June 17, 2021

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Onion Chutney Recipe

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Onion Chutney (South Indian Recipe) » Dassana’s Veg Recipes

This onion chutney recipe is a great alternative to coconut chutney when you do not have coconut to make it. Make this onion chutney recipe in 20 minutes and serve with South Indian snacks like Rava Idli, Masala Dosa or Uttapam.

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Why This Recipe Works

Firstly let me tell you that this is a South Indian recipe of onion chutney. It is also known as vengaya chutney as onions are called vengaya in Tamil language.

This chutney has complex flavors that taste so good. The tamarind adds a slight tart flavor while the red chilies add a smoky flavor to the dish. Garlic makes this chutney slightly pungent, the lightly browned onions add sweetness, while the lentils give a delicious earthy flavor.

This dish is bursting with flavors and goes very well with tiffin snacks such as rava idli, masala dosa, or uttapam. On this occasion, I served onion chutney with Poha Dosa.

The color of the chutney will vary depending on the type of red chilies used. I prefer to add Kashmiri red chilies as they are low in heat and have a beautiful color. You can also use another Indian variety of mild chillies known as byadagi red chilies.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Onion Chutney

Fry Lentils and Red Chillies

1. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a pan. Lower the heat and add 1 teaspoon of chana dal (husked and split bengal gram). Then add ½ teaspoon of urad dal (split and husked black gram).

TIP: You can use sunflower oil, peanut oil or gingelly oil (oil made from raw sesame seeds) or any neutral oil.

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2. Fry stirring often until the lentils turn golden. Do not burn them.

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3. Then add 2 to 3 Kashmiri red chilies (broken or halved and seeds removed). Stir and fry for some seconds till you see the chilies change color and become aromatic.

Fry on a low heat, so that the chilies do not get burnt. Kashmiri red chilies give a nice color and are not too spicy.

You can also use byadagi red chilies. If you are using medium hot or very hot red chilies then add less.

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Sauté Onions

4. Add 1 cup of chopped onions and ¼ to ½ chopped garlic (1 to 2 small or medium garlic cloves). You can also use pearl onions or shallots instead of regular onions.

Red onions, white onions or yellow onions, all work well in the recipe.

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5. Sauté onions on a low to medium heat and stir continuously.

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6. Sauté until the onions turn light golden. Then switch off the heat and let the onions cool at room temperature.

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Blend Sautéed Ingredients

7. Next transfer the entire onion mixture into a mixer-grinder or a small blender. Add ¼ teaspoon of dried tamarind and salt to taste.

If you do not have this dried tamarind that we easily get in India, add ⅛ teaspoon of bottled or packaged tamarind sauce or as needed.

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8. Add ¼ cup of water and grind ingredients into a smooth paste. Set aside for later.

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Temper Spices

9. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil on a low heat in the same pan. Then, add ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds and cook them until they start to crackle.

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10. Once the mustard seeds crackle, add a pinch of asafoetida (hing) and 5 to 6 curry leaves.

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11. Fry for a few seconds until the curry leaves become crisp.

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Make Onion Chutney

12. Keep the heat to a low and add the ground chutney.

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13. Mix the chutney with the tempering ingredients.

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14. Add ¼ to ⅓ cup of water. I poured water to the blender jar, swirled it around and added the water into the pan.

This ensures that leftover chutney sticking on the walls of the the jar does not go to waste. You can alter the consistency of the onion chutney by adding less or more water.

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15. Mix very well and then switch off the heat.

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Serving Suggestions

Serve this tasty onion chutney with snacks like Idli, Dosa, Rava Dosa or Medu Vada. You can also eat it as a dip with various pakoda varieties like Onion Pakoda, Potato Pakora or Paneer Pakoda.

I also like to have it with toasted bread. I slather some onion chutney on the bread and enjoy it.

Storage and Leftovers

Store any leftovers in a covered container for 1 to 2 days. I would not suggest to make ahead a large batch of this onion chutney. Simply make the quantity you need.

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Tips

Expert Tips

  • Onions: This chutney can be made with different types of onions like red, white, yellow onions including shallots and pearl onions. However, scallions (spring onions) cannot be used for this recipe. 
  • Consistency: You can alter the consistency of the chutney to suit your taste. For a thick chutney add less water and for a medium-thin chutney add more water. Be careful not to add too much water because the chutney will become thin and the flavors will become diluted.
  • Spiciness: The heat and pungency of the chutney can be reduced by using fewer red chilies or chilies that are less to medium-hot. If spicy pungent chilies are used, the chutney becomes hot and spicy. As you see in the recipe, I have used kashmiri red chilies that are not spicy and give the chutney a lovely orange color. 
  • Sourness: The sour element in the chutney comes from tamarind. If you don’t have tamarind on hand then you can use lemon juice instead. It will taste slightly different though.
  • Scaling: Easily make a large batch of this onion chutney recipe if serving for pot-lucks or small get-togethers.

FAQs

Which mixie do you use?

I use the Preethi mixer grinder blue leaf model. It does a great work of grinding chutneys as well as making batter for idli, dosa, and medu vada.

What can I use onion chutney for?

Onion chutney can be served as a dipping sauce with snacks like rava idli, masala dosa, or uttapam.

Can I add peanuts in the onion chutney?

Yes of course. Use roasted peanuts (unsalted) or roast them separately in a separate pan. When the onions are light golden, add them and sauté for a minute. Later grind or blend everything in a blender.

More Tasty Chutney Recipes!

If you made this recipe, please be sure to rate it in the recipe card below. Sign Up for my email newsletter or you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest or Twitter for more vegetarian inspirations.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsBy Dassana Amit

This onion chutney recipe is a great alternative to coconut chutney when you do not have coconut to make it. Make this onion chutney recipe in a jiffy and serve with tiffin snacks like rava idli, masala dosa or uttapam.

Prep Time 5 mins

Cook Time 15 mins

Total Time 20 mins



Servings 2

Units

Main ingredients

For tempering

Frying lentils and red chillies

  • Heat oil in a pan. Lower the heat and add chana dal and urad dal.

  • Fry stirring regularly until the lentils turn golden. Take care that you do not burn them.

  • Then add the kashmiri red chilies. Fry for some seconds until you see the chilies change color and become aromatic.

  • Fry on a low heat, so that the chilies do not get burnt. Kashmiri red chilies give a nice color and also do not make the chutney spicy.

Sauteing onions

  • Then add the chopped onions and chopped garlic.

  • Mix the onions and begin to saute on a low to medium heat. Keep on stirring onions while sauteing them.

  • Saute until the onions turn a light golden. Switch off the heat and let the onions become warm or cool at room temperature.

  • Transfer the entire onion mixture in a small blender or mixer-grinder. Add tamarind and salt as per taste.

  • Add water and blend to a smooth paste. Set aside.

Tempering Spices

  • Heat in the same pan or a tadka pan. Keep the heat to a low. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle.

  • Once the mustard seeds crackle, add a pinch of asafoetida (hing) and curry leaves.

  • Fry for a few seconds until the curry leaves become crisp.

Making Onion Chutney

  • Keep the heat to a low or sim and now add the ground onion chutney.

  • Mix the chutney thoroughly with the tempered ingredients.

  • Add water. You can make this chutney slightly thick or of medium consistency by adding less or more water.

  • Mix very well and then switch off the heat.

  • Serve onion chutney with dosa, idli or uttapam.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve this tasty onion chutney with snacks like idli, dosa, rava dosa or uttapam. You can also eat it as a dip with various pakoda varieties like onion pakoda, potato pakora or paneer pakoda.

  • I also like to have it with toasted bread. I spread some onion chutney on the bread and enjoy it.

Storage and Leftovers

  • Onions: This chutney can be made with different types of onions like red, white, yellow onions including shallots and pearl onions. However, scallions cannot be used for this recipe.
  • Consistency: You can alter the consistency of the chutney to suit your taste. For a thick chutney add less water and for a medium-thin chutney add more water. Be careful not to add too much water because the chutney will become thin and the flavors will become diluted.
  • Spiciness: The heat and pungency of the chutney can be reduced by using fewer red chilies or chilies that have a low to medium heat quotient. If spicy pungent chilies are used, the chutney becomes hot and spicy. As you see in the recipe, I have used kashmiri red chilies that are not hot and give the chutney a lovely orange color.
  • Sourness: The sour element in the chutney comes from tamarind. If you don’t have tamarind on hand then you can use lemon juice instead. The chutney will taste slightly different though.   
  • Nuts: You could add some roasted unsalted peanuts. When the onions become light golden, add the roasted peanuts and sauté for a minute. Later when the ingredients cool, blend with some water to a smooth consistency. 
  • Scaling: Easily make a large batch of this onion chutney recipe if serving for pot-lucks or small get-togethers.

Nutrition Facts

Onion Chutney (South Indian Recipe)

Amount Per Serving

Calories 117 Calories from Fat 81

% Daily Value*

Fat 9g14%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Sodium 588mg26%

Potassium 109mg3%

Carbohydrates 9g3%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 3g3%

Protein 2g4%

Vitamin A 230IU5%

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 29mg145%

Vitamin B6 1mg50%

Vitamin C 55mg67%

Vitamin E 3mg20%

Vitamin K 1µg1%

Calcium 39mg4%

Vitamin B9 (Folate) 306µg77%

Iron 1mg6%

Magnesium 11mg3%

Phosphorus 27mg3%

Zinc 1mg7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This onion chutney recipe post from the blog archives (July 2016) has been republished and updated on 20 April 2021.

Welcome to Dassana’s Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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