Tomato and Onion Chutney

Growing up in India, I was always so fortunate to be surrounded by phenomenal cooks – from my grandmothers to my aunts and so many others in between. However, out of all I  learned from, the ones who influenced me the most were my mother and Maya.

Maya was just one of those people who had what we call in India “swad” (taste) in her hands. Whatever she made …tasted like magic. I always loved all the kinds of chutney she made with any leftover vegetables she could find.

Here is one of my favorite chutneys. It’s so versatile as this can be used as a chutney, a dip, a vegetable or can even be made into a Tomato and Onion Rice.


Serves 8-10


1 tablespoon of rai ( black mustard seeds)

3 sprigs of curry leaves ( available in Indian supermarkets)

3 small onions sliced

2 scallions chopped (optional)

1 inch of ginger peeled and sliced

A full head of garlic peeled and sliced

6-7 green chilies whole (optional)

6-7 plum tomatoes roughly chopped

4-5 tablespoons of tomato paste  (optional)

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

Cayenne pepper ( to taste)

1 bunch of cilantro washed and chopped

3 tablespoons of cooking oil ( use mustard oil if you have it)


  • Heat oil in a wok.
  • When oil is hot, add 1 tablespoon of rai.

  • Wait for about a minute till the rai seeds have popped.
  • Add the curry leaves and mix well.
  • Stir for a minute and add in the chopped ginger and garlic.
  • Cook for a minute and add the sliced onions and green chilies.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes till the onions have softened.

  • Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, turmeric and cayenne pepper.
  • Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes on medium heat.

  • Add the chopped cilantro and salt to taste and cook for another minute or two.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Serve hot or cold with rice, Indian breads, nachos, crostini etc.