Crispy Dosa with a flavorful potato bhaji and a zingy hot Red Chutney is a delight to eat. If you ask me, the Red Chutney for dosa or masala dosa is for keeps! It is the USP of the Mysore Masala Dosa. So, here’s the spicy Red Chutney recipe that I make at home. It is super easy, gets done in just a blitz and elevates your South Indian snacks like none other!
Table of Contents
About Red Chutney
The classic spicy and tangy Red Chutney for dosa is made with main ingredients like roasted Bengal gram (chana dal), garlic, tamarind and dried red chilies with a bit of coconut.
Another version that I make at home is this Red Chilli Chutney which has plenty of coconut in it and has a unique taste and flavor.
This Red Chutney is also a raw chutney recipe – meaning that nothing is cooked here. except the roasted chana dal.
So, the excess pungency in the onions can lend a strong taste in the chutney. Hence, the use of slightly sweet onions is always better for making this chutney.
While using onions, you can also soak them in water for some time, sauté in little oil and then add to the Red Chutney for dosa.
If you don’t like the raw taste of onion and garlic too, you can sauté them directly in some oil and then add to the chutney.
The quantity of red chilies in this Red Chutney recipe can vary depending upon your spice preferences.
The Kashmiri red chilies impart a beautiful deep red color to it. Soaking the red chilies in warm water helps in easily grinding the chutney.
In the absence of roasted chana dal, you can fry the chana dal in some oil till browned and then use it for this chutney.
This Red Chutney for dosa is prepared thick and has a slight sour taste as well due to the tamarind used in it. Thus, perfect for spreading without making the dosa soggy.
How to make Red Chutney
1. Keep the following ingredients ready for making the chutney.
- 3 to 4 Kashmiri dried red chilies
- 2 tablespoons roasted chana dal (roasted hulled and split Bengal gram)
- 4 to 5 garlic cloves – small to medium-sized
- 1 teaspoon seedless tamarind
- ¼ cup roughly chopped onions
- 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut (not in the below photo)
- salt as required
2. Soak the dried red chilies for 20 to 30 minutes in warm or hot water – adjust the quantity as per your taste preferences and depending on the type of chilies.
I have used 3 Kashmiri dried red chilies as they are mildly spiced. You can also use Byadagi red chilies. For a spicier chutney, you can add 4 to 5 Kashmiri red chilies.
Remove the seeds from the chillies, before you soak them in hot water. If you prefer, you can even opt not to soak the red chillies.
3. Take all the chutney ingredients in a small blender or chutney grinder. Also add about 3 tablespoons of water.
4. Begin to grind or blend the chutney ingredients. If required, you can add some more water while grinding.
If you like a mix of sweet, tangy and spicy taste, add a bit of jaggery to the chutney ingredients while blending.
5. Grind to a fine, smooth and thick consistency.
6. Remove the chutney in a bowl.
7. Serve the Red Chutney with Mysore Masala Dosa, any plain dosa, idli or uttapam. This recipe will give a small bowl of chutney that is enough to be used as a spread for 8 to 9 dosa.
- You should use onions which are not pungent and are slightly sweet. You could also sauté the onions and garlic in a bit of oil before blending them.
- To avoid the pungency of onions in the chutney, you can soak the onions in cold water for 15 to 20 minutes or sauté them in little oil till translucent and then add to the chutney.
- If you prefer a very spicy and pungent chutney, add 1 to 2 more Kashmiri red chillies or use chillies which are too spicy.
- Instead of desiccated coconut, use fresh coconut. With fresh coconut, the chutney’s shelf life decreases and you have to use it up completely. Do not keep any leftovers in the fridge.
- This Red Dosa Chutney keeps good for 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator.
The Red Chutney for dosa or masala dosa is primarily made of roasted chana dal, Kashmiri dried red chilies, tamarind, garlic and onion.
No, you don’t need to cook the chutney after grinding. However, you can sauté the onions in some oil first and then add to the chutney for an enhanced flavor.
You can also serve this Red Chutney with idli, vada, bonda, uttapam or use it as a spread to make sandwiches.
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Red Chutney | Red Dosa Chutney
- 2 tablespoons roasted Bengal gram (bhuna chana dal)
- 4 to 5 garlic cloves – small to medium sized
- 3 to 4 Kashmiri dried red chilies – soaked in warm water for 20 to 30 minutes – adjust as per your taste preferences & depending on the type of chilies. For a spicy version, add 4 to 5 Kashmiri red chilies.
- 1 teaspoon tamarind – seedless
- ¼ cup onions – roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut – unsweetened
- salt as required
- 3 tablespoons water – for grinding chutney ingredients
- First prep by rinsing and chopping onions and garlic. Set aside the remaining chutney ingredients.
- If you prefer, soak red chillies in water in hot or warm water for 20 to 30 minutes. You can even blend them straightaway without soaking.
- Take all the ingredients in a small blender or chutney grinder.
- Add very little water and grind to a fine, smooth and thick consistency.
- Transfer to a small bowl.
- Serve the Red Chutney with Mysore Masala Dosa or any plain dosa. Or use it as a spread on dosa or uttapam.
- The above recipe will give a small bowl of chutney that is enough to be used as a spread for 8 to 9 dosa.
- The leftover chutney keeps well for 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator.
- You can use a mix of two to three varieties of dry chillies. If you use spicier red chillies only, reduce their amount.
- Kashmiri red chillies are not spicy and give a good bright orange to red color. If you make this red chutney recipe only with Kashmiri chillies, and you prefer it spicy, then add 1 to 2 more of the chillies.
- Remember to remove the seeds from the chillies before you soak them.
- Add little jaggery to have a slightly sweet taste in the red chutney.
- The recipe can be scaled to make for more quantities.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Red Chutney recipe from the blog archives first published in May 2013 has been updated and republished on December 2022.