Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Uncategorized

Vengaya Chutney (Ulli Vathakki Chammanthi)

A fiery tangy chutney ideal accompaniment for dosa and idli.


Shallots – 10-12
Garlic (optional) – 1 clove
Dry red chilies – 5
Cooking oil – 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp
Tamarind – a small marble size
Salt as needed
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Water – 2-3 tbsp

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Makes – 1 cup

Peel shallots and keep aside. If the shallots are bigger in size, cut them into smaller pieces.
In a deep pan, add a teaspoon of oil and saute the shallots along with garlic and dry red chilies. Saute in medium heat for 2-3 mins. When shallots turn translucent, add tamarind and salt. Switch off the flame.
Let this cool and then grind into a smooth paste in the mixer along with 2-3 tbsp of water.
Transfer to a serving bowl.
Heat half a tsp of oil. Add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add curry leaves, switch off the flame and add this tempering to the chutney.

1. You can skip tamarind if you do not like tangy taste.
2. You can use red onions to make this chutney but the taste will not be the same. Onions are sweeter and shallots are spicy.

Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Everyday Simple Recipes, South Indian, Vegan

Mint & Coconut Chutney

Green chutneys are a great way to add raw greens in your diet. This mint/pudina chutney is simple to make, tangy, and flavorful. You can replace mint with coriander and make coriander coconut chutney also and add variety and different kinds of flavor and goodness to your diet.

Mint leaves/Pudina – 2 cups (tightly packed)
Grated coconut – 1 cup
Ginger – a small piece
Green chilies – 5-6
Lemon juice/Tamarind/Raw mango – half a lemon
Salt as needed

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Serves: 6

Grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste.
For tart you may add lemon juice, a small gooseberry sized tamarind ball, or use raw mango.
You may choose to add garlic if you prefer the raw garlic taste in the chutney. Adjust salt and sourness by adding more lemon juice.
Those who prefer to balance the tart can add a little bit of sugar powder.
Serve along with rice, dosa, idli, roti, or with snacks such as samosa and paniyaram.
Store in an airtight container and take out in small batches as necessary.

Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, South Indian, Vegan

Kothamalli (Coriander Leaves) Chutney – Tamil Nadu Style

I have a distinct memory of the taste of the coriander chutney served with dosa at a restaurant in Thiruvannamalai. It did not have the raw green taste. I asked them how to make it. But, since I did not get the proportions right, it had not turned out well. So when I found out that my new domestic help belongs to Thiruvannamalai, I asked her what kinds of chutneys she makes at home for dosa and idli and she mentioned the coriander chutney. I asked her the method and from her description I could make out this is the same one I must have had at the restaurant. Got her to make it today morning and it was simply yum! I loved her style of cooking. She roasted the whole garlic cloves without chopping them. She has no hesitation about the quantity of ingredients. Unlike me, she was lavish about the quantity of oil and the amount of garlic. In the below recipe, I have reduced the amount of oil significantly. Unlike Navaratna chutney which is sap green in color has a raw taste, the color of this chutney is yellow green resembling pickled olives and has a cooked taste.

For roasting and grinding
Coriander leaves – 2 cups (tightly packed)
Urad dal – 2 tbsp
Chana dal – 2 tbsp
Dry red chilies – 7-8 (adjust to taste)
Tomato – 2 medium
Garlic – 1 pod (8-10 cloves)
Coconut – 1-1/2 cups
Tamarind – lemon sized ball
Oil – 1 tsp

For Garnishing
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
Dry red chilies – 2
Oil – 1 + 1 tsp

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Makes 2 cups

Wash, drain, and chop coriander leaves. You may use the tender stems as well. They add to the flavor.
Heat oil in a pan and add chana dal. When they start sizzling and changing color, add the urad dal and saute until they start turning red.
Add garlic cloves (whole will do – no need to chop them), chopped tomato, dry red chillies and saute in medium flame for 5 minutes.
Add the coriander leaves and let them wilt a bit and turn dark green in color. Do not overdo this. Just let the leaves wilt and turn off the fire. If you overcook the coriander, the flavor will be lost.
Add tamarind and grated coconut and let this get lightly cooked in the residual heat of the pan.
Once the ingredients cool down, use a mixer to grind along with salt. You would not need to add water as the tomatoes and coriander would have some water content. Do not overgrind. Grind until the red chilies and the roasted dals have been ground well.
Now for garnishing, heat oil in the same pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, split the dry red chilies into two, add that and the curry leaves. Roast for less than a minute and then add the chutney to this pan. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes or so.
Turn off and transfer to a serving bowl.
Chutney is ready to be served with dosa, idli, roti, or even rice.

Notes: If you want to avoid garlic, you can substitute it with a half an inch piece of ginger.
You could skip the tomatoes and add a little more tamarind but using tomato and tamarind in the given proportion is recommended to balance the tart.

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Bachelor-friendly, Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Everyday Simple Recipes, South Indian, Vegan

Onion Tomato Chutney

If you are bored of the regular coconut green chutneys, try this tangy onion and tomato chutney, which can spice up the mundane idli. I usually make this chutney along with unfermented moringa leaves dosa, which makes it a yummy combo.

Onion – 1 big or 2 small
Tomato – 2 medium
Garlic – 1 clove
Urad dal (white or black husked gram) – 1 tsp
Dry red chillies – 3
Tamarind – a small piece
Oil (Coconut/sunflower) – 1 tsp
Salt as needed
Water – 2-3 spoons

For Tempering/Tadka (optional):
Oil (Coconut/sunflower) – 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Asafetida/Hing powder – a pinch
Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Serves 2

Method: Chop garlic, onions, and tomatoes and keep aside separately.
Pour a teaspoon of oil on a wok and add urad dal. Roast until golden brown. Add chopped garlic and dry red chillies and saute until they start changing color.
Add chopped onion. Cook until onion pieces turn pink and translucent. Add chopped tomato. Saute for at least 5 minutes in medium heat until the tomato skin starts to peel off.
Add salt and tamarind. Mix well and turn off.
Let this mixture cool and grind to a smooth paste in the mixer. You may add few spoons of water to get the smooth texture. You can grind without water also.

Heat a wok and pour half a teaspoon oil. Add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add hing powder and curry leaves and immediately turn off the fire. Add this tadka to the ground paste. Mix well and serve along with idli or dosa.

Notes: You may avoid the tadka. I personally prefer the aroma of curry leaves in this chutney.

Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Vegan

Red Capsicum Chutney

Great tasting chutney to go along with idli and dosa. Red capsicum gives it a slight sweet taste making it a very unique chutney. There are two versions of this chutney. Do try out both.


Red capsicum – 1
Onion – 2 medium sized
Garlic (optional) – 2-3 cloves
Dry red chilies – 4-5
Hing – a pinch
Oil – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

For Version 2 (Add these also along with the ingredients in the above list):
Roasted peanuts – a fistful
Tamarind – a marble size
Jaggery powder – 1/4 tsp

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Servings: 5-6 tablespoons

Roast the ingredientsMethod:
Peel and chop onion and garlic. Wash capsicum, remove the seeds and chop into medium sized pieces. Pour oil in an iron pan and saute onion and garlic until soft and pink. Add capsicum pieces and red chilies (cut to smaller sizes to aid in smooth grinding). Cook until capsicum turn a bit tender (5 mins). Add hing and salt. Add tamarind also along with this if you are trying out the second version. Turn off and let it cool. Grind using very minimal water to make a smooth paste.

If you are trying version 2, while grinding, add roasted peanuts and jaggery powder along with the cooked ingredients.

Serve along with idli or dosa. This chutney does not require seasoning.