Sunday, May 18, 2014

Onion and Tomato Chutney for idlis and dosas

Today was the annual Balvihar picnic – a culminating event to mark the end of the school year.  It was a great day for a picnic – warm, with no winds.  All the kids receive awards, and kids who are graduating and going away to college are recognized.  The best part of this picnic though, is the food.  It is a potluck, organized by amazing volunteers.  People sign up to bring finger foods and snacks for lunch, and it is a wonderful way to catch up with friends.

I had signed up to bring idlis and chutney along with my friend, Radhika.  I had a busy Saturday and couldn’t go to the Indian store to get coconut for the chutney.  So since Radhika said she could make it, I chose to make tomato and onion chutney.

This is so simple and easy to make and tastes really great with almost anything.  You can serve it with idlis, dosas, parathas, or even mix it with rice.  It came out so well, that a friend of ours took home the little bit of left over chutney.

Here is what you need:

  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 4 red chilies
  • 3 Tbsp. channa dal
  • ½ tsp. hing
  • 1 medium onion, diced into big chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½” piece ginger
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced (you can use one can of tomatoes instead)
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp. tamarind paste
  • 2 – 3 green chilies
  • ¼ cup coconut, grated
For tempering:
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. split urad dal
  • 2 tsp. red chili powder



 Here is how I made it:

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan.  Add the red chilies and channa dal.
  2. Fry on medium heat till the channa dal turns golden.  Remove these with a slotted spoon.  Set aside.
  3. To the same oil, add hing and the diced onions.  Sauté on medium heat till the onions start changing color. 
  4. Add the ginger and garlic.  Fry for a few more minutes.
  5. Add salt and diced tomatoes. Cover and cook for a few more minutes, till the tomatoes turn pulpy.
  6. Turn off the heat and let this cool.
  7. Grind this along with the red chilies, channa dal, tamarind paste and green chilies.  I like this to be a little coarse, but you can make it into a smooth paste, if you like.  Pour this into a serving bowl.
  8. Heat oil for tempering.  Add the mustard seeds and urad dal.
  9. When the mustard seeds sputter, add the red chili powder and turn off the heat.
  10. Pour this on top of the chutney.  Mix well.

Serve with idlis, dosas, rotis, or rice.

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