Kara Chutney (Tamil Nadu Style)

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Kara chutney recipe with step by step photos – Tamil Nadu Style spicy chutney made with pearl onions (shallots), tomatoes, spices and herbs.

Recently while preparing dosa, I had made kara chutney. took pics when making the kara chutney, so that I can share the recipe on blog. usually I prepare Coconut chutney with dosa or idli, but at times I also make Onion chutney or Tomato chutney.

kara chutney recipe

I never prepare both the coconut chutney and Onion-tomato chutney together. I just make one type of chutney and a sambar to go along with idli or dosa . In most 5 star hotels, they serve both coconut chutney and onion-tomato chutney together in their breakfast buffet.

This chutney is spicy as red chilies are added. You can make it less spicy if you want, by adding less chilies or using chilies which are low in heat.

I have also used pearl onions in the recipe and they give a really good flavor. Instead of pearl onions, you can also use shallots or regular onions.

Serve kara chutney with rava idli, masala dosa or uttapam. This chutney specifically also goes very well with vendhaya dosa.

How to make kara chutney

1. Heat 2 teaspoons sesame oil in a pan. Lower the flame and then add 1 teaspoon urad dal (split husked black gram) and 1 teaspoon chana dal (split & husked bengal gram).

dal for kara chutney recipe

2. On a low flame, saute both the lentils till they start turning golden.

lentils for kara chutney recipe

3. Then add ¼ cup sliced pearl onions/shallots or ¼ cup chopped onions.

onions to make kara chutney recipe

4. Begin to sauté.

onions to make kara chutney recipe

5. Saute till the pearl onions begin to turn golden. Then add 1 teaspoon chopped garlic.

onions for making tomato chutney recipe

6. Now add 4 to 5  dry red chilies. You can use byadagi red chilies or Kashmiri red chilies. I used byadagi chilies.

chilies for making tomato chutney recipe

7. Saute for half a minute or till the red chilies change color.

chilies for making kara chutney recipe

8. Now add ½ cup chopped tomatoes.

tomatoes for making kara chutney recipe

9. Mix well.

making kara chutney recipe

10. Season with salt as per taste. Mix well.

salt for making kara chutney recipe

11. Next add ¼ teaspoon tamarind.

making kara chutney recipe

12. Saute the tomatoes on a low flame.

making kara chutney recipe

13. The tomatoes need to get softened. So stir and saute till they soften. Switch off the flame. Let the kara chutney mixture become warm or cool down at room temperature.

preparing kara chutney recipe

14. Once the mixture becomes warm or cools, then add it in a chutney grinder or a small blender. add ¼ cup water and grind to a smooth paste.

preparing kara chutney recipe

15. Remove the chutney in a bowl and keep aside.

preparing kara chutney recipe

16. add remaining ¼ cup water and run the grinder jar again, so that the chutney sticking at the sides and the bottom get mixed with water. Add this chutney mixed water to the bowl and mix very well.

preparing kara chutney recipe

Tempering for kara chutney

17. In the same pan or a different pan, heat 2 teaspoons sesame oil. add ½ tsp mustard seeds and crackle them.

tempering for kara chutney recipe

18. Then add 7 to 8 curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida. Saute till the curry leaves become crisp.

tempering for kara chutney recipe

19. Pour the tempering mixture in the kara chutney. Mix well.

tempering for kara chutney recipe

20. Serve kara chutney with idli, set dosa or uttapam. This spicy chutney also goes well with paniyaram.

kara chutney

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kara chutney recipe, spicy tomato chutney recipe
Spicy Kara Chutney
4.5 from 2 votes
Kara chutney is a spicy chutney made with pearl onions (shallots), tomatoes, spices and herbs from the Tamil Nadu cuisine.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins

Cuisine South Indian
Course: Breakfast

Servings 2 to 3

Ingredients

ingredients for grinding

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ¼ cup sliced pearl onions or shallots or chopped onions or 4 to 5 pearl onions (shallots) or 1 small onion
  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes or 1 medium to large tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic or 4 to 5 medium sized garlic, chopped
  • 4 to 5 dry red chilies, can use byadagi or kashmiri red chilies
  • ¼ teaspoon tamarind
  • 1 teaspoon split and husked bengal gram (chana dal)
  • 1 teaspoon split husked black gram (urad dal)
  • salt as required
  • ⅓ to ½ cup water for grinding chutney

for tempering

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 7 to 8 curry leaves
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)

Instructions

sauteing & grinding

  • Heat 2 teaspoons sesame oil in a pan. 
  • Lower the flame and then add 1 teaspoon urad dal (split husked black gram) and 1 teaspoon chana dal (split & husked bengal gram).
  • On a low flame, saute both the lentils till they start turning golden.
  • Then add 1/4 cup sliced pearl onions/shallots or 1/4 cup chopped onions.
  • Stir and saute till the pearl onions begin to turn golden. Then add garlic. 
  • Now add 4 to 5 dry red chilies. Saute for half a minute.
  • Next add 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes.
  • Add salt & tamarind.
  • Saute the tomatoes on a low flame till they soften.
  • Switch off the flame and let the chutney mixture become warm or cool down at room temperature.
  • Once the mixture becomes warm or cools, then add it in a chutney grinder or a small blender. 
  • Add 1/4 cup water and grind to a smooth paste.
  • Remove the chutney in a a bowl and keep aside. 
  • Add remaining 1/4 cup water and run the grinder jar again, so that the chutney sticking at the sides and the bottom get mixed with water. 
  • Add this chutney mixed water to the bowl and mix very well.

tempering for kara chutney

  • In the same pan or a different pan, heat 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Add ½ tsp mustard seeds and crackle them.
  • Then add 7 to 8 curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida. 
  • Saute till the curry leaves become crisp.
  • Pour the tempering mixture in the kara chutney. Mix well.
  • Serve kara chutney with idli, dosa or uttapam. This spicy chutney also goes well with paniyarams.

Notes

  1. You can add less or more water depending on the kara chutney consistency you want.
  2. You can add less dry red chilies for a less spicy version.
  3. You can also use dry red chilies which are low in heat for a less spicy chutney.
  4. You can remove the seeds from dry red chilies.
  5. If tamarind is not available, then skip it.

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Dassana Amit

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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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7 Comments

  1. Hi, I had a question. I see garlic being mentioned in the ingredients but not mentioned in the preparation. Where should the garlic be used? Thank you.

    1. thanks arvind for letting me know. garlic is added once the pearl onions become golden. i will update in the post.