Spicy and tangy South Indian tomato chutney


Tomato chutney is one of my recent favorite chutney’s to accompany idli’s and dosa’s. It is tangy from the flavor of the tomatoes itself and some chilli powder adds a nice heat.

I have always had dosa’s and idli’s with the usual coconut chutney or the green coconut chutney coz that is what it is served along with in most restaurants, in Mumbai atleast. I discovered this chutney only when I started working and one of my South Indian colleague  who was also the head of one of the departments, had got it for lunch. As we always sit to share our lunch, I tasted some and loved it. It was nice and tangy with a little heat from the after taste. I got in touch with her through Whatsapp lately and she was kind enough to share the recipe again, she had shared the recipe that time as well, but I hadn’t been smart enough to jot it down. I just made it once and forgot about it!


So anyways here it is! I’m glad to have documented it now. There are tons of tomato chutney recipes online, this one is quite different. For one, the tomatoes are not sautéed rather cooked in it’s own juices and tempered with some seasonings. Secondly, you do not need a blender to make a paste, the tomatoes become mushy enough to just mash them with the back of a ladle. My colleague uses only mustard seeds and asafoetida for the tempering, the curry leaves, chillies and garlic are an addition I love. You may skip those.

Recipe courtesy: Mrs Karuna

Ingredients: Measuring cup used, 1 Cup = 250 ml ( Makes 1/2 cup chutney)

Approx 300 grams tomatoes ( about 2 cup roughly chopped tomatoes) I used 4 Roma tomatoes

1/2 to 1 teaspoon red chilli powder, adjust as per desired heat

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon coriander powder

salt to taste

For the tempering-

2 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

pinch of asafoetida (hing)

1 clove garlic, sliced finely

2-3 red chillies

6-7 curry leaves


1.Wash tomatoes well, wipe them dry with a clean kitchen napkin. Dice into rough chunks.


2.Transfer to a thick bottomed pan, add red chilli powder and salt. Mix well. Cook covered on high flame for first 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium low, and let them cook covered for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the tomatoes have softened, and most of the water has evaporated, add in the cumin and coriander powder. Mix well and saute for another 2 minutes.


3. Switch off the heat, and set aside.


4. For the tempering – Heat oil in a skillet, add mustard seeds, when they splutter, add garlic, once the garlic has turned golden brown, switch off the heat and add curry leaves, red chillies and asafoetida. When the curry leaves and red chillies turn crisp pour the tempering over the prepared tomato chutney and mix well. Enjoy with idli, dosa’s etc. We enjoyed this with some delicious vermicelli idli’s, recipe coming up soon 🙂


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