Onion , Tomato chutney for Idlis and dosa

 Another family favourite is this onion, tomato chutney which is so versatile and has many uses apart from being a side dish for idlis and dosas.

Sometimes this chutney is also used to mix with left over white rice and eaten as a spiced rice with papads.
This is a good spread for sandwiches too.


Onions 4  medium
Tomato 1 big , some finely chopped fresh dhania leaves.
2 tbsp Gram dal/ pottukadalai or Chana dal  

Red chillies 4  depends on how spicy you prefer.
2 tsp red chilli powder if you are not using dry red chillis
Pinch of asafoetida / hing
Salt to taste
Berry size tamrind ( optional )
2 tsp  of grated coconut  (optional)
Oil for seasoning 1 tsp
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp udad dal
Sprigs of curry leaves 


1   Chop onions and tomato into big  chunks and with a tsp of oil sauté till they turn soft and pink. Just before taking off from the stove add the dhania leaves and lightly sauté .  Add a small berry size tamrind too at this point while sauteeing  to make it soft. Also add some curry leaves while sauteeing.

Let these cool. 

2. Heat a tsp of oil in a pan and roast the red chillies and Chana dal, no need to roast the gram dal if you are using gram dal, till they turn nice and golden brown, let this  cool and finally grind along with salt. Hing and coconut both items under 1 and 2 .

No need to add water while grinding. If you plan to keep this chutney for a week, do not add water but use more oil for sauteing.

Temper the chutney with mustard seeds and udad dal . Garnish with sprigs of curry leaves. Taste great with dosa / idlis


 1. Tastes great even without coconut.
A small bit of tamarind can be added while grinding if you don't have a big tomato and to get the tangy taste.

2 . Even if you have no tomatoes, this chutney can be prepared with only onions. Same procedure , but add a little bit of tamarind while sauteing onions and grind along with onions.

3. Adding dhania leaves is optional and doesn't make a difference . I like this Version and taste of dhania leaves.

Many variations are possible. Every time  I try differently. 

4. Another method is to chop all onions, tomatoes and blend them first raw and then fry  them  with a tbsp of sesame oil , let the ground paste simmer on low on the gas and then prepare the seasoning. 
5. You can us so many different  ways of making this delicious chutney keeping onions and tomatoes as the base. Roasted bell pepper added to the sauteed onions and tomatoes will give an amazing taste.

6. You can add peels of ridge gourd, or chayote along with onions and tomatoes, roast them and grind...will give an amazing body and taste to the chutney

I do not add coconut to such chutneys so it is up to you for adding .