Dosa and idlis are dishes that South Indians enjoy as a staple of south indian cuisine, but if you don’t have a nice smoky flavorful tomato chutney to light up your taste buds and compliment the crunchy texture of dosa and spongy idli then trust me guys you are missing a lot. As soon as you try this tomato chutney recipe for dosa, you’ll wonder where it has been your whole life.
So today I have decided to share an easy tomato chutney recipe for dosa (aka – thakkali chutney) with you. You can upgrade your snacks by dipping them in this spicy, tangy homemade and simple tomato chutney.
Difference Between South Indian Tomato Chutney and Other Tomato Chutneys
Ok Guys, first let me tell you what the difference between regular tomato chutney recipes and the South Indian version is.
In other tomato dips, tomatoes and other main ingredients being used are mostly raw when they are blended, but in this chutney, we will first cook tomatoes, spices, and other things together and then convert them into a sauce. It will take that raw taste away and will develop much more mature and complex flavors in our dish.
Fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger, green chili.
Cumin seed, fenugreek seed, mustard seed, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, dried Kashmiri red chili or green chillies for a spicy chutney.
Salt and oil.
To get a perfectly balanced ratio of all spices and veggies you can take a look at our recipe card down below.
So, let’s move to the kitchen and start creating this luscious chutney.
- Take 2.5 cups or 500 grams of fresh ripe tomatoes. You can also use canned tomatoes. Wash them out and cut them into medium-sized chunks. Do not chop them into very small pieces but medium-sized ones.
- Roasting Tomatoes: Now here comes the trick to elevate the taste of your dish. Take one tablespoon of oil in a pot and put your tomatoes in. Cook them for one or two minutes on high heat. These chunks will roast and get a nice charred skin on them without releasing much moisture. This will add excellent depth and smokiness to the flavor. If we chop them too small they will get mushy instantly and we don’t want that.
- Adding Spices: Now it’s time to roast our spices. After removing the tomatoes, add one tablespoon oil and heat oil. Bring the temperature to medium heat. Put in 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
- Add 9 to 10 dried Kashmiri dry red chillies. They give a dark vibrant red color to the dish but are not very spicy.
- Roast Ginger Garlic: I like to add 6 cloves of garlic and two small slices of ginger and two curry leaves.
- Using Onion is Optional: I also add one onion. It is completely optional. The onion will give a little sweetness to your chutney, which will balance the acidity, but if you want to skip this part, go for it. Onion will reduce the shelf life of your tomato chutney. …Not that it will last that long anyway!
- Fry them all until they start changing their color.
- Now it’s time to put your roasted tomatoes in. Turn the heat to medium. After a couple of minutes, they will release a little water and will start to get mushy.
- Let them sear until some water gets vaporized. If you want a little runny consistency for your chutney, then don’t let it dry too much.
- Take your pot, turn off the heat and wait until it reaches room temperature.
- Now put your mixture in a blender, add in some salt and convert it into a sauce. The color of the chutney should now be a smokey red.
- The original version of chutney is a little bit chunky, and I like mine chunkier. I love a little bit of texture going on in my mouth. But if you want it to be a silky smooth chutney, blend it for some more time, and you will get your desired consistency.
Now it’s “Tarka” time
- At this point, our chutney has been completed and is ready to eat, but if you really are a perfectionist like me, I mean if you believe in perfection, then trust me, you do not want to skip this last step.
- We are going to add a kick to our recipe by putting “Tarka” in it. Tarka is the Indian word for tempering, which aromatizes and solubilizes spices in oil.
- Take one tablespoon of oil or ghee in a small pan. Add half a teaspoon of cumin seeds, ½ teaspoon of mustard seed, ¼ teaspoon of fenugreek seeds, ½ teaspoon of Kashmiri red chili powder(optional), and two chopped green chilies. Let them sizzle for a minute and then add your chutney to the pan. Stir it for one or two minutes and our delicious chutney has been completed. You can top it off with fresh coriander (cilantro) if you’d like.
Tomato Onion Chutney
There is another version of south Indian tomato chutney with onions. If you love onions in your recipe, then there is a simple ratio. Double the amount of tomatoes to the onion.
- Dice the onions.
- When ginger, garlic, and spices are sautéed, put onions in.
- Do not brown them but let them turn a bit translucent.
- Then add your tomatoes and the rest of the process will remain the same as mentioned above.
Tips to preserve our Tomato Chutney
Yes, this tomato chutney can be preserved for three to four weeks in the refrigerator, if you are not using onions in it. Onions do not last longer than a day or two in the fridge once cooked.
To store our onionless version, we must keep some points in our mind.
- Don’t store a runny chutney in your refrigerator because more water will allow more bacteria and microorganisms to grow and will reduce its self-life. So, if you are going to preserve it, make sure to reduce as much moisture as you can while you are cooking it.
- Store your thick creamy chutney in an airtight container.
- When you want to use it again, take your required amount out, put some water in it and cook it for one to two minutes so you get the consistency you want.
Time to Serve Our Chutney
This is such a delicious, nice-tasting chutney as a perfect accompaniment to coconut chutney with idli and plain dosa, but also with other snacks like samosas, parathas, and fries. I even put mine on nachos and tacos. You can pair it up with other South Indian chutneys like onion chutney or coconut chutney. So, scoop your sauce into a big bowl and pull out every snack you have in your kitchen cabinets. Invite your friends and family and run a “Chip and Dip” party. And of course, you can thank me later for being so popular with your guests.
Hi! I’m Ravi Kumar.
I am a husband, father of 4, board certified neurosurgeon, and a lover of South Indian Food!
I created PaattisKitchen.com to memorialize the most delicious foods on earth. South Indian food is easy to make and hard to mess up. So pull up your sleeves, and come with me as we explore the vibrant spices, colors, aromas, and flavors of South Indian culinary tradition.