Now that I have already gushed about my love for condiments here, it is totally unwarranted to hit you on the head with it again in this post. But I am going to do it anyway, for this amazing Tomato Onion chutney deserves one. This is my second recipe in the South Indian condiments series and also wildly popular in my house.
Every Indian household probably has their own take on this chutney, heck most don't even need a recipe. This is ours, but I can't stake my claim to it - I got this from my sister. I managed to scribble some parts of it while FaceTiming with her. My 3 year old kept interjecting our conversation with her music and musings, so I made up some parts of this. Just knowing how similar our taste palettes are I am pretty sure my sister would approve.
This is my holy grail when it comes to chutneys. It lasts in your refrigerator for at least 2-3 weeks and simply sublime on toast with a little fresh burrata. I eat it with just about everything, even to marinade my paneer or throw it in pasta with a little butter. Or when we need a fancy dip, I simply mix it with some Greek yogurt (that's how we do fancy here.)
Generally this chutney would be best in summer when tomatoes are in abundance, but it also freezes beautifully so can have some pretty much all year round.
For the Tomato Onion Chutney
- 4-5 tomatoes (I used roma tomatoes any variety would work)
- 1 onion (2-3 shallots would be nice)
- 1 small piece of tamarind (about the size of a black berry) soaked in about ⅓ cup of warm water or a table spoon of the paste
- 1 tablespoon jaggery
- ¼ teaspoon or a small piece of asafoetida
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon kashmiri lal mirch (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 2+ 1 tablespoon oil
To be powdered
- 1 tablespoon fenugreek or methi seeds
- ½ teaspoon of powdered asafoetida or ½ an inch of solid asafoetida (also called Hing)
- 5-6 dried red chillies
Grind Onion and tamarind (along with the soaking liquid) into a paste.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a deep skillet.
Add all the items that need to be powdered (fenugreek, hing and chillies). If using a solid piece of asafoetida first, give it about 30 seconds in oil before adding in fenugreek. The wonderful aroma of Fenugreek will fill the air as you roast. Then add in the dried chillies and roast till everything darkens a little bit. This should take about 3-5 minutes. If using powdered asafoetida add it in the end.
Remove from heat and let the contents cool on a plate.
Without cleaning, return the skillet to the flame and heat the remaining oil to about medium heat.
Add the mustard seeds and put a lid when it begins to pop. when the popping slows down add hing and turmeric sauté for 30 seconds before adding in the tomato onion puree. Cook this for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the tomato mixture is hot it will being to splutter, at this point lower the heat to medium low and put a mesh cover on it (to avoid massive cleanup after). Add in salt and let it cook for another 10 minutes stirring occasionally ensuring it is not sticking to the bottom. Add about ½ a cup of water if the mixture is too thick.
Meanwhile, powder the fenugreek mixture. Mix it into the skillet along with jaggery. Add additional chilli powdered if desired.
Continue to cook for additional 8-10 minutes till the chutney comes together into a consistent spreadable form. During this time keep stirring it as it will begin to mildly stick to the bottom of the pan. The mixture will continue to thicken as it cool.
Store it in an airtight container and it should last in you refrigerator for about 3 weeks and longer in your freezer.