Tomato Chutney Recipe (2 South Indian Variations)

In addition to adding in curries, lentils, etc., one of the most common ways of using tomatoes or tamatar in Indian cuisine is in the form of a condiment or Chutney. Chutneys are common in most of the Indian homes. Along with the famous Coconut Chutney, even the Tomato Chutney recipe has many variations pan India. This post of mine has two versions of the South Indian style chutney, also known as Thakkali Chutney, made with fresh tomatoes, spices and herbs. Make these at home, and enjoy it just as it is or as a relish, spread, etc.

About Tomato Chutney Recipe

The first variation is this simple Tomato Chutney which has no onion or garlic and is tempered with basic spices. The use of ginger in this Tamatar ki Chutney brings an earthy flavor to it. It really pairs well with the fresh, plump and tart tomatoes.

In addition to the tangy taste of tomatoes, one more ingredient which gives this Thakkali Chutney its distinct aroma and warm flavor is the use of cloves (laung/lavang). I have added just about 2 cloves, which imparted a strong aroma to the chutney.

How to make Tomato Chutney

Recipe 1

Cook and Blend Tomatoes

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan or sauté pan, and add 1 teaspoon urad dal (split husked black gram).

Once the lentils get a maroonish brown color, add 2 to 3 broken dried red chilies, 2 to 3 cloves, 4 to 5 black peppercorns and 1 inch peeled and chopped ginger.

Stir and sauté till the red chilies change color and become a shade darker, but ensure not to burn any spices or even the chillies.

I have used here red chillies which are not spicy or hot and hence added 3 of them. If using hotter and pungent varieties of red chilli, add 1 or ½ of it.

Stir and sauté till the tomatoes soften. About 6 to 7 minutes on low to medium-low heat.

When the tomatoes have softened and cooked well, turn off the heat and set aside the sautéed chutney ingredients to cool.

Ensure that the tomatoes have softened nicely, as if they remain raw or undercooked, there will be the raw taste and flavor of tomatoes in the chutney.


In the same pan or a different pan, heat ½ tablespoon oil. Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and let them crackle.


Then, add 7 to 8 curry leaves, 2 to 3 fenugreek seeds (methi seeds), a pinch asafoetida and 1 broken dried red chili (stem and seeds removed).

Mix and sauté till the curry leaves become crisp.

Serving and Storage Suggestions

The Tomato Chutney is done and ready to be served with breakfast dishes or snacks like idli, dosa, uttapam, medu vada or appe.

You can also serve it with evening snacks like masala vada, onion bajji or pakoda, potato pakora and many other pakora variants etc.

This chutney can also be used as a spread on your chapati, dosa, bread toast or paratha. You can also serve it a side chutney condiment with rice in your meals.

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