tomato chutney

Tomato Chutney Recipe

Updated: September 1, 2023, By Swasthi, Comments, Jump to Recipe

This Tomato Chutney is the perfect partner for all your savory Breakfasts & Snacks, even for your plain rice. Made traditionally with ripe tomatoes, spices and herbs, this South Indian Tomato chutney is finger-licking good with a punch of flavors. This Spicy and tangy delicious chutney is usually eaten with Idli, Dosa, Pongal, Uttapam and many snacks. But it also goes fantastically well with everything – Sandwiches, Pakoras & Parathas.

tomato chutney



About Tomato Chutney

Tomato Chutney is a Chutney variety from Indian cuisine, made primarily with fresh ripe tomatoes. Various spices and fresh herbs are used to flavor up and balance the tang & sweetness of the ripe tomatoes.

Tomato Chutney is made in various regions of India so the preparations vary widely. Each family may have a different recipe made to suit their taste & liking. While there are sweet and spicy chutneys, this hot, tangy and spicy chutney belongs to South Indian cuisine & is a staple.

Traditionally Tomato Chutney was made by crushing roasted tomatoes, garlic, chilies, tamarind, cumin seeds and salt in a mortar pestle. Nothing else was added to it. However home cooks have been innovative overtime and now it is made in many ways.

About The Recipe

In this post I share 2 recipes to make Tomato Chutney. The first recipe helps you make spicy and hot tomato chutney with pantry staples like tomatoes, garlic, cumin, chilies, oil and salt. You can also store this in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks.

The second chutney is the Onion Tomato Chutney which is also delicious, nutty, and spicy and flavorsome. This is something similar to the Andhra Tomato Pachadi but tastes very different. But this cannot be stored for longer than 2 days. The addition of lentils & onions reduces the shelf life of this chutney.

tomato chutney
onion tomato chutney

I love to make a large batch of the first recipe as it stores well. We serve it with everything, right from parathas, idlis, dosas, and snacks to plain rice & ghee. I make the onion tomato chutney specifically for the breakfasts and snack to finish up on the same day. You can also make a thick chutney to go with the rice.

This Tomato chutney (recipe 1) may somewhat look like a pickle, but actually tomato chutney differs from Tomato Pickle in many ways. Tomato pickle has plenty of ground spices like methi, mustard and red chilli powder. Also a lot of oil and an acidic ingredient (like tamarind) is used as a natural preservative. This helps the pickle keep good for a year.

How to Make Tomato Chutney (Stepwise photos)

I made a large batch of this tomato chutney to last for 2 to 3 weeks. But I have given the recipe for a smaller batch, to make 2 to 3 servings.

Preparation

1. Rinse 250 grams of ripe tomatoes (half pound) under running water.

tomatoes for chutney

2. Remove the core and slice the tomatoes.

3. Pour half tablespoon oil to a hot pan. When the oil becomes hot, reduce the heat to medium or low. Add half teaspoon cumin seeds. As you see the seeds begin to sizzle, add 3 to 4 dried red chilies (5 grams) and fry until crisp.

4. Add 2 to 3 garlic cloves (about 5 grams) and 1/3 inch peeled & sliced ginger (3 grams, optional).

5. Fry until they turn aromatic for about 2 minutes. Add 1/8 teaspoon turmeric.

6. Add sliced tomatoes and ¼ teaspoon salt.

7. Cook until the tomatoes are mushy and most of the juices evaporate. To begin with you can start on a high heat and then reduce as they cook. If you prefer a slightly runny chutney you may turn off when there are little juice left in the pan. But note that will reduce the shelf life. Cool this completely.

Make the Chutney

8. Add this to a grinder and blend to a smooth chutney without adding any water.

9. Taste test for salt and add more if required.

Temper Tomato Chutney

10. Pour half tbsp oil into a pan and heat. You can use the same pan after wiping down with kitchen tissues. Lower the heat and add 1/8 teaspoon mustard seeds (one pinch), 1 to 2 crushed garlic cloves and 1 small dried broken red chilli. Cook till the garlic is fragrant and chilli is crisp. Next add 1 small sprig curry leaves and fry till crisp.

11. Skip this step if your chutney is already hot. Stir in 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder (optional) and immediately transfer the tomato chutney. Adjust the spice level to your choice/ taste.

12. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes after mixing well. If you wish to store the chutney for longer, saute for another 2 to 3 minutes till the mixture is very hot.

13. Cool it completely. Transfer to a clean and dry glass jar if u want to preserve this for 3 to 4 weeks. Store in the refrigerator. I prefer to store them in smaller containers and I feel the chutney keeps better and fresh this way. You may temper it again if you want.

For a creamy chutney, you can also stir this with a tablespoon of thick yogurt before serving. This goes well with everything again, but not with rice.

Tomato Chutney made with tomatoes, spices and herbs

Reheating: If you make a large batch and refrigerate it, you may scoop out a few tablespoons of chutney to a small bowl. Bring a few tablespoons of water to rolling boil. Pour it over the chutney and mix well. This brings the chutney to room temperature but will thin down. The other way is to heat in the pan or in the IP for 2 to 3 mins depending on how cold your chutney is.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card 1

tomato chutney recipe

Tomato Chutney Recipe for Dosa

5 from 343 votes
Tomato Chutney is the perfect partner for all your savory Breakfasts & Snacks. Make a big batch of this & enjoy for 3 to 4 weeks with just anything & everything like sandwiches, pakoras or grilled veggies.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings3
AuthorSwasthi

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 250 grams ripe tomatoes (2 to 3 tomatoes, ½ pound, refer notes)
  • 2 to 3 small garlic (5 grams)
  • inch ginger (3 grams peeled ginger, optional, for flavor)
  • 3 to 4 dried red chilies (5 grams, or ½ to ¾ teaspoon red chilli powder)
  • teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 to 1¼ tablespoons oil (divided ½ + ½ to ¾ to temper)

To Temper

  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 dried red chilli broken
  • 1 to 2 small garlic cloves (crushed)
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder (optional, adjust to taste)
  • 1 pinch hing (asafetida, optional)


Instructions

  • Rinse the tomatoes well under running water and slice them.
  • Heat oil and add cumin seeds. When the seeds splutter, add dried red chilies and fry them on a medium heat until crisp.
  • Stir in the ginger (optional) and garlic. Fry them until they turn aromatic for about 1 minutes or a little longer. Don’t burn the ginger and garlic.
  • Add the sliced tomatoes, salt and turmeric. On a medium high heat cook until the tomatoes turn completely mushy. Keep stirring in between to prevent burning.
  • Turn off the stove when most of the juices have evaporated and the tomatoes develop a nice flavour.

How to Make Tomato Chutney

  • Cool this completely and add to a grinder and blend to a smooth puree. Taste test and adjust salt as required.
  • Wipe down the same pan with some kitchen tissues. Pour oil to the pan and heat it.
  • Reduce the heat and add the mustard seeds, red chilies and garlic. Let the garlic turn fragrant and red chilies crisp. Then add the curry leaves and fry until crisp.
  • Stir in the red chilli powder (optional, to make it more spicy) and quickly add the pureed tomato mixture.
  • Mix well and saute for 1 to 2 mins. If you prefer to store this tomato chutney for longer, about 3 weeks, saute for another 2 to 3 mins until it turns really hot.
  • Serve with breakfasts, snacks or even with plain rice. To preserve this for 3 to 4 weeks, cool it completely and transfer to clean dry glass jar. Refrigerate and scoop out only with dry spoons.


Notes

  1. You get the best tasting tomato chutney by using 2 kinds of tomatoes (sweet & tangy).
  2. If you make a large batch, increase the saute and cook time accordingly.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

Video

Recipe 2 with onions

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Tomato Chutney Recipe for Dosa
Amount Per Serving
Calories 94 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 0.02g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Sodium 208mg9%
Potassium 368mg11%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 1188IU24%
Vitamin C 90mg109%
Calcium 29mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Recipe 2

How to Make Onion Tomato Chutney (Stepwise Photos)

Preparation

1. On a medium heat, dry roast 1 tablespoon chana dal (bengal gram) and ½ tablespoon urad dal till golden and aromatic. If you do not have dal, you can use 2 tablespoons peanuts. Roast them until golden and aromatic. Next add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds to the hot pan & toss for a while. Set aside to cool.

roasting chana dal & urad dal

2. Pour 1 tablespoon oil to a pan and fry 4 to 6 red chilies till crisp. Do not burn them.

frying roasting red chilli for onion tomato chutney

3. Add 1 medium onion cubed and 1 to 2 garlic cloves. Fry them as well for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the raw smell of onions goes away. You can also brown the onions lightly. Some people like to add garlic directly to the blender for the raw flavor. You can also do that.

[Substitute: If you don’t eat onions and garlic, you may skip onions here and just use ginger instead of garlic]

frying onions for tomato chutney

4. Add 3 large chopped tomatoes, ½ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon turmeric. Fry all of these until mushy. I do not add tamarind to this chutney as the tang from tomatoes is sufficient. If you prefer you can add very little.

tomatoes turmeric salt for chutney

5. The raw smell of onions and tomatoes should go away. Next set aside to cool completely.

mushy mixture for onion tomato chutney

Grind Onion Tomato Chutney

6. Next add red chilies, cumin and roasted dals as well to a blender jar.

powder dal to make tomato chutney

7. Make a fine powder. You can also blend all the ingredients together but I prefer to blend the dal finely first.

8. Add garlic, tomatoes and onions.

making onion tomato chutney

9. Next blend to a smooth or coarse texture to suit your liking. If using peanuts you may need to pour little water to adjust the consistency. Taste test and add more salt.

blending ingredients to make tomato chutney

10. Lastly heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan. Add ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds and ¼ teaspoon urad dal. Fry until the dal turns golden. Add curry leaves and red chilies. Turn off when the leaves turn crisp. Sprinkle hing.

tempering tomato chutney

Finally pour this to the chutney. I usually use the same pan I sauteed the tomatoes in, for the tempering. So I add the chutney to the pan after tempering since the oil is too little.

Serve tomato chutney with breakfasts or snacks.

tomato chutney recipe

Serving Suggestions

Most South Indians serve chutney with breakfasts like idli, plain dosa, medu vada and even with plain rice & ghee. I also use this tomato chutney to serve with snacks, sandwiches, pakora and rolls. Smear the chutney on bread or rotis then add your favorite filling. You will love this!

I also smear this over the rotis for making kathi rolls for my kids. Tomato chutney can be made ahead & refrigerated for 2 days. A tadka or tempering to the refrigerated chutney brings back freshness to the chutney.

Pro Tips

There are tons of variations one can make to the basic tomato chutney. Here are the variations you can make to your tomato chutney using the following ingredients.

Onion tomato chutney – Onion is one of the main ingredient used to bring in a mild sweet aroma and balance the tang from tomatoes. However onions are an optional ingredients and can just be skipped in the recipe. You can also replace onions with shallots.

Red chilies are most commonly used to add spice and heat to the tomato chutney. However they can be replaced with green chilies but the chutney turns out to be extra hot. Also red chilies will yield a bright color to the chutney.

We do not eat very spicy foods so I have used red chilies. For extra heat do add in some green chilies.

In the onion tomato chutney recipe, the amount of onions, tomatoes and red chilies can also be altered to suit ones taste. The color of the chutney may vary based on the type and number of red chilies used.

Tempering tomato chutney with mustard, curry leaves & red chilli takes it to a new level and adds aroma. However if you are diet conscious you can skip it.

Variations

Peanuts or dal – In some parts of Andhra pradesh , chana dal & urad dal are used to make most chutney varieties as both these roasted lentils help to balance the heat and add a nutty aroma & taste.

In recent times, we have been loving peanuts in this tomato chutney. If you love the flavor of roasted peanuts then do try them. More details in the recipe card.

Garlic or ginger – Garlic or ginger is one of the key ingredients in any chutney to add a unique aroma. Traditionally raw garlic is added to most chutneys but roasting it reduces the pungent smell. If you do not eat garlic, then just use ginger.

I have not used tamarind, you can add in a bit for that unique flavor and taste.

If making tomato chutney for rice, avoid making it runny and cook the tomatoes until the moisture evaporates completely.

More Chutney recipes
Peanut chutney
Coconut chutney
Onion chutney

Faqs

What is tomato chutney?

Tomato chutney is an Indian condiment made with tomatoes as the main ingredient. Various spices and herbs are used to flavor up the chutney.

How long does tomato chutney last?

This chutney lasts for 2 days at room temperature and for a couple of months in refrigerator.

What to eat with tomato chutney?

Eat this with Indian breakfasts like idli, dosa & parathas. It also goes well with snacks like pakoras and sandwiches. It is also eaten with rice and ghee.

Recipe Card 2

tomato chutney

Onion Tomato Chutney

5 from 64 votes
Tomato chutney is a spicy South Indian condiment made with tomatoes, garlic & chilies. It goes well with any breakfasts, snacks & even as a spread for your sandwiches and wraps. 
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Servings3
AuthorSwasthi

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 3 medium tomatoes (1½ cups chopped)
  • 1 small onion (½ cup cubed, optional)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon chana dal (bengal gram) or 2 tbsp peanuts
  • ½ tablespoon urad dal (skinned black gram) (optional)
  • 4 to 6 dried red chilies or green chillies or ½ to ¾ tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 medium garlic cloves (or ½ inch ginger)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • teaspoon turmeric

To temper (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • ¼ teaspoon urad dal (skinned black gram) (optional)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 dried red chili (broken to 2)


Instructions

How to make Tomato Chutney

  • On a medium flame, roast chana dal & urad dal (or peanuts) until aromatic & deep golden. 
  • Add half teaspoon cumin seeds & roast for a minute. Remove to a plate & set aside to cool completely.
  • Heat a pan with 1 tablespoon oil. Fry 4 to 6 red chilies until they turn crisp. 
  • Add 1 cubed onion & 2 garlic cloves. Fry them until a sweet aroma comes out from the onions. This takes about 3 to 5 mins. 
  • When the onions turn golden add 3 large chopped tomatoes, ¼ teaspoon salt & 1/8 teaspoon turmeric. 
  • Saute until soft & mushy. The raw smell of onions and tomatoes must go away completely.
  • Cool this completely. Powder the roasted lentils to a fine powder in a grinder. Add the onions and tomatoes, blend until smooth. 
  • Taste the chutney and add more salt if needed. You may need to pour little water if using peanuts. If you like thick chutney & the tomatoes are pulpy you can also skip water completely.

Temper (Optional)

  • If you are on a low fat diet you can also skip the tempering. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. 
  • Add ¼ tsp mustard seeds and ¼ tsp urad dal.
  • When the dal turns golden, fry 1 sprig curry leaves and 1 broken red chili till the leaves turn crisp. 
  • Add hing & onion tomato chutney to the pan and mix. Or pour this tempering to the tomato chutney.
  • Serve with idli, dosa and pesarattu. You can also refrigerate the chutney & use.


Notes

3 tablespoons of sesame seeds can be used as a substitute to dal or peanuts.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Onion Tomato Chutney
Amount Per Serving
Calories 120 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Sodium 13mg1%
Potassium 410mg12%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 715IU14%
Vitamin C 113.2mg137%
Calcium 33mg3%
Iron 2.1mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

This post was first published in April 2015. Updated & republished in July 2022.

Tomato Chutney Recipe

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
Dear Swasthi,

I tried your recipe for tomato chutney and it turned out awesome. My kids love it… it has become very easy for me as I don’t have to worry about what to send in lunchbox daily. I make a huge batch and it goes very well with almost everything. Thanks..sending plenty of good wishes to you!!

5 stars
Hi,
Whenever I want some recipe, I go to your site only. Recently, I made the above stated Tomato chatney with Method I. It was just awesome.

5 stars
Very nice recipe. Loved the taste after making.

5 stars
This tomato chutney turns out amazing. I had to use up the last batch of homegrown tomatoes and this was a fantastic thing! I used fresh red chilies, smoked paprika flakes and left out curry leaves. Still delicious!

5 stars
Your onion tomato chutney is so good that my husband asks it on repeat. Have tried with chana dal and even with peanuts. It turns out delicious always. Big fan of your blog!

5 stars
Can the tomato chutney be frozen?

Hi, Swasthi, I am so glad I found your food blog while trying to answer a few questions about a recipe for tomato chutney that calls for 1 lb. of tomatoes and tamarind. Since I used a prepared paste vs. a 1-oz. knob of a tamarind block, I might have misjudged the amount to use. Yet even with only a Tb., the chutney is a rather unappealing chocolate brown. It’s flavored with black mustard seeds, turmeric, chiles and asafetida at the beginning and during the final minutes, toasted and ground fenugreek, sesame seeds, urad dal, and coriander seeds. I hope that a touch of salt and an overnight rest helps, but the results are bitter and not particularly tomatoey. I will definitely try your version next! Any thoughts about the tamarind that I usually love?

Thank you so much for the comprehensive reply. I had not cooked from the book I consulted before and imagine that the recipe might have been flawed since it also calls for a teaspoon of asafetida instead of a pinch, and promised to yield 3 /12 to 4 cups of chutney despite requiring only a pound of tomatoes. However, I deviated from instructions to pluck a knob off of a block of tamarind when I elected to add a tablespoon of a liquid tamarind paste. (The Persian-American brand I used is popular in the US and I have cooked delicious Bachara Baigan with it. I now have an organic tamarind paste imported from India.) Best wishes–

5 stars
Thank you. I make both the recipes often and love them.

5 stars
Please put the onion tomato chutney first in the page. TIA

5 stars
I was low on supplies today, so I made the tomato chutney without onions or hing. Nonetheless, it was scrumptious. I served it with homemade idli. Thank you. Next time I will have all ingredients on hand.

5 stars
I love your onion tomato chutney. I made it with skinned roasted peanuts & it tastes delicious. Thank you. Your recipes are too good.

5 stars
I tried the tomato chutney this morning and it was yummy! Thanks for sharing the tips and recipes

5 stars
Hello sister,
I try your recipes often and everyone at home loves the food. Tomato chutney with peanuts turned out amazing. I made last evening and we ate with bajra roti. How many days can I store in the fridge?

5 stars
We love trying out Indian foods and this tomato chutney is by far the best I have ever made. This is the third time I am making it. My house smells lovely with all the flavor of garlic and tomatoes. Thank you for sharing your recipes generously.

Wonderful recipe!!! As an indian student studying far away from home, I miss authentic indian food a lot. Thank you so much for sharing these lovely recipes! Glad to have found this website. Tried the tomato chutney today and it turned out amazingg. Paired it with some dosa. Just the way I like it. Thank you so much, Swasthi!

5 stars
We harvested a glut of tomatoes and this was a great way to use them up. The chutney turned out very delicious. We used chilli flakes for chilies. Canned it so i can share with my sis and mil. Amazingly delicious.

5 stars
Hi Swasthi,

I made the Tomato Chutney (the Recipe Card 1) and it came out fantastic. I use the Guntur Red Dried Chilies, only 6 in the Chutney (since they are quite spicy) and 1 for the Tadka. My wife came back from work and did a taste test and gave me an approval nod (Approval Nod means hain teekha hai, bandha kuch bana saktha hai), which made my day completely.
I enjoy it with the pilau rice and the plain dosa.

thanks for the Recipes. Will try some more.
Best Wishes.

5 stars
So delicious and a complete game changer. I don’t see buying tomato chutney in the store ever again. This was simple to make and the flavor is superb! I perhaps used too much chile but I love hot, so more for me! 🙂 The fresh curry leaves impart such a nice flavor.

Thanks, Swasthi, for another great recipe.

Hi Swasthi!

Have been following your recipes for a long time now and must say they are extremely simple to follow and yield excellent results.

There was a simple quick recipe of tomato chutney in your blog earlier (it was part of your writeup, not recipe card) which i see you have removed now. Was a fan of that recipe….would appreciate if you could share it.

5 stars
Very nice

5 stars
Excellent recipe. Might use a little less chilli powder or even leave out though for a milder chutney next time. It was pretty delicious with roma tomatoes. I love the flavor of ginger. My husband said it tastes store bought. That’s a great compliment. Thank you