Friday, December 2, 2022

How to Make Tomato Chutney With and Without Onions

Chutney is a part of Indian condiments or sauces, generally served with meals and snacks. Coming in all shapes and sizes, it is a regular fixture in South Indian homes. Of all the chutneys, Tomato Chutney is hands down the most flavourful and tangy chutney originating from South India.

As its name indicates, the primary ingredient in Tomato chutney is tomato. It has a spicy, savoury, and moderately sweet taste. In addition, tomato chutney incorporates herbs and spices to uplift its taste and health benefits.

There are a lot of variations for preparing tomato chutney. Many use chana dal, tur dal, and peanuts to elevate the taste of the chutney. Also, they add nutrition and a little bit of thickness.

Let’s discuss two different ways to make South-Indian style authentic tomato chutney at home.

How to make Tomato Chutney?

Tomato ChutneyThe first method of cooking tomato chutney involves tur dal, urad dal and onions as the core ingredients. On the other hand, the second method is ideal when you need it in large quantities. Additionally, you don’t even need a blender to make tomato chutney using the second method.

Method 1: Onion Tomato Chutney 

Before learning how to make onion tomato chutney, let us look at the required ingredients.


  • Chopped tomatoes – 3 medium-sized
  • Chana dal – 1 tablespoon
  • Urad dal – 1/2 tablespoon
  • Chopped onions – 1 medium-sized
  • Dry red chillies – 5 to 8
  • Garlic cloves – 2 to 3
  • Cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
  • Salt as required
  • Turmeric powder – ⅛ teaspoon
  • Oil – 1 teaspoon


  1. Take a pan, pour oil, and allow the stove to burn on a medium to low flame.
  2. Add chana dal and urad dal once oil gets heated. Roast them well until they turn dark golden.
  3. Later, add cumin seeds to the pan and fry well for one minute. Transfer the roasted mixture to a plate.
  4. Now, it is time to add dry red chillies to the pan. Roast them well until they become crispy.
  5. Later, add garlic cloves and chopped onions to the pan. Fry them on a medium flame for three to six minutes or until they leave their aroma.
  6. Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, and salt as required. Stir it well and cook the mixture until tomatoes leave their raw smell and turn mushy.
  7. Once tomatoes are cooked well, turn off the stove. Let the mixture cool down fully.
  8. Add the cooled mixture and a little water to the blender. Blend it well into a smooth paste. If you want quite a runny chutney, add a little more water. While blending, you can add some peanuts to the mixture.

Now it is a turn to make the tempering for the chutney. Below are the required ingredients.


  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Urad dal – ¼ teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds – ¼ teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Asafoetida – ⅛ teaspoon


  1. Heat oil in a small pan, and add mustard seeds to it. Allow the seeds to crackle.
  2. Later add urad dal and curry leaves. Let the curry leaves become crunchy and urad dal achieve a light brown colour.
  3. Finally, add asafoetida and saute well for a minute.

Your tempering is ready. Take a bowl and transfer the chutney into it. Pour the tempering on the top. Yummy, tangy, and luscious tomato chutney is ready to serve with Idli, Dosa, Medu Vada, Kebab, or any other snack you can think of.

Method 2: Tomato Chutney Without Onions 

This is a super-quick and hassle-free method to prepare tomato chutney. No blender is required. Ingredients involved include:


  • Chopped tomatoes – 500 grams
  • Chopped ginger – ½ teaspoon
  • Mustard powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – ⅛ teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds – ¼ teaspoon
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder – 2 to 3 tablespoons
  • Salt as required
  • Jaggery – 1 tablespoon
  • Roasted methi seeds powder – ¼ teaspoon


  1. Add oil to a pan and heat it on a medium flame. Next, add mustard seeds once the oil gets heated and allow them to crackle.
  2. Later, add ginger and fry well for a minute or two until it leaves the aroma.
  3. Add tomatoes and salt to the pan. Fry well for three to five minutes.
  4. Cover the pan and allow tomatoes to cook and turn soft. Mash the tomatoes with a ladle. Make sure the juice of chopped tomatoes evaporates and the mixture turns thick.
  5. Once you get a thick consistency, add red chilli powder, roasted methi powder, turmeric powder, and mustard powder. Mix all well and cook them for two minutes.
  6. Ensure not to overcook the chutney after adding spices. You can taste the chutney and add salt and red chilli powder if you want a spicier, hot chutney.

The exact process we saw in method 1 for tempering is followed in method 2 as well. Take a serving bowl and add the prepared tomato chutney. Pour the tempering on the top of the chutney. Your tomato chutney without onions is ready. The chutney can last for many days, as it does not contain onions. You can store it in an air-tight jar. Make sure to keep that jar in the refrigerator.

Variations and Pro Tips

As mentioned earlier, there are multiple variations to cook tomato chutney. We have seen two different types – one with onion, tur dal, and urad dal, and the other without onions.

  1. Generally, we use onion in tomato chutney to bring a moderately sweet taste. In addition, onions perfectly balance the tangy taste of the chutney. You can even add shallots instead of chopped onions.
  2. Dried red chillies bring a spicy and hot taste to the chutney. If you love eating too hot and spicy food, you can even add additional green chillies to tomato chutney. But using dried red chillies brings an intense and dark red colour to the chutney.
  3. Adding a tempering of mustard seeds, red chilli, curry leaves, and asafoetida enhances tomato chutney’s taste. However, diet-conscious foodies can skip tempering. They can simply consume tomato chutney without tempering.
  4. In the first method, we have incorporated some peanuts, urad dal, and chana dal. Many South-Indian chutneys include chana dal and urad, as they elevate a chutney’s flavour and aids in thickening. Moreover, these lentils help balance the tangy and spicy taste of tomato chutney.
  5. Another tomato chutney variation is using tamarind and adding a bit of sour taste to it. Additionally, it adds a unique flavour to the chutney.
  6. Some people add raw garlic to tomato chutneys. But we have fried garlic cloves in the oil to remove its raw smell. Moreover, you can completely skip garlic cloves if you don’t like them. Just go only with ginger.


Tomato chutney is a perfect condiment that goes well with a variety of snacks and meals. Feel free to try both these methods depending on your requirements. If you desire to have classic South-Indian style onion tomato chutney, go with the first method. On the other hand, if you are in a hurry or have a hectic schedule and crave tomato chutney, the second method is for you.

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Sameeksha Medewar
Sameeksha Medewar
Sameeksha is passionate about cooking and trying several new recipes. Her passion for cooking and baking has led her to be a food blogger, where she shares vegetarian recipes. Her recipes are a good blend of health and good taste.

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