Chutneys, Sizzling Tastebuds

Thakkali Chutney | Chettinad Khara Chutney | Tomato Onion Chutney | Side dish for Idli Dosa

One of the introductions to Tamilnadu Cooking was the Thakkali Chutney which was served with IdliVadaDosa , Pongal and perhaps even Upma in most restaurants. We hardly made it at home, although we made 20+ varieties of Chutneys on rotation to serve on the South Indian Breakfast Menu. I made this chettinad style so also called this Chettinad Khara Chutney.

Perhaps the fact that Patti (my maternal grandmom) didnt really approve of ingesting onions or cooking with them on an everyday basis (she herself abstained from a LOT of items, including onion / garlic / store bought poha / sevai etc… the list was practically endless), I didn’t make it as frequently even after marriage.

I must admit this has slowly grown on me, but when I made the Chettinad Breakfast spread with Idli , Vada, Paniyaram, Kara Paniyaram etc, I HAD to make it. The recipe is long overdue although I made it again separately for the individual clicks for this recipe.

The dish / Spice levels vary from family to family, although I know for sure that coconut is not used. Some use fried gram (pottukadalai), whereas some dont. It’s really a matter of suiting one’s palate.

But one thing is : if you are a lover of this chutney, you are sure to agree that it perks up any South Indian breakfast and leaves you with a tangy – spicy- fiery mixture that you would reach out for the coffee 😀


Till then, a quick recipe :

Thakkali Chutney / Chettinad Khara Chutney : a  GF, Vegan Tomato spicy Chutney

Prep time : 10 mins | Cook time : 10 mins | Serves : 4


  • Tomato (ripe) – 2 large
  • Onions (shallots are preferred) – 2 large (or about 2/3 cup of peeled shallots)
  • Dry Red chillies – 2 nos
  • Kashmir red chillies – 3 nos
  • Garlic pods – 5 nos.
  • Tamarind paste – 1/2 tsp (omit if the tomatoes are very sour)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Jaggery – 1 tsp (opt. – I didnt add)
  • Channa Dal / Bengal Gram – 4 TBSP
  • Oil – 2 tsp
  • Tempering :Oil 1 tsp, mustard seeds, curry leaves.


Method: Check out the VIDEO Embedded below for a detailed recipe and how to make it. DO leave your valuable comments on the video too !



  1. I love this nicely done!

  2. Amara’s cooking

    Love tomato chutney, love the color of yours.

  3. MySpicyKitchen

    I love any variation of tomato chutney. We finally get the recipe of this Chettinad chutney.. 🙂

  4. Priya Suresh

    Can have two idlies or dosas with this fingerlicking chutney, love it.

  5. I love a good tomato chutney and your version with roasted gram sounds delicious. Will have to try this out.

  6. Suma Gandlur

    It was same with my paternal grandmother too and onion and garlic were a taboo in her home. I am more inclined to that kind of cooking.
    I have been looking for the recipe of the restaurant style tomato chutney for long. Will try out your version .

  7. Nalini's Kitchen

    I make it so often this Chutney,goes very well with idly and dosa.Such a delicious and finger licking Chutney..

  8. the word chettinad intrigued me right away. Amazing chutney.

  9. Gayathri Kumar

    That is a nice variation of tomato chutney. I don't use pottu kadalai but mostly it is very similar..

  10. Today Tomato seems to be the vegetable of the day. Lovely chutney.

  11. Smruti Ashar

    Lovely chutney!! I did this for another letter. Loved your version of the tomato onion chutney.

  12. cookingwithsapana

    This version of tomato chutney sounds delicious.

  13. The Pumpkin Farm

    my family loves this version, i missed many elements though it appears looking at your list of ingredients

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