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Tomato Onion Chutney

fruit tart

I can't remember how I picked this up, but I'm pretty sure it was mom cooking it for me on one of her visits over from Malaysia, though it has changed over time, as it is a real fuss free recipe. A simple, quick and flavourful chutney, this pairs well with South Indian staples like dosas, idlis and uttapams. The sweetness of the red onion cuts the acidity of the tomatoes, while the addition of garam masala at the end rounds out the bouquet of spice notes in this chutney.

Yield: 2 cups

Serving: 6 to 8

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Tomato & Onion Chutney


4 cloves garlic, finely diced

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 large red onion, sliced lengthways, about 3mm thickness

5 tomatoes on the vine, chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon chilli powder

2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

3/4 teaspoon garam masala, save for the end

Tadka (tempering of the spices)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 sprig fresh curry leaves

1 fresh green chilli, split and quartered (optional)

1/2 teaspoon urad dhal

1/4 teaspoon asafoetida powder


In a medium frying pan, heat the oil on medium. Test the heat by dropping a few mustard seeds in. If they are spluttering, it's at a good heat! Add all the spices listed under Tadka.

Let the spices temper for a few seconds.

Add the onions, ginger and garlic. Mix well and sprinkle a little salt over the onions. Let it soften, stirring occasionally. Once it has softened, add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, turmeric and chilli powder (optional). Add salt to season. Mix well.

Turn the flame down to medium-low, and cover. Cook until tender, for about 15 minutes. Stir and check that the tomatoes are soft and almost saucy, and that the oils are almost separating.

Stir in the garam masala to finish off. Serve hot with rice, idlis, dosas or uttapam. Enjoy!

fruit tart


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