Tomato Chutney / Thakkali Chutney

Tangy, Spicy with sweet notes of the Pearl Onions, this Tomato Chutney is the best South Indian side dish or accompaniment for South Indian Breakfast Recipes.

Tomato Chutney / Thakkali Chutney

Are you fans of South Indian Chutney Varieties? If yes, then this recipe will knock your socks off, I guarantee! The Tomato Chutney or the South Indian Thakkali Chutney is deliciously tangy, spicy and mildly sweet due to the pearl onions used. It is your perfect side dish or accompaniment to piping hot Soft Idli, Kollu Idli (Horsegram Idli), Onion Uttapam, Adai and Pidi Kozhukattai. Hell, I would go ahead and pair this for my lunch with some roti and sabzi too.

It is one of the most frequently made chutney at home especially when friends visit. The Tomato Chutney is loved by Narayan mostly with his favourite bowl of piping hot Ven Pongal.

Some other South Indian Chutney Varieties on the blog are Green Tomato Chutney or Pachai Thakkai Chutney and Inji Chutney or Ginger Chutney.

Why you should try this Tomato Chutney?

  • Contains No Coconut and the chutney can be paired with Roti, spread on parathas, Dal Khichdi or South Indian Ven Pongal.
  • Requires Basic Ingredients from your kitchen / pantry.
  • Has a shelf life up to a week in refrigerator so one can go ahead and make a slightly big batch and store.
  • The Tomato Chutney is Vegan.
Freshly ground Tomato Chutney with tempering

For this particular recipe of Tomato Chutney, I have used home grown Tomatoes. The feeling of kitchen garden to table is certainly satisfying. Mumbai doesn’t offer a lot of open spaces but we make do with the balcony space and grow some basic things like chillies, tomatoes etc in small pots.

Garden Fresh Tomatoes

The Tomatoes are bright red in colour and did most of the part when it came to the chutney colour. Additionally, I have also used 2 variety of red chillies for this recipe – Guntur Red Chillies for the spice and a couple of Kashmiri Red chillies for the colour. You can skip Guntur Red chillies entirely, if you prefer less spicy chutney at home.

I have used pearl onions, Chinna Vengayam in Tamil or Madras Onions for this recipe since I love how they lend their mild sweetness to the chutney. You can use red onions or any variety that is available in your pantry.

My recipe version does not include Garlic. Growing up, my parents did not include garlic in their food like typical Palakkad Iyers. You may, however, add couple of cloves of garlic and enjoy the chutney too!

Horsegram Idli dipped in Tomato Chutney

Like I have mentioned above, the Chutney recipe is Vegan. Since I have added asafoetida or hing for the tempering, the recipe is not Gluten Free. You can skip hing for Gluten Free Recipe.

Now that we know how simple it is to make a batch of this deliciously lipsmacking chutney, Let us look at the easy recipe and try some for the family, shall we?

Step by Step process and Photos of Tomato Chutney or Thakkali Chutney

Peel the skin of 30 odd pearl onions or Madras onions. Approximately 1 heaped 200 ml cup.

Pearl Onions, Chinna Vengayam or Madras onions

Roughly chop the tomatoes and keep aside.

Ripe Red Tomato Roughly chopped

Heat 1 tblsp oil in a pan add the onions and saute for a few seconds.

Saute the onions

Now add red chillies and saute until the onions have slightly caramelized.

Saute red chillies

To this, add the tomatoes and allow it to cook on medium heat.

onions and tomatoes cooked together

Add salt to taste, turmeric powder and additional 1/2 tsp of Kashmiri Red Chilli powder for the gorgeous colour.

Adding seasoning, turmeric and red chilli powder to onion and tomato

Cook until the tomatoes are mushy and there is no raw smell.

Cook Tomatoes until the raw smell is off

Switch off the flame. Cool the mixture and then grind in a mixer grinder (without any water) until thick and creamy as shown below.

Tomato Chutney ingredients cooling and waiting to be ground
Thick and spicy Tomato Chutney is ready

Prepare for the tadka or tempering by heating a small pan. Add oil, mustard seeds, urad dal, pondy chillies or any variety you use. Throw in some curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida or hing. Now pour this tempering over the chutney and serve immediately.

Tempering is a must for south indian chutney

South Indian Tomato Chutney For Idli Dosa

Tomato Chutney / Thakkali Chutney

Tomato Chutney or South Indian Thakkali Chutney is deliciously tangy, spicy and mildly sweet due to the pearl onions used. It is your perfect side dish or accompaniment to piping hot Soft Idli, Kollu Idli (Horsegram Idli), Onion Uttapam, Adai and Pidi Kozhukattai.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Keyword: No coconut Chutney, Side Dish for Idli, spicy red chutney, Thakkali Chutney, Tomato Chutney
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Pearl Onions / Madras Onions or Chinna Vengayam Approximately 30 nos. of pearl onions used (1 cup is 200 ml measurement)
  • 5 nos Tomatoes (Large)
  • 1 tbsp Oil Sesame or Gingelly Oil used here.
  • 5 nos Dry Whole Red Chillies I have used a combination of Guntur Red Chillies and Kashmiri Red chillies
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder or Haldi
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri Red chilli powder I have added for the colour. You may skip or add more if required.
  • salt to taste
  • FOR TEMPERING
  • 2 tsp Oil Sesame or gingelly oil
  • 2-3 nos. Whole Red Chillies I have used Pondy Chillies
  • 1 tsp Urad Dal
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds or Rai
  • 1 sprig Curry Leaves
  • 1 pinch Asafoetida or Hing

Instructions

  • Peel the skin of 30 odd pearl onions or Madras onions. Approximately 1 heaped 200 ml cup.
  • Roughly chop the tomatoes and keep aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan add the onions and saute for a few seconds.
  • Now add red chillies and saute until the onions have slightly caramelized
  • To this, add the tomatoes and allow it to cook on medium heat.
  • Add salt to taste, turmeric powder and additional 1/2 tsp of Kashmiri Red Chilli
    powder for the gorgeous colour.
  • Cook until the tomatoes are mushy and there is no raw smell
  • Switch off the flame. Cool the mixture and then grind in a mixer grinder (without any
    water) until thick and creamy as shown below
  • Prepare for the tadka or tempering by heating a small pan. Add oil, mustard seeds, urad dal, pondy chillies or any variety you use. Throw in some curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida or hing.
  • Now pour this tempering over the chutney and serve immediately.

Notes

This chutney stays fresh for a week in the refrigerator. 
By all means, add garlic to this recipe. Say 5 cloves to the above recipe would be ideal. Add it while sauteing the pearl onions. 
Traditionally this chutney is made with sesame or gingelly oil, like I have used. It enhances the taste of the chutney especially when you serve it with idlis. If you do not have sesame oil in your pantry, use any vegetable oil. 
 

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Thank you for visiting

Vidya Narayan

Views: 2870

Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. We make this at home (slightly differently I guess). This is my favorite too. Goes well with idly, dosa and of course ven pongal. We will try your recipe too. Thanks.

    1. Like I always say, food tastes different across homes. It is their unique touch that makes food taste amazing. Glad you liked the recipe and I agree, with Ven Pongal this chutney is a must. Thank you for stopping by.

  2. Lip smacking chutney Vidya. I was looking for a South Indian tomato chutney, after we tasted at a friend’s place, though that was Hydrebadi version. I loved your version and would definitely try it out. Love your home grown tomatoes, I have too grown in my very small window in Mumbai and it is really very rewarding.

    1. Glad you liked it Renu. Chutneys across regions have their unique touch.

  3. I love such chutneys.. spicy, little bit sweet and tangy.. this is a regular in my house as my daughter loves it. I do not add onions to it.. will try next time, when I get shallots from the store here. Idli looks so inviting with the chutney..

    1. Hey Swati, glad you liked it. Try with shallots when you find some!

  4. 5 stars
    Wonderful chutney recipe! I like the addition of shallots in here.

    1. Thanks so much and I love chinna vengayam way too much

  5. wooooow v nicely u explain
    it’s v easy to cook I will try this
    thank u so much ❤️

    1. So nice to hear that you liked the recipe, please do try and would love to hear the feedback. Best wishes, Vidya!

  6. I too make this at home. Very tasty chutney to do with idli/dosa or even with ghee rice. 😋

    1. I agree Jyoti, this one is delish. Thanks.

    1. Thanks so much, do try please.

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