Velvety South Indian Tomato Chutney

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Velvety South Indian Tomato Chutney

Rarely do store-bought sauces, chutneys and salsas make an appearance on my table. For the most part, they are easy to make at home and, after prep, only patience with the simmering time is needed. Preparing your own condiments also ensures you have complete control over what is included, such as spicing and salt. I've never really understood how sauces purchased from the grocery store seem to keep for months without growing moldy. Likely some nasty preservatives are at play.

This chutney can serve as a sauce for just about anything you might imagine asking for some spicy tomato flair. It's thick enough to make for a good pasta sauce, a condiment for Indian savories and snacks, an accompaniment to rice and flat breads, a topping for vegetable burgers or patties, nachos, burritos, or even mix into a legume dish for a fast and delicious meal. An abundance of seasonal tomatoes is another reason to make this chutney that keeps well in the fridge for up to two weeks in a well-sealed glass container or jar. The depth of flavor makes this preparation one of my new favorites.

This one IS spicy, so it's not for the faint-hearted, but reduce the amount of chilies if you can't handle the heat.

Spicy South Indian Chutney

Velvety South Indian Tomato ChutneyVelvety South Indian Tomato Chutney
Recipe by
Adapted from Monsoon Spice
Cuisine: South Indian
Published on July 28, 2016

Smooth, spicy south Indian style tomato chutney suitable for serving with pasta, burgers or Indian savories

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  • 2 1/2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive or other oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon split skinned urad dal, rinsed
  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 to 3 fresh red cayenne chilies, finely chopped
  • 1 dried red chili, broken into bits
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive or other oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 to 2 dried red chilies, broken into bits
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • Begin by making the tamarind paste from the pulp. In a small bowl, soak the tamarind pulp in 1 cup of boiling water for 30 to 40 minutes. Place a strainer over another bowl and press the pulp through to remove any seeds or tough fibers. You will be left with tamarind paste. Strain the liquid and keep for another dish. It makes for a good broth.

  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the cumin seeds and urad dal and cook, stirring, for another few minutes until the urad dal darkens a few shades. Now stir in the tamarind paste, tomatoes, chilies, turmeric, sugar and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes and then turn off the heat. Purée with an immersion blender. Let cool a bit before proceeding.

  • For the tempering stage, heat the oil in a large non-stick heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds to the pan and fry until the mustard seeds begin to splutter and pop. Add the chilies and asafetida, stir once, and then pour in the tomato mixture along with salt. Cook the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until thickened and the oil leaves the sides of the pan. Adjust for seasoning. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.

Makes about 2 cups

Tomato Chutney

Other sauces and chutneys to enjoy from Lisa's Kitchen:
Classic Tamarind Chutney
Avocado and Tomato Salsa with Chipotle
Mushroom Marinara Sauce with Fresh Herbs
Green Mango Coconut Chutney

On the top of the reading stack: The Camp of the Saints


Carole said...

Hi Lisa, hope to see this over at Food on Friday. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

Shaheen said...

I love the sound of this Lisa and hope to make it as a change from the other Indian chutneys that frequent my kitchen.