Ginger chutney or Allam chutney for Idli, dosa, vada, pesarattu & snacks. Allam chutney is a popular condiment from Andhra cuisine usually eaten with breakfasts. Allam translates to ginger in telugu & chutney is a condiment. This recipe will give you a very delicious & flavorful ginger chutney that tastes slightly sweet, tangy, spicy & hot. It is made with fresh ginger and other pantry staples.
Pesarattu and Allam pachadi are a popular breakfast combo made in most telugu speaking homes. Allam pachadi is a traditional ginger pickle made with ginger, tamarind, jaggery & red chili powder. Making allam pachadi is a slightly tedious work so this instant ginger chutney or allam chutney is favored by many.
This ginger chutney is good to consume during the monsoon and winters as it keeps the body warm.
Tips to make ginger chutney
- Ginger is naturally pungent & cannot be consumed in large quantity. So to neutralize the pungent taste, onions are used. They are lightly roasted to brings out the sweet aroma.
- Chana dal & urad dal are used to enhance the aroma and texture of the allam chutney. If you do not have the dals replace with peanuts but the taste will be different.
- Use as much jaggery & tamarind as you prefer to balance the pungent taste of ginger.
- Tempering this ginger chutney is optional if you desire, you can do it. But it tastes good as it is.
This is an updated post from the Archives, recipe first published in June 2014
Allam chutney or ginger chutney recipe
Ginger chutney | Allam chutney
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
Ingredients to make ginger chutney
- 2 tbsp chana dal or bengal gram (or substitute with peanuts)
- 1 tbsp urad dal or skinned black gram (optional)
- 1 ½ inch ginger or allam (sliced) (1 ½ by 1 ½ inch)
- 1/3 tsp Salt or as needed
- 2 to 4 red chilies (adjust to suit your taste)
- 1 tbsp Tamarind or tamarind paste or lemon juice(adjust to suit your taste)
- ½ tsp cumin or jeera
- 1 large onion cubed & layers separated
- 1 tbsp Oil or as needed
Tempering ingredients (optional)
- 1 tsp oil or as needed
- 1 pinch mustard
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 red chilli
- 1 pinch hing
Preparation for allam chutney
- Wash ginger well, peel the skin and cut them to thick slices.
- Heat oil in a pan. Fry chana dal & urad dal until light golden. Add red chilies and saute until they turn crisp. Dal should become deep golden. Transfer these to a plate.
- Add onions and ginger. Saute until they turn pink or light golden. Do not brown the ginger. Add cumin and turn off the stove. You can also skip frying ginger to retain the medicinal benefits.
- Cool all the roasted ingredients. Soak tamarind in water for a while. You can also use tamarind directly if you prefer. Set this aside.
How to make ginger chutney
- Add all the cooled ingredients to a blender jar along with jaggery, little tamarind, salt and little water. Blend all these till smooth or coarse chutney to suit your taste.
- Add more water if needed to bring to consistency. Adjust salt, jaggery & tamarind as needed. Allam chutney should taste spicy, hot, sweet & tangy.
- Heat a tbsp oil in a small pan. Add mustard, urad dal & red chilli. When the mustard splutters, add curry leaves. When they turn crisp, sprinkle hing. Turn off the stove and pour this over the allam chutney.
- Serve ginger chutney with pesarttu, dosa or idli.
Avoid chopping ginger too small as it may make the chutney bitter.
Using even little more ginger than mentioned in the recipe may result in bitter or pungent ginger chutney.
Preparation for ginger chutney
1.Optional – I prefer to rinse tamarind and soak in ¼ cup water. You can also add it directly to the blender jar later. Set this aside.
2.Heat 1 tsp oil and fry chana dal & urad dal until light golden. I did not have 2 tbps chana dal so I substituted with 1 tbsp of peanuts. You can try and check which one suits your taste. Do not add too many peanuts, then it will taste like peanut chutney.
3.Add red chilies when the dal is golden. Fry until the chilies turn crisp and the dal turns deep golden. Do not over fry the chilies as the allam chutney may taste bitter.
4.Remove them to a plate to cool.
5. Pour little more oil and add onions and ginger. I separate the layers of cubed onions as this yields a great aromatic chutney. Also you will need to slice the ginger and not chop small as this results in bitter tasting ginger.
6. Keep frying & stirring often until the onions turn pinkish to golden. Do not brown the ginger. Turn off the stove and cool these.
How to make ginger chutney
7. Add them to a blender jar.
8. Add in salt and jaggery. I used 1 tbsp powdered jaggery.
9.Add tamarind. I mash the tamarind and pass it through a filter.
10. Blend ginger chutney to slightly coarse or smooth texture to suit your taste. Pour more water if needed to bring to consistency. Also adjust salt, jaggery & tamarind by adding more if needed.
11. I never season ginger chutney as this doesn’t need. But if you prefer you can do the seasoning by heating 1 tsp oil. Splutter some mustard, then fry urad dal, curry leaves & red chili until crisp. Then sprinkle some hing and pour this to the allam chutney.
Serve ginger chutney with any breakfasts or snacks.