Chettinad Tomato Chutney

chutney recipe for idli with tomato
Chettinad Tomato Chutney with Idli

Today, I present an absolute winner of a recipe, Chettinad tomato chutney. Chutney aka Pachadi is a revered dish in our home and my blog is testimony to it. Chutney recipes are numerous with various permutations and combinations. I do not follow any particular chutney recipe as such when I venture out to make a pachadi. I just add a twist to an original chutney recipe by tweaking it and a new chutney flavor is born.

I wanted to make an authentic Chettinad tomato chutney to go with idli for breakfast and went about searching through my large collection of hand written recipes for one. I found a couple of chettinad chutney recipes but was not sure how authentic they were but settled for this particular chutney recipe as I liked the list of ingredients that went into its making. I’m glad I made it. Its the coconut milk which elevates the flavor of the tomato chutney. Spicy with slight tang and sweet notes, Chettinad tomato chutney is sensational and a keeper.

chutney recipes for idli
Tomato Chutney with Idli

Chettinad Tomato Chutney

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Serves: 4

Main Ingredients:

  1. tomato


  • Onion - 1, finely sliced
  • Tomatoes - 2 large, sliced
  • Chana dal - 1 1/2 tbsps (Bengal gram/senaga pappu)
  • Dry red chilies - 2
  • Green chilies - 1
  • Ginger - 1/2 " finely minced
  • Coconut milk - 3-4 tbsps
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooking oil - 1/2 tbsp
  • For tempering/poppu/tadka:
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilies - 2
  • Curry leaves - a sprig
  • Asafoetida - pinch


  1. Heat oil in a vessel. Once the oil is hot, reduce flame, add chana dal, red chilies and green chili and saute till the dal turns light brown. Remove the dal, green chili and red chilies from oil and keep aside to cool.
  2. In the same oil, add the onions and ginger and saute till transparent, approx 3-4 mts. Add the tomatoes and saute for 9-10 mts on low to medium flame. Turn off heat and cool.
  3. Blend the cooled ingredients (dals, chilies, tomatoes and onions) along with salt and coconut milk to a fine paste. Remove onto a serving bowl.
  4. Heat a tsp of oil in a small pan, add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Add the curry leaves, red chilies and asafoetida and turn off heat.
  5. Pour this tempering over the chutney and serve with idli or dosa.



Made Chettinad Tomato Chutney with idli for our breakfast today. I try to prepare a new variety of chutney recipe for idli and dosa.


I'm a food blogger, food photographer and organic gardener based out of India. I enjoy cooking for my family using fresh produce from my vegetable garden and farmer's market. I love to try out various cuisines and perfect my cooking skills. I believe that hard work, self-discipline, and a positive attitude cannot help but reap a harvest of fantastic results. Say hello and join me on Pinterest, Google Plus, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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29 Responses

  1. Kavitha says:

    Coconut milk in chutney?!! Interesting :)

  2. radha says:

    Looks so delicious.

  3. R.Punithavathi says:

    Hi Sailu ,

    I’m Punitha , do you remember me ???

    You are 100% deserve to Mrs.Perfect :)

    Neat presentation as Usual, looks and sounds well….

  4. LBV says:

    is another name for this ‘Karam’ chutney? If no, do you have a recipe for Karam chutney? Btw I really like your blog…

  5. Priya says:

    Can have this chutney every day, yummy and flavourful..

  6. Happy Cook / Finla says:

    Looks so so good I am bookmarking this one

  7. Dhivya says:

    it was just awesome…tried it for dinner tonight,,,and it went so very well with crispy dosas. Thanks sailu :) now my mom too wants the recipe :)

  8. Siri says:

    wow………tempting recipe…i should try it out soon. Thanks Sailu !!!

  9. Neelima says:

    One suggestion to the recipe. Coconut milk is not an easily available ingredient unless you open an entire can of it. Instead I used dry coconut shredded 1tsp. Also one needs to increase flame to let the water evaporate in the sauté stage of the chutney will be of runny consistency.

  10. Jaya says:

    Thank You Sailaja for a delicious pachadi recipe …although I have to skip coconut part as i had none time I am going to add that too..hugs

  11. Jaya says:

    Thank You Sailaja for a delicious pachadi recipe …although I have to skip coconut part as i had none time I am going to add that too..hugs

  12. Tried the chutney recipe this morning. My family and I loved it! Thanks a lot Sailu. I didn’t have coconut milk and neither did I have the time to extract fresh milk. So I substituted with fresh coconut. The next time I will try with the coconut milk.

  13. Ramneekkaur says:

    i would suggest put a table spoon of sugar to this chutney its great

  14. Faseela says:

    yummy n tempting chutney

  15. Bhagyajyothi says:

    tried this chetney yesterday, my husband liked a lot..100 likes for the chetney..yummy taste, goes well with dosa…

  16. Guest says:


  17. Kanchanamala56 says:

    Good tast

  18. Savitha Umesh says:

    Seems to be tasty, i will surely try once Savitha

  19. Chefrakesh1 says:

    so nice recipes………..

  20. raji says:

    fr seeing nice bt if we taste

  21. Akshay-vetri says:

    Use milk instead using of coconutmilk

  22. Shoba Sane says:

    wow i tried making the chutney and i must tell u it came out yummiest….i became an instant star in my family….everyone loved it with idli and dosal….i only tweaked the recipe a little instead of coconut milk i added little pieces of coconut while grinding the paste….it tasted yummy….muah thanks for sharing the recipe….

  23. Sruthi says:

    I just tried this & it came out awesome. Thank you!!

  24. Mansha M says:

    Tried this chutney today- it came out delicious!

  25. Sraddhanjali Jena says:

    The chutney turned out to be super yumm :) Must try for those who havnt tried it yet..very simple and tasty..I made it without coconut milk

  1. August 22, 2012

    […] a few times, and it’s getting easier and better every time. I’ve served it with this chutney, which was addictive. As it is quite arduous to make, I thought I’d go for something easier […]

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