Simple Indian Recipes...
Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.

Onion Tomato Chutney (Kara Chutney)

 Published 2011-Dec-03   Updated 2018-Jun-05

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Tomato Onion Chutney, Thakkali Vengayam Chutney, Tamatar aur Pyaz ki Chutney)

On a regular Saturday morning, I and my son began to do our favorite activity, preparing a vegetable list required for the week ahead. My 5 year old son likes it as he gets a chance to write in the pen (Kids’ fascinations) and he can draw all his favorite veggies too. Preparing a vegetable list is one of the easiest activities that can be included to learn phonetics and spellings easily.

Our family vegetable list always begins with tomatoes and onions and ends with all the fruits needed. Tomatoes and onions are always available in any kitchen and without which most of the recipes is incomplete. Another common and easily available commodity in any south Indian refrigerator is the idly batter, because in no time we can indulge in our favorite and steaming hot idlis, dosas or oothappams. But the eternal dilemma is to think about the side dish to eat it along with. Though, the dosa or the idly goes well with many chutneys, one of the easiest to prepare yet I would say the tastiest of all is the spicy onion and tomato chutney, popularly known in South India as Kaara Chutney.

This chutney will leave your taste buds asking for more and more. It’s amazing texture, flavor and taste is like heaven on earth as the sautéed garlic accentuates the taste of onions and tomatoes while the dals used bring the crunchiness and nuttiness in the chutney. Do not forget to make this onion tomato chutney for your dinner or breakfast and satiate your taste buds.

Recipe for Onion Tomato Chutney

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4


  • Onion - 2 (roughly chopped) - You can also use 15 pearl onions instead
  • Tomatoes - 2 or 3 (roughly chopped)
  • Dry red chillies - 5 (or to taste)
  • Garlic cloves - 3
  • Ginger - very small piece (about 1/4")
  • Urad dal (Black gram) - 1 tbsp
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Salt - to taste


  1. Heat oil in a pan and fry the urad dal till it turns slightly brown.
  2. Add the dry red chillies, ginger piece and garlic pods. Fry for a minute or so.
  3. Add the onion and tomato pieces. Saute for few minutes till both the onion and tomato pieces are soft but not browned.
  4. Switch off and cool the mixture a bit.
  5. Grind it to a smooth chutney along with salt. (You can add a very tiny piece of tamarind if you feel the tomatoes are not sour enough.)
  6. Transfer the chutney to a serving dish.

Onion Tomato Chutney

Serving Onion Tomato Chutney

  • Onion Tomato Chutney or Kara Chutney will be a best side dish for idli, dosa, uthappam, adai or kuzhipaniyaram. In restaurants it is usually served along with coconut chutney and sambar as a side for all tiffin options.
  • This chutney can be used as a spread in chapatti rolls and sandwiches.

Onion Tomato Chutney


  • You can add a tempering of mustard seeds, urad dal, asafoetida and curry leaves to the chutney and make it more flavorful.
  • If you want to add some texture to the chutney, include 2 tbsp of grated coconut while grinding.
  • This chutney is very versatile. You can skip the garlic, ginger, urad dal or substitute urad dal with channa dal. Each variation has a slightly different flavor.
  • You can include a combination of the country tomato (Nattu thakkali) and hybrid tomatoes (Bangalore thakkali) to give a tangy and sweet taste and bright red color.

More Chutney Recipes

Roasted Garlic Chutney Roasted Garlic Chutney Tomato Chutney Tomato Chutney Coconut Milk Chutney Coconut Milk Chutney Ginger Chutney Ginger Chutney
See more ⟩⟩

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Comments (8)

Person   ()
Onion tomato chuntey is so tasty
Person   ()
Good that you have enjoyed it.
Person   ()
i just love this chutney
Person   ()
I love it too..
Person   ()
super chutney i like it very much
Person   ()
Its also my favorite go to chutney....
Person   ()
awasome chutney had ever seen !
Person   ()
Even i love this chutney

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 Published by on and last updated on 2018-06-05.