Tomato And Onion Chutney


Tomato and Onion Chutney is a chutney that’s made out of tomatoes, onions, green chilies, and fresh coriander leaves. It’s a spicy chutney that can be used with rice, idli, or dosa. If you are looking for easy and delicious homemade tomato chutney, you must try this recipe. You can also prepare onion chutney with the same ingredients and this too is so good to taste. This savory and sweet chutney is loved by all.

Related Post: Tomato Coconut Chutney

Raw Onion Tomato Chutney Recipe

Tomato Onion Chutney is yet another accompaniment from the chutney realm. Further, it is also used as a condiment to flavor main course dishes. For instance, it works well with a majority of paneer dishes.

According to Wikipedia, chutney is spread in the cuisines of the Indian subcontinent. They are made in various forms, such as tomato relish, ground peanut garnish, yogurt or curd, cucumber, spicy coconut, onion, or mint dipping sauce.

This condiment is not only available in a wide variety but also vivid colors. For example, we have red and green chutneys. Then we also have white and dark red chutneys too. Further, we also have variety in the texture of chutneys too. Some of them are watery, and then some are thick and sticky.

Chutneys originated in India and became popular in western countries as an appetizer in the 17th century. In those days, chutneys, especially fruit chutneys, were considered luxury goods. But, surprisingly, what we call chutney here in India is spread, dips, or sauce in the western regions.

Chutney v/s Pickle

The word chutney is derived from the Hindi word चटनी, which is further derived from the phrase चाटना which is to lick. On the other hand, pickle means अचार in Hindi.

The primary difference between chutney and pickle is the oil. Pickles contain oil, and they are sour/spicy. However, Indian pickles are famous for being both sweet and spicy at the same time.

On the contrary, a chutney is oil-free most of the time.

Besides, some chutneys even don’t need to be cooked. Just blend the ingredients, and it is done. In contrast, pickles need a longer shelf life with exclusive preservatives. That’s how chutney and pickles are differentiated in India.

Okay, now, let’s get back to our tomato onion chutney recipe.

Flavors in Tomato Onion Chutney

First thing first, this is a basic tomato onion chutney. Although it is a basic one, still we have a variety of flavors in it. For example, we have garlic and red chilies for a spicy and pungent taste. Then we have mustard seeds for a mildly hot and bitter taste.

Simultaneously we also have curry leaves to add a faintly spicy and sweet flavor. When you temper the curry leaves, it releases a sweet and woody aroma making your tomato onion chutney more delightful.

Watery Tomato Onion Chutney?

Here’s how to deal with the excess water content in your chutney. First, we need to understand that onions and tomatoes both contain water. Hence, you can’t avoid it. In addition, they won’t be completely dry when you grind onion and tomatoes to a thick paste.

We need to cook for at least 5-7 minutes and wait until the water evaporates to make it dry. Meanwhile, stir the mixture to not stick at the bottom. Additionally, keep the flames low. Most importantly, don’t add extra water if the mixture sticks at the bottom. Since your flames are low, there are fewer chances that your mixture will burn.

Instead of water, add oil if the mixture is dry and starts burning. Your tomato onion chutney will be ready when the oil starts separating. This is where you need to stop cooking it further. Remove the chutney from the hot pan. Allow it to cool down, and then store it in a glass container with a tight lid.

Tomato Onion Chutney Extra Shots

Cooking tips are always helpful, especially when it comes to the chutney. There are a lot of things that you can mix and match. Let’s see what we can do here.

  • Add readymade tomato ketchup for taste and lovely red color to the chutney.
  • Use red and juicy tomatoes.
  • You can add 1/2 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder to color your chutney red.
  • Cook the mixture until oil separates; otherwise, it will be watery.
  • Either red or white onions will do. White onions are hot compared to red ones.
  • Store your tomato onion chutney in a glass container away from direct heat or sunlight.

Tomato Onion Chutney FAQs

Can I add vinegar to give my chutney a long shelf life?

You can add vinegar for longer shelf life. I suggest not making chutneys in large quantities because you need to store them. Instead, make it in small batches, serve and finish it without leftovers.

Can I add fresh coriander leaves here?

You can sprinkle freshly chopped coriander to garnish but not as an ingredient. Coriander leaves chutney is a different recipe. Refer to the 13 chutney list above.

Will cumin seeds work well in tempering?

Yes, you can add cumin, aka jeera, while tempering. Just 1/2 or 1/4 tsp will do. Even roasted and crushed coarse cumin will add a nice smooth flavor plus aroma. Try it.

Why there’s no powdered masala in this chutney recipe?

First, if you add powdered masala, it won’t be chutney anymore. Instead, it will become a thick paste used to make main course items. Hence, there’s no powdered masala in here.


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Author: Sandhya Hariharan

Serve this easy Onion Tomato Chutney along with Dosa/ Idli, Rice, Upma, and Pongal. Learn how to make this chutney with step by step method.


  • 2 Tsp Oil
  • 175 g 1 Medium Onion diced
  • 350 g 2 Large Vine Tomatoes diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Dried Red Chilly
  • 5-6 Curry Leaves
  • Salt To Taste
  • 2 Tsp Tamarind pulp optional
  • 1 Tsp Jaggery crushed optional

For Tempering:

  • 1 Tsp Oil
  • 3/4 Tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 Tsp Urd Dal
  • 1 Sprig Curry Leaves
  • 3-4 Dried Red Chilly


  • Heat oil in a Kadai/ pan and add garlic, curry leaves, red chilies, onion, and a pinch of salt.
  •  Sauté for about 3-4 minutes until onion is translucent.
  • Add the tomatoes & Tamarind Pulp{ optional } and Sauté until mixed. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until tomatoes is soft. 
  • Allow the mixture to cool down.
  • If you like it sweeter, add 1 tsp of Jaggery. This step is completely optional.
  • Transfer the mixture to a blender and blitz until a smooth chutney is obtained.
  • Adjust the Salt to suit the taste.
  • Transfer the chutney into the serving bowl. 
  • Heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds, urad Dal, curry leaves, and red chilies. Allow the mustard seeds to splutter and now season the chutney with the prepared tempering.
  • Serve onion tomato chutney with dosa & idli.



Dried Red Chilly can be increased or decreased to suit the level of spiciness.

Add Jaggery for the hint of sweetness. ( optional )

Adding Ginger to Tomato Onion Chutney is completely optional.

Onion Tomato Chutney

Tired of eating the same coconut chutney with idli and dosa? Then this onion tomato chutney is perfect for you. This is very easy to make and keep well in the refrigerator for a few days. Here is how to make this chutney recipe for dosa idli.

Onion tomato chutney served in a bowl.

About This Recipe

This Tomato Onion Chutney belongs to the Andhra region of South India and is one of my favorites after Coconut chutney to serve along with the breakfast dishes.

The key ingredients used in this chutney are onion and tomatoes. They are further flavored with some more ingredients along with tamarind paste and fresh coconut. While coconut adds a South Indian touch to this chutney, tamarind gives it that slightly tangy taste, making it even better.

To enhance the flavor, even more, it is tempered with curry leaves, urad dal, and hing. Tempering is optional, but I would recommend it as it just tastes another level.

So, if you are looking for a different South Indian chutney for your breakfast recipes such as Dosa, Idli, Uttapam, Paniyaram, or even Upma, you should give this one a try.

This Tomato Onion Chutney is,

  • Easy to make
  • Vegan
  • Quick
  • A great accompaniment to Dosa & Idli
  • Tasty
  • A delicious alternative to coconut chutney


Onion tomato chutney ingredients.

For Chutney:

This chutney requires basic ingredients which are easily available at home all the time. I have used onion, fresh tomatoes, dry red chilies, fresh coriander, and tamarind paste to make this chutney.

Adding coconut is optional. You can add it to a different taste.  I have used Kashmiri Dry Red Chilli to make this chutney. It gives a nice color to it, keeping the heat low.

Also, tamarind adds a nice tangy taste, that makes all the difference. So do not skip on this one.

Tempering Ingredients

For Tempering:

I like to temper my chutney with urad dal, hing, and curry leaves. You can skip to temper the chutney as well. This idli dosa chutney recipe anyways tastes delicious.

Step By Step Recipe

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan.

Oil heating in a pan.

Once the oil is hot, add onion and tomato. Saute for 5-6 minutes.

Onion and tomato added in the pan.

Add fresh coriander, tamarind, and dry red chilies and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Remove the pan from heat.

coriander, tamarind and red chillies added in the pan.

Add the mixture to a grinder along with hing and salt and grind to make a smooth chutney. 

Onion tomato mixture added in a grinder along with hing and salt.

Add little water if required.

Coarse chutney made.

Heat oil for tempering in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add urad dal, mustard seeds, and curry leaves and fry until dal turns golden brown.

Mustard seeds, urad dala nd curry leaves added in hot oil for tempering.

Pour the tempering over the chutney. Serve with idli or dosa.

Tempering poured over ready onion tomato chutney.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make it Gluten Free?

You can skip adding hing in the Tadka, to make it gluten-free.

Can we make it without cooking Tomatoes?

Roasting Tomatoes with other ingredients adds a nice flavor to this dish, which raw tomatoes won’t give. So, I will highly recommend you cook the tomatoes for making this chutney.

Related post: Indian Tomato Chutney

Serving Suggestions

This chutney pairs very well with anything Indian. Serve it as a side dish for Idli, Dosa, Neer Dosa, Chapati, Uttapam, Vada, Paniyaram, Pesarattu, Upma, Pongal etc.

You can also have it with Dal/Sambar Rice or even Plain Ghee Rice. 

Storage Suggestions

This chutney stays good in the refrigerator for about 2 to 3 days in an airtight container. If you skip adding coconut, it can stay up to a week. 

Related Post: Green Tomato Chutney Jamie Oliver


With Pudina – You can add some fresh mint leaves to this chutney to make Pudina Onion Tomato Chutney.

With Curry Leaves – Add some curry to make a nice variation.

Kerala Style – Cook the chutney in coconut oil instead of regular oil to make it in Kerala style.

With Peanuts – Make this chutney with peanuts for a variation. Roast the peanuts in little oil before adding the chutney.

With Chana Dal – Just like peanuts, you can roast some Chana Dal and add it with other ingredients while grinding the chutney.

With Coriander – You can add some coriander to this chutney.

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