Onion chutney recipe – Quick, delicious and hot chutney made using onions, peanuts, chilies & spices. Most South Indian Breakfasts & snacks are served with a chutney which usually taste hot and sour with hints of sweetness. At home we mostly eat Idli, Pesarattu and Dosa varieties for breakfast. So I make chutney almost everyday and often try out varieties.
The recipe shared here gives a thick, hot and delicious chutney which can be served not only with Indian breakfasts but also with Snacks and Parathas.
Onion chutney is best when made with shallots but in this post I have used regular onions. Peeling the shallots does take some time so I have used regular onions.
Usually onion is added to some chutney varieties to bring in a sweet aroma. It is one wonderful ingredient which can also balance the tang and heat in any dish.
If you have never made an onion chutney before and wondering how it would taste then do try this. I am sure you will love it. Frying the onions well bring in a sweet aroma to the chutney.
So the key is to fry them well until they loose the raw flavor and just begin to caramelize or turn golden.
This onion chutney recipe is one of those I resort to when I run out of coconut or tomatoes to make our regular coconut chutney or tomato chutney. Here are some of the variations I make to this chutney
- This chutney recipe is like a base, you can make many varieties out of this. Just choose any single veggie like carrot, beetroot, brinjal, ridge gourd, broccoli or even tomato. You can set aside the fried onion mixture. Then add the veggie of your choice and saute well until soft. Blend together. You can check a similar recipe here – Broccoli chutney.
- You can also add some coriander leaves or mint leaves to the pan after the onions are fried. Saute well for few mins.
- In this recipe I have used some peanuts, chana dal & urad dal. You can skip the peanuts and make just with dal. Alternately skip the dals and just use more of peanuts.
Onion chutney recipe
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- 1 cup onions (or shallots or 2 No large cubed)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons peanuts
- ¾ to 1 tablespoons bengal gram chana dal (optional)
- ¾ to 1 tablespoons black gram (skinned or urad dal) (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 to 4 red chilies (use less spicy variety)
- 1 sprig curry leaves (optional)
- ½ teaspoon cumin (or jeera)
- 1 teaspoon tamarind ( or lemon juice as needed)
- 1 teaspoon jaggery or sugar (optional)
- ½ teaspoon salt ( or as needed)
- ½ cup water
Tempering onion chutney
- 1 tablespoons oil
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds or rai
- ½ teaspoon urad dal
- ½ red chili
- 10 curry leaves
- Pinch asafoetida or hing
How to make the recipe
- Skip this step if using lemon juice & sugar.
- Soak tamarind and jaggery in half cup water. Set this aside.
- Pour 2 tbsp oil to a pan and heat it.
- Add chana dal, urad dal, peanuts and red chilies.
- Fry until them stirring often until lightly golden & aromatic.
- Add garlic and onions. Fry them for 3 to 4 mins until the onions are half done.
- Next add jeera and curry leaves. Saute until the onions are light golden or turn soft. Cool completely.
- Next add these to a blender jar along with salt. Squeeze tamarind in the water.
- Pour the water to the jar. Blend until smooth.
- If needed pour more water or tamarind water to bring the chutney to consistency.
- Check the spice and salt. Transfer this to a serving bowl.
Tempering onion chutney
- Pour 1 tbsp oil to the pan. When the oil turns hot, add mustard , urad dal and red chilies.
- Next when the dal turns light golden, add curry leaves and hing.
- Pour this to the chutney. Serve onion chutney with breakfast or snacks.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.
1. Wash and peel onions. Chop or cube them to 1 inch pieces.
2. Soak little tamarind and 1 tsp jaggery in half cup water. Often tamarind has impurities, so I just rinse it once and soak in water. You can also use it directly, if you do not prefer to soak.
3. Heat 2 tbsps oil in a pan. Do not reduce oil otherwise onions will not fry well. Add chana dal, urad dal, peanuts and red chilies to the hot oil.
4. Fry them on a medium heat until lightly golden & aromatic. Add garlic.
5. Next add onions. Fry for 3 to 4 mins on a medium flame.
6. Then add curry leaves and jeera. You can also skip curry leaves. I prefer to add as they are healthy. Fry until the onions wilt completely and turn soft.
How to make onion chutney
7. Cool these completely and add them to the jar.
8. Squeeze the soaked tamarind with your fingers. I prefer to pass it thru the filter.
9. I forgot to add the salt in the earlier step, so I added it here.
10. Also check salt and sourness. You can add more water to the tamarind, and pour it to the chutney. Pour more water if needed and blend again to bring it to the consistency you desire.
11. Tempering is optional and can be skipped. Heat the same pan with oil. When the oil is hot, add mustard, urad dal and red chili. Next when the dal turns light golden, add curry leaves and hing. Turn off the stove.
12. Pour this to the chutney. I usually pour the chutney to the pan and mix.
Serve onion chutney with idli, dosa and snacks.