Thursday, June 4, 2009

Small Onion- Tomato Chutney

My mother would be laughing hysterically on seeing this post. Why, you ask? Well, the thing is she used to make a version of this chutney quite often when I was young. Of course, I'd start throwing a tantrum saying how much I disliked it and refused to eat it. Poor thing... When I think of all she's put up with from me, all I can say is that Amma is a saint!

Like most people, my tastes seem to have changed as I've grown older. So, today, I decided to make this chutney Amma used to make with a few of my own changes. The original recipe is well over 50 years old in my family. It starts with small onions cooked in a base of tomatoes and is seasoned with fennel and chilli powder. Really, that's it. So simple, right? Yet, it's made by my relatives every morning for idli/dosai.

I decided to change it up and add a little bit of garlic. Also, my tomatoes didn't have much flavor, so I wound up adding a touch of tamarind for a hint of sourness. Can I pat myself on the back, here? The chutney came out awesome!! I think Amma would be both proud and royally surprised.

Ingredients:

Small onions/sambar onions/shallots, peeled - 1/2 cup
Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped finely
Tomatoes - 2 plum tomatoes, finely ground (about 1 cup)
Tamarind (only if tomatoes are not sour)- small almond sized piece, ground with the tomatoes
Chilli powder - 1 1/2 tsp, or to taste
Fennel powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste

Seasoning:

Oil - 1 tbsp; recommended: sesame oil (nallenai)
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal - 3/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 6-8 leaves

Method:

1. Heat oil. When hot, add the seasoning ingredients. Allow to splutter and the dal to turn golden brown.

2. Now, add in the small onions and fry until slightly softened. It's ok if they turn a little brown at the edges. In fact, it tastes better that way!

3. At this point, add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds or so, until fragrant. Don't brown it or the garlic will become bitter!

4. Pour the pureed tamarind and tomatoes into the pot along with chilli powder, fennel powder and required salt.

5. Add about 1/2 cup of water, cover and let cook on medium low until slightly thickened. The raw tomato smell should have gone and the onions should be fully cooked.

6. Next? Turn the stove off and enjoy with idlis or dosai!


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37 comments:

Pavithra said...

Looking so tasty and yummy , i do the same kalai.. we love this so much.Perfect side dish for dosa, idli and roti...

indosungod said...

Kalai, I thought you were going to blend everything in the end. This is a new variation to the chutney I make often but I do not add fennel. Will give this a try.

Lavi said...

Kalai..I always love your chutney's. Ur red bell pepper chutney is my favourite. now this is also going to be my fav..love the color of chutney!

Superchef said...

it just looks too good!! by small onions, do you mean pearl onions or shallots?? ive tried only pearl onions in chutneys so far , never shallots. would love to try with those too..

Kalai said...

Thanks, Pavi!

Indo, leaving it this way gives it some texture which is really nice. Hope u like it!

Lavi, thanks dear! I love the bell pepper one, too!

Superchef, I used shallots (that my mom brought back from India, actually). I think that either pearl onions or shallots should work great. Let me know how it goes! :)

A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine said...

Looks so yum. There is nothing to beat the taste of sambar vengayam.

Priya said...

Wow wat a delicious chutney..looks too good! i do the same too..

Laavanya said...

Oh i have the same bowl! :)

That looks delicious and i love this kind of chutneys but my husband doesn't.. shallots lend such a yummy taste.

homecooked said...

Looks good! I should try this out. We used to go to a restaurant a while back and they used to serve this type of chutney with the dosa's. The colour looks the same, so I'm assuming its the same thing. Will try this out and see :)

Kalai said...

A2Z, you are so right!!

You have the same bowl, Laavanya? That's so funny! My hubby doesn't like this type either. Oh, well. More for me! :)

HC, thanks, dear. I hope it comes out well for you. :)

Namratha said...

Hehe, I guess all of us have some recipe which we disliked as kids and couldn't like it more now :P

Nice chutney Kalai, I have these small onions sitting in my pantry.

Uma said...

I used to dislike many veggies when I was a kid, now started to like them :) Yep, you're right, moms are saints!!

Chutney looks so rich and yummy. Love the beautiful color.

Chitra said...

wow, iam drooling..tomato chutney is simply superb..have bookmarked it:)

Happy cook said...

I love this chutney with dosa, looks so good.

Kitchen Flavours said...

Oh wow looks yummy.....i too make it the same way but addition of fennel pwd is new to me...

ARUNA said...

It looks yummy kalai, i guess this chutney will b awesome with idli!

Kalai said...

Namratha, it's so funny how things change, right?

Uma, I used to be extremely picky as a kid. Now, there are few things that I won't put in my mouth!

Chitra, thanks, dear. Hope you try it!

Happy Cook and Aruna, thanks!

Kitchen Flavours, the small amt of fennel goes so well with the tomatoes. Give it a try sometime! :)

Bong Mom said...

Is this the one they serve with idli ? then I want to make it :)

anudivya said...

Yeah, all those stuff we refused to eat as children!
Now that is exactly what I try to recreate. Never realize how much goodness we have around us unless we lose it! Sigh.

Lisa said...

I really enjoy simple but flavourful chutneys like this. I bet it tasted wonderful.

Divya Vikram said...

Chutney looks tangy n delicious! Hope u are doing good!

Nirmala said...

Kalai if I make this, this would be my most favoite chutney ever. As the small onions and tomatoes are the mos favorite ingredients for a chutney this would be perfect match! Will try this out and let u know! yeah amma 's are real saints :)

Prema Sundar said...

Love tomato chutney however it is made..adding fennel is new to me and love that color..

Jyoti said...

love the idea of fennel powder in tomato chutney...looks delicious

Usha said...

Isn't it amazing how we learn to appreciate the stuff we shunned in our childhood :-) This chutney sounds yum, I loved the addition of fennel to the chutney !

AnuSriram said...

Thats a lovely recipe Kalai! Will try this version soon!

Vij said...

I love this chutney and i am sure urs would have tasted great. Nice click too!

Nithya Praveen said...

This is so good Kalai.I was just busy making the idly batter for tomorow,i got an apt chutney for it.Thanks for sharing!

Divya Rao said...

Hey there Kalai, my first time here and love your blog :) I'm gonna try this right away, was wondering what to make for lunch today...guess this will go well with some hot rice and nei, my hubby would love it :)

sowmya said...

visiting your blog after a longtime.. i thought you weren't blogging..loved the chutnry recipe...visited the other missed posts too..cookies look yumm..

Medhaa said...

Chutney look delicious love the color. hope your health is ok now.

Kalai said...

Sandeepa, it is served with idli... I'm wondering if you're thinking of the tomato chutney served in restaurants. If so, this is a little different.

Anu, so true!!

Thanks, Lisa, Divya, Nirmala, Prema, and Jyoti!

I know, Usha! It's crazy.

Thanks Anu, Vij, and Nithya!

Welcome, Divya! Hope it turned out well for you, dear.

I'm trying to get back, Sowmya. Thanks!

Am doing better, thanks, Medhaa. :)

Red Chillies said...

ALmost similar to what I make Kalai, but adding tamarind and fennel is different. I will make this sometime.

sra said...

I've never added shallots or onion to tomato chutney but we routinely add some tamarind. Good to see you back, Kalai!

TBC said...

Fennel is not something I've used in a chutney yet. Except for that, I think I've made every possible variation there is of an onion chutney, a tomato chutney or an onion-tomato chutney.:D

Varsha Vipins said...

Same happens with me too..:P..things I used to dislike as a kid are kinda my fav's too..:).This chutney is definitely a keeper one..:)

Pooja said...

i love tomatoes a lot.. tangy !