Three ways to Chutney heaven

14 Apr

Chutneys are the Indian equivalent of dips or spreads.  Usually, it contains one main ingredient ground with complimenting spices. There are a few blueprints for making chutneys and once you know this, you can whip up any kind of chutney, by simply switching the main component with something else that you like. In this post, I am going to write about 3 basic ways to make chutney. Once you master these 3 ways, you can replace the methi (Fenugreek) leaves with chayote squash peels, or coriander leaves with mint or any other herb and so on.

I. Tamarind based

1.5 cup – Methi stem + leaves
1 tbsp – Urad dhal
3 – Red Chillies
1 tbsp – Tamarind paste (a small golf sized ball, if you are using fresh tamarind)
1 tsp – Mustard seed
2 tbsp – Oil
Salt, as per your taste

Clean Methi leaves and stems. In a heavy-bottomed pan, shallow fry methi in oil along with the chillies, tamarind & urad dhal (reserve a tsp for tempering later). Grind this mixture in a food processor or mixie along with water, add a tsp (or more, after doing a taste check) of salt and then temper it with mustard seeds & the reserved urad dhal spluttered in oil.

This kind of chutney goes well with idli, dosa, upma and curd rice. When made really thick, this type of chutney becomes a thogayal and can be mixed in rice with a dollop of ghee. Eat this thogayal rice with appalam – yummy!

This chutney can be made with the peels of chayote or other squash / gourds, or even with Toor Dhal.

II. Herb based

1.5 cup – Coriander stems & leaves
2 – Green chillies
1″ – Ginger
2 tsp – Lemon juice (optional)
Salt, as per your taste

Clean Coriander leaves and stems. Grind coriander with green chillies & ginger, add water as much as necessary. Finally, add salt & lemon juice.

This kind of chutney is perfect with Chaat. Subtract the lemon juice and add the tempering (as in the previous one) and that is perfect for idli, dosa and the likes.

This chutney can be made with any or a combination of herbs, like mint-coriander.

III. Onion based

1 medium sized Onion – chopped roughly
1 cup – Sun-dried tomato
4 – Red Chillies
2 cloves – Garlic
1″ – Ginger
1 tsp – curry leaves
1 tsp – mustard seeds
2 tsp – oil

Soak sun-dried tomato in warm water for 10 minutes. In the meanwhile, shallow fry onions, along with red chillies, garlic & ginger till the onion becomes translucent. Grind this along with sun-dried tomato adding as little water as possible. Temper with spluttered mustard seeds & curry leaves.

This chutney is slightly on the spicier side, and goes well with most South Indian dishes like Idli, dosa as well chappathi or as a spicy addition to Chaat.

This can be made with fresh tomato, or just with onions or onion-garlic combination.

Now, what is your favorite way to make a chutney?


Posted by on April 14, 2010 in General


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4 responses to “Three ways to Chutney heaven

  1. Dinesh

    April 14, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    Really nice photos! We make onion, ginger and coconut chutney very often. I know u will say “Duh!”, but I said it anyway 🙂

    Coconut, of course, to me is the mother of all chutneys 🙂 – A-kay

  2. Anila

    April 19, 2010 at 2:43 AM

    Hi Akay,
    I have been meaning to leave a comment for a long while.I have been reading your blog regularly.All the dishes look yummy.I usually make coconut chutney(i add coriander to it also),Ridge guard chutney and tomato-onion chutney.My favurite is the T-O chutney.Two or three times i have made green chutney also for chaat.
    I will be trying your broccolli soup sometime this week.


    Thanks Anila for reading & commenting. Let me know how broccoli soup turns out. – A-kay

  3. Veggie Belly

    May 20, 2010 at 2:28 AM

    Yum! Love all your chutneys! Found you through sacramento spice. I’m intrigued by the ‘madras 2 madurai’ name!

  4. veghunter

    May 30, 2010 at 4:56 PM

    hey really enjoyed browsing your blog, great stuff. recently started my own if you would like to check it out at
    keep up the great work!


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