Quick Indian tomato chutney recipe

Quick Indian tomato chutney recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Preserves
  • Chutney
  • Tomato chutney

This is a quick tomato chutney that you came make on a whim. It goes well with many Indian dishes.

1 person made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, or as needed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 1 teaspoon grated root ginger
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 40g caster sugar

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:10min ›Ready in:20min

  1. Heat the oil in a casserole over medium heat, and cook and stir the cumin seed and asafoetida until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Stir in the root ginger, tomatoes, turmeric and curry powder and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the sugar, and cook uncovered for 5 minutes more.

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Thakkali chutney recipe, tomato chutney Tamil Nadu style

We had a good harvest of homegrown heirloom tomatoes this year. I prepared a batch of Andhra style tomato pickle, instant Andhra tomato pickle and sun dried tomato pickle which should hopefully last us a few weeks. With abundant tomatoes at home, I tend to make a variety of chutneys to go with idli, dosa, chapathi and rice. I am very fond of a Tamil style thakkali chutney that makes for a delectable side with both dosa and idli. Thakkali chutney is redolent with tomato goodness. This vegan chutney allows tomatoes to shine by embracing their flavour as we are not using onions to lend it body. It is so delicious with a subtle tang, moderate spice and a slight hint of sweetness.

There’s always a joy in cooking and relishing homegrown produce like heirloom tomatoes minutes after they have been plucked off the plant. I have used heirloom or desi variety of tomatoes to make thakkali chutney. If the tomatoes are too tart, you can balance out the tanginess of the tomatoes by adding jaggery or sugar. Of course, red chillies bring in the required heat and when cooked through, all the flavours work together perfectly.

The versatility of tomato chutney is that once you have a base recipe, they are endless variations to experiment. No hard and fast rules to follow.

Tomato Chutney Recipe and Text Recipe Below


  • 3 Large Tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp Oil
  • 1/4 Tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 Tsp Garam masala
  • 1/2 Tsp Black salt
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic paste + 2 & 1/2 Tbsp Kashmiri Red chili powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Asafoetida
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt


  1. Heat a heavy bottom cooking vessel and add oil.
  2. Once the oil is hot add cumin seeds and let it splutter.
  3. Switch off the flame and then sprinkle asafetida, garlic, and red chili paste.
  4. Mix and sauté it well for a few seconds.
  5. Next, add tomato puree, turn the flame on and on a medium.
  6. Mix well all the ingredients.
  7. Add salt to taste.
  8. Stirring continuously cook until the oil begins to separate.
  9. Once the chutney thickens and the oil starts to appear on the edges, add garam masala and black salt.
  10. At this stage, if you want to store the chutney you can let it cool down on room temperature and then put it in a container.
  11. For immediate consumption, add water and on full flame mix continuously.
  12. Boil for 2 minutes and when a layer of oil starts to appear on top.
  13. Add some freshly chopped coriander on top and your chutney is ready to be served.
  14. Let it cool down and is best served on room temperature.

It is the ultimate chutney to go with all dishes from north to south and from east to west. You and your folks with love it absolutely so do try in your kitchen and let me know your feedback.

How to make tomato chutney (stepwise photos)

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.

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

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&rsquot eat onions and garlic, you may skip onions here and just use ginger instead of garlic]

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.

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

Grinding onion tomato chutney

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Recipe Video

Make sure to use fully ripe red tomatoes to make this chutney.

Tomatoes need to be cooked thoroughly and properly till rawness is gone.

I like this chutney towards the sour side so add less amount of jaggery which is enough to bring out the sweetness of tomatoes. You can add more jaggery if you like more prominent sweetness.

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Quick Indian tomato chutney recipe - Recipes

Quick, Before the End of Tomato Season!

Several weeks ago I made a recipe for tomato chutney from Atul Kochhar's Indian Essence Cookbook. It was a hit. I have had friends begging and even offering me money for more. After my first batch, smart arse that I am, I decided Kochhar had the recipe completely wrong and that I would show him how it would better be done. So I made a version where I started by deskinning the tomatoes in advance, greatly reduced the sugar to almost zero (this is meant to be a sweet chutney, folks), turned up the heat and lessened the vinegar. (I had decided his chutney was too sloppy). My second batch wasn't as good as the first, so on my third attempt I split the difference between his and mine for a chutney I am pretty happy with the results of.

This chutney is first and foremost sweet, before it kicks you from behind with some chili heat and delivers the taste of some whole spices that are mysterious enough to add some intrigue. The mustard seeds, fennel, cumin and onion seeds you'll be using in this recipe fill the kitchen with their aromatic scents as you simmer the chutney for over an hour. The result is sloppy - there is no way around that unless you want to reduce your mixture so much that you'll be disappointed by the loss of volume. The more of this condiment you have, the happier you'll be.

So about that sugar you will have to note that I am using late season dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes which by their very nature are incredibly sweet. So I have almost halved the amount of sugar from the original recipe. If you are trying this out with less sweet tomatoes, you might want to consider increasing the amount of sugar again to compensate.

The following recipe makes enough to fill about 8 jars. It is easily halved.

8 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 tsp mustard seeds (brown or black)
2 tsp onion seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
4 dried red chilis
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 cups raw organic cane sugar*
2 1/2 cups white distilled vinegar
4 1/2 lbs sweet dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes
salt to taste

8 x sterilized 8 oz canning jars

- Measure all of the ingredients out first and core the tomatoes.
- Gently heat the oil in a large high-sided pan (the spices will spit)
- Add all of the seeds, the chilis and powder to the oil.
- Cook one or two minutes until the seeds start to pop.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the vinegar and sugar stirring until dissolved.
- Add all of the tomatoes, bring to a simmer for an hour.
- After an hour, whilst the chutney is simmering away, pick out as many skins as you - can with a pair of tongs. The skins should, at this time, be separating themselves away from the tomatoes and floating to the top almost like discarded condoms.
Continue cooking until the tomatoes have evenly broken down. Total cooking time about 1.5 hours.
- Pick out the 4 x whole chilis and discard.
- Transfer the chutney to the jars according to the manafacturer's instructions. Keep for up to two months. Refrigerate and consume within 2 weeks after opening.

You may now lick the spoon (but be careful not to burn your tongue!)

PS - On this occasion I didn't actually can my chutney correctly, darn it. I only found the Weck instructions after I thought I had proceeded correctly, which I hadn't because I am an idiot with a memory like a sieve. So, looks like I might have to give this batch away sharpish, or maybe even freeze it, and make yet a.n.other batch this coming weekend, to stockpile me into the winter.

Weck Canning Jarsavailable in San Francisco at Sur La Table Early Girl Tomatoes from Dirty Girl*Rapunzel Organic Cane SugarHeinz White Distilled Vinegar


Dry-farmed tomatoes, especially Early Girls, have thicker skins than other tomatoes, which is why some people (not me!) like them less. I think you did the right thing to remove the skins, but on other tomatoes, like traditionally grown heirlooms, it wouldn't be necessary.

When I remove the skins, I blanch the tomatoes first for 30 seconds, then let them cool for a bit. It's easy then to just squeeze their innards straight into the cooking pot.

Your recipe looks delicious, Sam!

Sam, it looks from the pile that you have too many jars. I can provide my address and you can ship one jar (juste un !)

When does tomato season end?? I would've thought for sure it was already over *shrug*

Hi Tana - Actually - skinning the tomatoes does not work so well for this recipe as removing the skins from the pot of chutney after it has been cooking for an hour. Removing skins from 4.5 lbs of tomatoes is a gruesome task. I found the early girls were temperemantal and some came away from their skins easily and some did not, thereby wasting too much tomato.
I think I got mor of the tomatoes good ness by removing the skins after cooking - and they mostly float to the top so it isn't difficult. Kochhar didnt mention the skins at all, but I think it is nice to remove them

mum - have you any tomatoes left?

Bea - I might take you up on that if I manage to can the next batch correctly

WMM - I believe we have three more weeks of Early Girls here. That is what the farm stand led me to believe 3 weeks ago when they told me there were six weeks left in the season.

They are so good right now - I quarter them and then grill them. Woosh they are scrumptious beyond scrumptious.

Not enough to try this recipe

That chutney (that I learnt from my mother) was the first post in my food blog !!(see that post:
http://chatpatfood.blogspot.com/2006/08/easy-tomato-chutney.html). It is a speciality of Bengal, an eastern state of India the combo five whole spices is called 'panch-phoran'. My recipe is slightly different (adds raisins and dates no vinegar green fresh chillies instead of red dried chillies).

Hi Sam! In my excitement to meet my favorite chutney, I forgot to tell how delicious it all looks here. And I am definitely going to try this version. I do not bother skin the tomatoes (but removing it after cooking is a good idea), but definitely slice them into quarters.

Love the photo collage. Gorgeous.

Yeah, to what everybody said above.
(I can't believe I'm the only one so far to comment on this: Condoms. Yeesh. You're a salty dame, Sam. I'd say I wouldn't want to try your chutney, but I'm afraid it may be too late.)

Great pics! Is it true that you need to be careful when reducing the sugar in these recipes too much? I am new to preserving myself, but I've heard that you need to be careful when dropping teh sgar and/or vinegar content of these types of recipes as these are the ingredients that actually keep the nasty bacteria at bay.

Does anyone know anything about this?

..and down south we are just beginning to get summer tomatoes.

I used to work at a restaurant that served the most head-spinning tomato chutney on top of chicken tagine, and I've been wondering how I could make it at home. This recipe looks terrific! Thank you!

Love the way you put those photos together. I am a chutney-fanatic and this one sounds wonderful. Lucky you all on the west coast to still have tomatoes.

I like tomato chutney with roasted garlic and creamy blue cheese.
A chef gave me an alternative recipe a few years back of watermelon rine chutney made with brown sugar and balsamic vinegar.
You eat your watermelon and then use the rine.
No waste like in the old days.
I was going to write about it on 'Serge the Concierge' but summer is really over. It will have to wait until next year (if I can dig up the recipe)

This is a great recipe! I love to add a little chiffonade of mint on top of my chutney, depending what I am putting it on, which is usually everything, just for a twist.
Rebecca Katz

Sounds yummy - wonder if it as good as mum's.

embee probably better my brother was not impressed with my green tomato chutney but then he did not let it mature that's why you haven't got to try it yet.

i volunteer to help w/your urgent need to dispatch these perishable ones. i loved this tomato chutney - a whole lot of my favorite things in one luscious mouthful. perhaps i can retrieve one for myself when i come up next? or i'll send a big SASE?! seriously?! xxd

OK, one more. I am so excited about the possibility of canning (late) summer's bounty, after your post and Pim's tomato confit. So I think I am going to try, especially with those gorgeous jars. Super thanks for the link to the hows and whys of processing.

The tomato chutney looks fabulous, Sam! Haven't had any in ages, but now I'm craving it. Beautiful picture too.

hey sam - just finished shopping for the spices to make this beautiful looking chutney - except I couldn't find onion seeds anywhere - do you mean nigella perchance? thanks!

hey Lynn - I a bit confused about the difference between onion seeds and nigella. I have both - and they looks and taste exactly the same to me. Maybe one is labelled incorrectly? I don't know? So I am pretty sure you can just go ahead and use Nigella without ruining the chutney!

it's something I need to look into more.

Onion seeds are also known as nigella as well as kalonji -- which is what they were called in the Indian grocery store where I shopped.

Btw, made this last week and it's incredibly delicious!

thanks sam - i used the nigella seeds and the chutney turned out wonderfully - I also substituted sciabica's jalapeno flavored olive oil in place of regular oil + dried whole chillis. at first i thought i'd made a huge mistake when i was tasting from the pan as it was soooo spicy, but once i tasted the cooled down leftovers i found it was just perfect for my timid taste buds! another first for me was the "proper" way to can (my mum never went to these lengths for jams/preserves in england!) - woohoo!

thanks also to anonymous for confirming about onion seeds/nigella/kalonji - something i now won't be forgetting in a hurry.

This looks wonderful! I wonder if you could also add caramelized onions without creating a mess of the recipe?

Hey Sam, no need to warn your readers about the dangers of spoon-licking when you use images like 'discarded condoms'! I doubt that the appetite of the lustiest among us is stimulated by that idea.

I made this last year, and everyone raved about it!! My sheep broke into my garden and ate all of my tomatoes, so I had to make a trip to the farmers market for toms. just so I could make this again! Thanks!

Just made this tonight, with the very last of the garden tomatoes. I let it cook down until it was jammy. It tastes great hot -- I can't wait to try it cold tomorrow!

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Steps to make Tomato Chutney South Indian Recipe:

Click HERE to go directly to the video recipe, but continue reading for the detailed recipe with all tips and tricks!!

You will need:

  • Wash and clean the tomatoes. Dice the tomatoes and keep them aside.
  • Wash, clean and break the green chilies into two halves and keep them aside. Similarly break red chilies into small pieces.
  • Pell garlic and set aside.

Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat until hot but not smoking and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and dry red chillies.

  • Mustard seeds will begin popping. When the popping has slowed, toss in diced tomatoes, peeled garlic and green chillies.

NOTE : Make sure not to blacken or burn the fenugreek seeds, otherwise it will impart a bitter taste to the chutney.

  • Sauté for about 3 to 4 minutes till the tomatoes become slightly soft.
  • Turn off the heat and let it cool down.
  • Transfer to a mixer, add sufficient salt and blend to a smooth paste. Scrape off the sides and blend again.

  • Adjust salt if required and transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Tempering (optional) : Heat oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and dry red chilli. When the mustard begins to pop, add asafoetida, curry leaves and then turn off the heat. Transfer this seasoning to the chutney and mix well.

NOTE : You can skip seasoning step in case you are calorie conscious. We have anyway added the seasoning while making the chutney.

This chutney does not use any lentils and hence very light. Make it less spicy if you like to dunk the soft, fluffy pieces of idli into the chutney…..slurp!!

This chutney pairs well with idli, dosa, vada, punugulu and even roti and paratha.Also tastes great with rice but it should be made slightly spicy.

Palak Puri & Quick Tomato Chutney

Palak puri (spinach puffed breads) pairs perfectly with a quick spicy-sweet tomato chutney for a wholesome and delicious meal. Our Rotito Rolling Board Set makes rolling and shaping these puris easy and effortless.

Puris or pooris are deep-fried whole-wheat breads commonly eaten for breakfast or dinner in Indian households. Kids especially love puris because they puff up beautifully with a crisp exterior. Paired with a simple vegetable chutney or curry, it makes for a delicious, wholesome meal.

The Rotito Rolling Board set is perfect for rolling Indian flatbreads like roti, chapati and puri. You can use the stainless steel container to store flour for dusting or leftover palak puri.

To make palak puri, we begin by blanching a bunch of fresh spinach leaves. You can use frozen spinach too, but fresh is always better. Quickly blanch the spinach leaves in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Drain the blanched leaves and puree with a small piece of ginger and a green chili.

Mix the spiced spinach puree with finely milled whole-wheat flour (atta) to make a smooth but tight dough. The dough must be firmer than a regular roti dough, otherwise the puris won’t puff up and may absorb too much oil when fried. Once you have the palak puri dough, pinch small balls from it and roll out evenly to a small circle.

Look how beautifully the palak puri puffs up. And, that natural green color is a hit with both kids and adults. The neat thing about this recipe is that if you have kids who are picky eaters, they won’t even mind that the dough is made with spinach. You can make other colored vegetable-laced puris with beetroot or carrot puree as well.

A great combination to these spinach puris is a quick tomato chutney. Onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes are cooked down with spices and a bit of brown sugar to make this delicious spicy-sweet chutney. This is a super easy stove-top recipe and keeps well for a couple of days in the fridge. You can omit the sugar if you want to keep it extra spicy, but the spicy and sweet combo is a unique twist on the classic Indian chutney.

Serve palak puri and tomato chutney for a quick weeknight family meal or whenever you have special guests around. It can be eaten any time of the day and is enjoyed by everyone.

To begin making the Tomato Garlic Chutney Recipe, get all the prep work done like chopping tomatoes and peeling garlic. Bring all the ingredients in one place.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the mustard seeds and allow it to crackle. Add the garlic and roast for a few minutes until you notice the roasted aroma coming through.

Once the garlic is well roasted, add the tomatoes and saute the tomatoes on low to medium heat until the tomatoes become very soft, mushy and also most of the water is evaporated. You will have thick tomato chutney like mixture,

Once you have the above consistency of the tomatoes, add the red chili powder and salt. Check the taste to ensure it suits your palate.

Once done, using a hand blender - pulse the garlic tomato chutney to make a semi smooth chutney.

Transfer to a serving bowl and serve the Tomato Garlic Chutney as a spread over breads, along with parathas, Litti Choka and more.

Recipe Video

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