Monday, March 31, 2008

Chettinadu tomato chutney

I've had my eye on a tomato chutney recipe that Hema of Vegetarian Concoctions posted on her blog back in February. I’m assuming it was a variation on her own Chettinadu tomato chutney, but really it’s her friend Ranjini’s recipe. (Thanks, ladies!)

I’ve been meaning to make it ever since (how many times do you think I might have said this over the years?) – and now, only a couple of months later, here I am, posting about my attempt at making the chutney!

The ingredients are pretty much the same, only the proportions are somewhat different, because I made a larger quantity than specified in the recipe (me being forced to use up some tomatoes that were getting suspiciously soft – and how many times have you heard THAT from me about some vegetable or other?). Oh okay, I also substituted a couple of ingredients…

It’s a pretty good chutney and keeps well for a day or so. Probably would live a bit longer in the fridge, but I didn’t bother with that.

I had it with dosas made with the muthu samba rice that I nearly threw out...

but I’m glad I didn’t, because now I can send this post off to
Srivalli’s Dosa Mela in the happy aftermath of my samba experiment!

Recipe for:
Chettinadu tomato chutney


2 medium onions, chopped
5-6 small tomatoes, chopped
½” piece ginger, chopped or sliced
2 tbsp chana dal
1 tbsp urad dal
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
Turmeric – a pinch
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tbsp mint leaves, chopped
4 dried red chillies (or to taste)
Pinch of asafoetida powder (optional)
1 tbsp and 1 tsp oil
Salt to taste
1 tsp mustard seeds
A few fresh curry leaves, torn in half


1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil, and red chillies, urad dal, chana dal, fenugreek seeds and asafoetida powder.

2. Stir till the dals turn golden brown,

then add onion and cook till soft and translucent.

3. Then add the chopped tomatoes, ginger and turmeric powder and cook till the tomatoes turn mushy.

4. Add the mint and coriander leaves and stir them in.

Cook for a minute or two, then turn the heat off.

5. Once the mixture is cool, grind it to a fairly smooth paste (with maybe 2-3 tbsp of water if required) and mix in salt to taste.

6. Heat the remaining tsp of oil in a small pan. Put in the mustard seeds and curry leaves, cover and let the seeds pop.

7. Pour this tempering over the tomato chutney and serve with dosa, idli, chapati, etc.


Unknown said...

I too make chutney the same way..It s my favorite chutney..Nice step by step instructions

Cham said...

The chutney looks tasty with dosa.

Anonymous said...

You have an interesting style of writing... With the muthu samba rice saga and so on :)

Isnt it interesting that some of us have such a pathological dislike to wasting food....I cant bring myself to waste anything either... I spend like a maniac, but when it comes to food which has been bought - wasting seems like a sacrilege... so I could relate to your stories about mushy tomatos and muthu samba rice :)

I think my amma's & pati's constant proclamations like "annam is laxmi" and "rice-grains which are wasted go cry to the sea-god" and "if you waste one grain of life, you go hungry for seven lifetimes (or maybe just years)" have certainly had an impact... Looks like yours did the same too!


Siri said...

The chutney looks delish Shyamala..:) .. Thanks for sharing.. will definitely try it..:D


Indian Food Rocks said...

Oooh! This totally looks like my kind of chutney. And would you know that I have all the ingredients - except curry leaves. But then I'm not going to get any currey leaves any time soon so why wait! Tonight! Thanks a ton for the step by step pics!kok

Lakshmi said...

I had tasted this chutney in a frien's place. It tastes gr8. Will try this soon.

Srivalli said...

ehmm...that looks good...

Anonymous said...

Wow...the chutney looks delicious!!

Anonymous said...

i am on a chutney overdrive...this looks like a worthy addition...and the pics are stunning!!

Jayashree said...

Nice step-by-step pics.....this recipe sounds like a keeper.

sandhya said...

delicious chutney...

Alpa said...

i think this chutney is fabulous! see, you can rid yourself of so many things at once that are getting a little past their prime, lol :) truly, it looks delicious paired with that dosa.

Anonymous said...

I love this chutney. I am going to try this with idli.By the way I tried out your idli recipe it turn out so good. It was so easy and fool-proof. Thank you. I love the way you write.Keep posting.


Shammi said...

Divya: Thank you! There are so many variations on tomato chutney, it's cool!

Cham: It is really nice with dosa. Not so good with rice, though.

Hema: You hit the nail bang on the head! "Dont waste food" has been drummed into my head probably since I was in diapers :)

Siri: Do try it - you wont regret it.

Manisha: Curry leaves were my addition, not in Hema's original. So go right ahead and leave it out! :)

LG: Cool. :)

Srivalli: Thanks! One more dosa for your mela will be coming your way. :)

Homecooked: Thank you!

Arundati: You're very kind! :)

Jayashree: It is!

Sandhya: Ditto :)

Alpa: Too right! :) There's a special satisfaction that comes in using up stuff instead of throwing it away.

Ramya: Glad the idli recipe works! :)

Mallika said...

I share your bad habit of trying to salvage vegetables that have been ignored for toooo long. Chutney is a clever trick!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely, Shyam!

(Taporia + Puris)‘Great combo’-Amen to that! :)

Anonymous said...


The thing about Japan is that while quality of life is spectacular-absolutely no dealing with inefficient services, for one; the ‘human connection’ is hard to come by. The culture is very homogeneous and has a psyche indisposed to foreigners that dates back all the way to their feudal history.
All the same, it is a great place to visit for a short period; no other country offers the peaceful co-existence of the most advanced modern and cultural tradition side-by-side to that extent. (This is all in addition to unique landscapes and fantastic cuisine, of course)
And contrary to popular belief, it is not hard to stay vegetarian there at all! I myself am one, for the most part (except for an occasional indulgence in Sushi-which I had about 4 times in the period of 2 years there), and I actually gained more weight during my sojourn there! It’s amazing how much choice one has.

Anonymous said...

shyam, i made the was fab!! had it with adai for breakfast two days ago...and again this morning with idlies.....its a keeper...posted on my blog just now....take a look....

Ramya said...

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do Visit my blog, and pass ur comments and please link me from ur blog

toro said...

How lovely!
Your work is the Japanese is not very great!
I have links to your site.
We hope to link my site please.

Indian Food Rocks said...

So I have no idea what 'kok' in my last comment means. I can only reason that I was so excited about this recipe that my fingers continued in a frenzy even though my brain had suggested otherwise.

Now to tell you what I should have reported back over a month ago. This chutney is simply fabulous and the recipe is a keeper. It's a chutney I will make over and over again! Thank you so much for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

I am not good at making chutneys but I was able to make this chutney with ease and it turned out to be great. Now I will make it with dosa and idli. Thanks for the great tasting recipe.