneys are a crucial component of my eating and lifestyle because I’m Indian. Like in this peach chutney, I enjoy experimenting with flavors to create new ones.

However, this tomato chutney is as straightforward as it gets.

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

Only 2 dried red chilies were the only spices I used in this recipe. Feel free to double or even quadruple the quantity if you enjoy spicy. Since Sarvesh and I aren’t big spice fans, I’ve kept the amount to a minimum.

The procedure is quite easy: just slightly heat the materials till the raw scent disappears, grind to a paste, and that’s it!

It is optional but strongly advised to add a quick tadka (tempering) of curry leaves and mustard seeds at the very end. You can omit the plain tadka that I must have to consume my chutney, though.

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!

typically, a tomato chutney is prepared from just ripe tomatoes. however, some even add onions as well while frying to make it more acidic and spicy. according to me it is a totally a different recipe and it is known as tomato onion chutney. in addition, fresh coconut or desiccated coconut is added while grinding. adding coconut would certainly enhance the taste of tomato chutney, but reduces the shelf life of this chutney.

While chutney recipes are widely utilized in India and its cuisine, it is ironic that they are thought to have their origins in England. However, according to a different idea, chutney originated in north India. The later idea may be more plausible because it may have originated from the Hindi words “chatni” or “chatna.” Literally meaning “to lick,” it can also refer to making a lip-smacking sound while eating acidic food.

About This Recipe

While chutney recipes are widely utilized in India and its cuisine, it is ironic that they are thought to have their origins in England. However, according to a different idea, chutney originated in north India. The later idea may be more plausible because it may have originated from the Hindi words “chatni” or “chatna.” Literally meaning “to lick,” it can also refer to making a lip-smacking sound while eating acidic food.

  1. Spicy tomato chutney with tamarind & jaggery- You can store this for 3-4 days & serve with rice too. This is a no grind chutney where you can finely chop or crush the tomatoes.
  2. Onion tomato chutney that goes very well with idli, dosa, utappam etc.
  3. Easy tomato garlic chutney that goes well with snacks.
  4. Easy Instant pot tomato chutney recipe.

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


COOK TIME20 mins







  • ▢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. Chana dal should be added to boiling oil and cooked for two to three minutes, or until it turns golden. Take the dal out of the pan and leave it aside.
  • To the same pan now add garlic, onion and dried red chilies. According to your taste, add more red peppers.
  • The onions should be tender after around 3 minutes of cooking.After that, whisk in the salt and tomatoes.
  • Cook the tomatoes for about 6-7 minutes, or until they are mushy and tender.
  • Transfer it, along with the roasted chana dal, to a blender after letting it cool down a little.
  • pulverize into a silky paste. While grinding, I also added 1/4 teaspoon of kashmiri red chili powder, but that is optional. Transfer chutney to a bowl.
  • Heat one teaspoon of oil in a small pan over medium heat to create the tadka/tempering.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and let them pop. Hing and curry leaves are then added. Cook the curry leaves for one minute, until they start to become slightly crunchy.
  • Mix the tomato chutney with the tempering after transferring it. Enjoy tomato chutney with parathas, dosas, and idlis.


  1. Put this chutney in the refrigerator for two to three hours before serving since I prefer it colder.
  2. Increase the quantity of dried red chilies in the chutney if you want spicy food.
  3. The chutney can also include toasted peanuts.


Calories: 47kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSodium: 238mgPotassium: 214mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 680IUVitamin C: 36.1mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 0.3mg


You can add few more simple and basic ingredients in this easy recipe of south Indian style tomato chutney or thakkali chutney to vary the flavor and taste.

Garlic– Along with onions you can also add 3-4 cloves garlic in both versions.

Peanuts– While grinding onion tomato chutney you add 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts. This will lend more volume and make the chutney mildly sweet and creamier too.

Coconut– Instead of peanuts you can also add 2 tablespoons freshly grated coconut or desiccated unsweetened coconut.

Tamarind– In both versions you can add tamarind for tangy tomato chutney. In first variation add two teaspoons thick tamarind extract or paste while sautéing tomatoes. In second recipe add a small piece of tomato while grinding.

Black pepper– You can add few black peppercorns and methi seeds or fenugreek seeds for more flavor.

Serving Suggestions

You can serve this delicious tomato chutney recipe in multiple ways.

The first version – spicy chutney goes very well with idli, dosa but it also tastes very delicious with hot plain rice, curd rice.

The second version -onion tomato chutney goes well with all south Indian breakfast like idli, dosa, pongal. You can also serve this amazing chutney from south Indian cuisine in the following ways

As a dip with snacks like cutlet, pakora, veg rolls etc

Serve with aloo paratha, plain paratha

As a spread for sandwiches and toasts like avocado toast

As spread for tortilla wraps.

tomato chutney recipe | tangy tomato chutney for idli and dosa

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time10 mins

Total Time15 mins


Cuisinesouth indian

Servings4 Servings



  • ▢2 large ripped tomatoes (chopped)
  • ▢2 cloves garlic
  • ▢1 tsp urad dal
  • ▢2 tbsp oil
  • ▢1 tsp chana dal
  • ▢¼ tsp methi seeds / fenugreek seeds
  • ▢3 kashmiri dried red chilli
  • ▢¼ tsp turmeric powder / haldi
  • ▢½ tsp sugar
  • ▢salt to taste

for tempering:

  • ▢2 tsp oil
  • ▢½ tsp mustard seeds / rai
  • ▢½ tsp urad dal
  • ▢pinch of hing /asafoetida
  • ▢few curry leaves


  • First, heat the oil in a large kadai.
  • add red chili, methi, chana dal, urad dal, and more. Chutney tastes good when methi seeds are used in little amounts.
  • On a medium flame, sauté them till the dal turns golden brown.
  • also include garlic.
  • also incorporate tomatoes, diced, and keep sautéing.
  • Cook the tomato until it shrinks in size and all of the water has evaporated.
  • now incorporate salt, sugar, and turmeric powder.
  • Transfer the mixture to a small blender after allowing it to cool completely.
  • further, without adding any water, mix to a smooth paste.
  • also get the tempering ready. In a little kadai, heat the oil.
  • Moreover, once the oil is hot, add the curry leaves, mustard seeds, and urad dal.
  • Give the tempering room to sputter.
  • Put the tempering on the tomato chutney later.
  • serve lastly with rice, idli, or dosa.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is tomato chutney vegan?

Yes, this recipe is naturally vegan.

Is tomato chutney gluten free?

Yes, my version is gluten free as I have not added asafoetida or hing

Can we freeze tomato chutney

Yes, grind the chutney and let it cool to room temperature. Do not add the tempering. Portion it out and add to small containers or freezer safe zip lock bags & freeze. Keeps well for a month. You can thaw at room temperature and make tempering before serving.
You can even freeze these in ice cube trays and thaw as required.

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