tomato chutney

Tomato Chutney Recipe

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, feel free to halve the recipe further to make 3 to 4 servings.

Rinse 500 grams of ripe tomatoes (1.1 pounds) under running water.

tomatoes for chutney

Remove the core and slice the tomatoes.

Pour 1 tablespoon oil to a hot pan. When the oil becomes hot, reduce the heat to medium or low. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds. As you see the seeds begin to sizzle, add 6-8 dried red chilies (10 gram) and fry until crisp.

Add 5 to 6 garlic cloves (about 10 grams) and ¾ inch peeled & sliced ginger (6 grams, optional).

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

Add sliced tomatoes and ½ teaspoon salt.

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.

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

Taste test for salt and add more if required.

Pour 1 tbsp oil into a pan and heat. You can use the same pan after wiping down with kitchen tissues. Lower the heat and add ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds, 3 crushed garlic cloves and 1 dried broken red chilli. Cook till the garlic is fragrant and chilli is crisp. Next add 1 sprig curry leaves and fry till crisp.

Stir in ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chilli powder (optional) and immediately transfer the tomato puree. Adjust the spice level to your choice/ taste. Skip this step if your chutney is already hot.

Saute for 2 to 3 minutes after mixing well. If you wish to store the chutney for longer, saute for another 5 to 6 minutes till the mixture is very hot.

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 few tablespoons of thick yogurt before serving. This goes well with everything again, but not with rice.

Tomato Chutney made with tomatoes, spices and herbs

Reheating: 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

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.
Pin Recipe Print Recipe

For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings10
AuthorSwasthi

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • ½ kg ripe tomatoes (1.1 pounds, refer notes)
  • 5 to 6 garlic (10 grams)
  • ¾ inch ginger (6 grams peeled ginger, optional, for flavor)
  • 6 to 8 dried red chilies (10 grams, or 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon red chilli powder)
  • teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 to 2½ tablespoons oil (divided 1 + 1 ½ to temper)

To Temper

  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 dried red chilli broken
  • 3 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 pinch hing (asafetida, optional)

Instructions

  • Rinse the tomatoes well under running water and slice them.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon 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 2 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 2 to 3 mins. If you prefer to store this tomato chutney for longer, about 3 weeks, saute for another 5 to 6 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

You get the best tasting tomato chutney by using 2 kinds of tomatoes (sweet & tangy)

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
Amount Per Serving
Calories 57 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 0.3g2%
Trans Fat 0.01g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Sodium 125mg5%
Potassium 222mg6%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 702IU14%
Vitamin C 50mg61%
Calcium 17mg2%
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

Grinding 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

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. 
Pin Recipe Print Recipe

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.

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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

5 stars
Very well explained. Turned out so good

5 stars
Tried out the 1 st tomato chutney recipe. Came out exactly like how we get here from the idli dosa joints in Bangalore. My husband is not a big fan of channa dal esp in chutney recipes but this he liked it very much 😍. Thank you for the recipe

5 stars
You are doing a fantastic job by bringing to us many delightful recipes. This tomato chutney is addictive and has been on the breakfast table since a few months. I made this tonight with your thepla. It was delicious. Thank you.

5 stars
Hi Swasthi ,U are an amazing cook,whenever I want a recipe I try yours and they turn out amazing.Today made the tomato chutney and it’s turned out really yum.Thanks for putting up such amazing recipes and making it easy for us to make yummy dishes

5 stars
tried and result was good

Hi can I use both garlic and ginger

Looks great! Hope to try it soon

5 stars
Tried this recipe and turned out very good

5 stars
I used mango ginger and made your new recipe. It is so good. We finished half of it in 2 days. Will be making your ginger pickle soon. My husband loves all your pickles. Thank you

5 stars
Hi Swasthi,
I am an amateur cook and this is for the first time I have tried a sour tomato chutney and that turned out delicious and everybody started asking for more till it finished. It was yummy. Besides along with it I prepared the methi paratha another posting of yours. It’s combination was Great. Thanks for your postings.

5 stars
Hi,
This was the first time I tried a non coconut chutney. And it tasted delicious. However, since the tomatoes I used weren’t sour, I added a small piece of tamarind while roasting onions.
Thank you for this delicious recipe!

5 stars
I like the way you present your recipe.All in details.During this period as we can’t moov outside and even avoiding for parcel food your South Indian recipe is very helpful for o.We have already prepared well SAMBAR IDLY MEDU BADA AND DIFFERENT CHUTNEY.Only difficulty we faced with DOSA.It don’t become thin.Tips are welcome

5 stars
Awesome recipe. I tried this when I was alone, taking medicine for corona. Very helpful. I had loss of taste and smell. Still I managed to feel the richness of this chutney. Thank you chef.

Thank you so much for this amazing recipe.
Im an amateur cook and this was the first dish i ever made.
There is a chain of restaurants called Saravana bhavan..quite popular in kerala.. owned and operated by tamilians.
I love their amazing red chutney, and honestly by far this is the closest recipe i found of it.
Thanks again.

Can I freeze this? How long do you think it’ll stay?

Hi swasthi.. as I’m trying wid the new dishes I just check your recipe … Liked it… It’s just yummy… Even kid nd hubby liked tomato chutney… Thank u

5 stars
Terrific chutney! My husband loved it with vegetable paratha. I used some peanuts and cilantro as I had a lot of it on hand. I also used ginger as I did not have garlic. The results I think were the best I made for a Indian chutney so far because the flavors are so good. I doubled the recipe to give away little to my mom. Will be making this again.

5 stars
You are an incredible teacher! I’ve read countless complex recipes in my life, but I have never seen any so carefully and fully explained as yours.