The perfect accompaniment: Tomato Chutney

Spicy, sour, sweet or tangy, tasty sides and accompaniments are a big part of an Indian meal. Ranging from raithas to pickles, chutneys to variety of powders, these sides make any meal complete and satisfying. One such favorite is the tomato chutney or often called “thokku” in Kannada. This tasty tomato relish provides a healthy dose of lycopene which is super rich in antioxidants, along with all the goodness methi or fenugreek seeds have to offer. The concentrated flavor of tomatoes and a subtle, but earthy touch of sweetness from jaggery make this a perfectly delightful accompaniment. This chutney goes very well with dosas and chapattis/rotis but tastes best with simple rice and dal or just with plain curd rice. Another delectable way to enjoy this chutney is to just use it as a spread on toast or a slice of bagel! As an added bonus this stores really well, so go ahead and cook up a batch. I am pretty sure you’ll enjoy it!



You’ll need:

  • 8-10 medium tomatoes (I used Roma)*
  • ¾ tbsp methi (fenugreek seeds)
  • ½ tbsp mustard seeds
  • 5-6 red chilies (or according to your taste)
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • Salt to your taste
  • 2 tbsp grated jaggery
  • 2 tbsp oil


  • Wash and wipe out the moisture from the tomatoes well. The idea is to not add any water content to this chutney to increase its shelf life. Dice and set aside
  • In a skillet, dry roast methi, mustard and red chilies until methi turns deep brown in color. Pound/grind these to a coarse powder
  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet and add the tomatoes
  • Season with salt and let it cook on medium heat. You don’t have to do much at this point, just keep an eye so you don’t scorch it
  • When the tomatoes are almost done (about 20 minutes on the stove) add the ground spices, turmeric, hing and grated jaggery
  • Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the mixture becomes thick (to a jam-y consistency) and you see the oil separate. Take off heat, cool and transfer to a dry airtight container.

* During the winter season when it is probably cheaper to buy platinum than fresh tomatoes, go ahead and use the canned ones. The best choice would be something like this (whole tomatoes, with least added ingredients). Adjust the cooking time & salt appropriately.  

13 thoughts on “The perfect accompaniment: Tomato Chutney

  1. Don’t you need to store it in the refrigerator?

    For a beginner, it might be good to mention that ‘methi seeds’ burn very quickly, so, keep a careful eye on that!

  2. Mekhala, thank you for pointing those out! Yes, once cooled, you need to store in the refrigerator. You are right about the methi seeds too; just a couple of minutes of roasting will do for this.

    Coffee, Dilip & Asha – Thanks!

    – Roopa

  3. I like that deep red color…so lovely! I have had this chutney with practically every type of cuisine, it’s a wonderful accompaniment….!

    Btw, Have added you to my blogroll.

  4. Pingback: Kurslar

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