Karaikudi Tomato-Onion Chutney

As S entered the kitchen, his question was “Whats for breakfast today?”

“Kothumai dosai (Wheat savory pancakes)!” I replied back with a beaming smile.
(Kothumai dosai is an authentic breakfast dish of Tamil Nadu. They are served with crispy onions on tops for the extra crunchiness)

“Umm! dosai with what?” asked S.

“Karaikudi chutney” I said with so much excitement. I love this chutney and wouldn’t’ mind eating it all day long. It is so tasty.

“Whats that? I have never heard of any chutney like that” He frowned a bit. He always wants coriander chutney for idly/dosa. Click for its recipe.

Since I have always had a suspicious look from friends/relatives when I refer to this chutney, I decided to share it with you all today. I am sure that my readers would love it.This is a tasty chutney made with vadagam as a key ingredient. The mild sweetness from the tomatoes and onions blends so beautifully with the aromatic garlic. The crunchy urad dhal along with curry leaves infuses a lovely flavor in every mouth. Tear a small piece of dosa, take a generous dip into the chutney, make a straight trip to the mouth and chew a bit, the involuntarily smile that brightens your face is a sign of its heavenly taste. S gave that beautiful expression which ofcourse brightened my face.

This chutney was taught to me by my aunty who lives in Madurai, the oldest city in Tamil Nadu, India. Probably she learned it from her friend who lives there. Since Karaikudi is closer to Madurai and may be this chutney originated from there, it gets the name Karaikudi chutney.

1/2 tbs vadagam (Recipe here)
2 tomatoes – cubed
1 onion – cubed
2 dry red chillies – crushed
10-12 whole garlic cloves
1/2 tbs oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 lemon size – tamarind pulp (deseeded and cleaned)
1/2 tbs urad dhal
10-12 curry leaves
Salt to taste

Heat 1/4 tbs oil in a kadai. Once they get heated up add the vadagam and cook for couple of minutes till the raw smell disappears. Then throw in the garlic and let it brown a bit. Add the red chillies and give it a complete stir. Finally mix in the tomatoes, tamarind and onions and cook covered for 15- 20 minutes. Remove from flame and let it cool.

Once cooled, grind them to a fine paste (Don’t use water).

Heat the remaining oil in a small kadai. Once they get heated up, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Throw in the urad dhal and curry leaves and cook for couple of minutes. Mix them into the chutney and add salt to taste.

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