There could be umpteenth number of cuisines you may have tasted, made myriad dishes, may be even excel in recalling the ingredients just by taste - in short you could be this ultimate connoisseur in gastronomy, but all said and done, I can guarantee that any dish which probably would always make you smile and warm all over would be the one with which you grew up! I would say this when it comes to this Onion chutney. I have tried trillion n gazillion varieties of Onion chutney (you would be surprised at how many varieties there are indeed!) but I always had some bone to pick with it. "Recipe is not proportionate", "Onions are not fresh", "Oh! today is one of those -all wrong - days" - Excuses! Excuses! but never satisfaction. Something was always amiss. And just recently I realized that there was nothing wrong with any of those recipes. In fact they were all great in their own way. What was missing was my mom's touch, the happiness of recalling those days when I used to voice out my "worries like no other being in this world(!!)" sitting in the counter top of our kitchen while my mom cooked and consoled, gossiping and sharing tales of the day and her soothing blend of ingredients filling my nostrils. aah! It was just my mom missing! Sitting out so far away, the least I could do was call her pronto and ask her for her recipe which brought me so much closer to her than she could possibly fathom. This is a v simple recipe but which I love love love ( did I say "love" enough!) and can never have enough. Now all I need is for someone to make some warm idlli's too ;-) This is more called a Thogayal than chutney which in South India is thicker than Chutney consistency and uses tamarind as one of its ingredients.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 2 people
  • Yields: Makes about 2 cups
  • 1/2 cup Urad dal (split black gram)
  • 2-3 dried red chillies (as per taste)
  • 2-3 whole black pepper
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • pinch of asafoetida
  • small sized Tamarind, about a little bigger than cherry
  • few sprigs curry leaves, optional
  • salt to taste

In 1/2 tsp of oil, saute Black gram, chillies, pepper for 1-2 min till the aroma hits you.


Now add chopped onions, salt and asafoetida and saute some more till the onions are soft. Just before switching off the flame add the curry leaves and tamarind and saute for – say about 30seconds.


Now process this into a chutney consistency. Ideally this should be little thicker than chutney


Now just spoon this up with warm idli’s

Ideal Accompaniments

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2 Member Reviews

By Sudha on Jan 28, 2012

made this and had with warm idlis..thank you for the recipe..I am always looking out for different chutnies :)

By Nitya on Apr 26, 2011

This is my all time fav too \"smiley\" 

As u rightly said mom's presence means a lot.. A little variation in this by my mom is that she used to add chopped tomatoes also along with the onions.. it gives both the color and the taste.. Yummm!!


By Christy,v on Sep 15, 2018

Along With pepper corns add 1/4 spoon of jeers gives a nice taste also. I am from Coimbatore. Christy.

By ragu on Apr 6, 2015

very nice

By Priya on Sep 6, 2013

Hello , I was browsing through the net and suddenly got to see ur website.. since then i am watching ur website every now and then .. Really all the Receipes are very gud and the way of explaination is very simple and easy to understand ..

By MAHA on Nov 28, 2012

whenever i make, i get a slightly bitter taste in the chutney and hence not satisfied with it...very skeptical in making the same these days...i use red onions...should i stick to white or yellow only? pls let me know. thx. grt website you it. kiu.

By sirisha on Nov 26, 2011

What type of onions are used? i mean red, yellow or white?

I used Yellow

By manoj on May 15, 2010

This is the best south india recipe i love it,,,,,, thanx :-D

By alka c singh on Mar 18, 2010

Am on a chutney making spree....just made this, too, along with others :-D GOOD ONE, again, as wid other chutneys, ppl who are not used to spicy things wud have to watch the amt of chillies:)....cant wait to have it with uttapam, idli etc. which I m plng to make tomorrow!

By karuna on Nov 7, 2008

u are on a chutney marathon. great work dk.

By Sagari on Nov 7, 2008

onion chutney looks delecioussssss

By viji on Nov 7, 2008

onion chutney looks delisicious. Adding pepper is new to me i'll also add when prepare this.. nice presentation.... d.k

By rekhas kitchen on Nov 7, 2008

wow yummyican not say any thing my mouth is full of water he heheee

By Vij on Nov 6, 2008

Hi ya
This is my first time here. You have a lovely space. Jus popped in to say a big hi!

Onion chutney looks yummy. I am reminded of crispy rava dosa & onion chutney combo now. :-)

By Nags on Nov 6, 2008

lovely! my second fave, after tomato chutney :)

By Kalai on Nov 6, 2008

Definitely one of my favorites, too, Dhivi!! I make it exactly the same, but never tried with black pepper. Must try that next time. Nice one! :)

By Uma on Nov 6, 2008

wow, yummy spicy chutney! How many spicy things are in store? Thanks to RM, all these delicious chutneys and podis are coming out!

By Vanamala on Nov 6, 2008

divya chutney looks lovely..i like this

By kamala on Nov 6, 2008

Mouthwatering Dhivya..Like to have it now.

By Madhu on Nov 6, 2008

We make onion chutney with red pearl onions tastes great. Like your recipe new to me.

By Bhawana on Nov 6, 2008

DK this RM is worth to run. u r making all authentic chutneys and powders. I added to my favourites again this page. I will make this next time I will make dosa.

By Srivalli on Nov 6, 2008

Lovely one Dhivi...of course the difference in all dishes is the final touch of Amma's...

By Medhaa on Nov 6, 2008

I am loving your series for this week. Have always wanted to try onion chutney at home.

By Curry Leaf on Nov 6, 2008

Lovely and this is another of my favourite.Easy and coconut less.
Well, mother's touch definitely lacking in mine too and I can't agree with you more

By Divya Kudua on Nov 6, 2008

Hmm..I share the sentiments too..I always feel something's missing..:-(..chutney looks delicious and idlis smeared with this chutney would taste divine!!

By Lakshmi Venkatesh on Nov 6, 2008

All time fav. onion chutney. Always shows up on lazy, tired days, but still always receives a great welcome. super.

By Happy cook on Nov 6, 2008

I too make my moms dishes and say it doesnt taste same.
I love onion chutney especially with hot dosas

By Priya on Nov 6, 2008

Delicious of my fav..simply superb Dk..