When you say chutney I think the first thing that comes to any South Indian would be the coconut chutney. Back in India this was the go to chutney even in our house, as it requires no cooking. If you have some grated coconuts you are good to go. The chutney can get ready in a couple of minutes.
Once we moved to Amsterdam, the coconut chutney has become a rarity as we don't get good fresh coconut and preparing the coconut chutney using frozen coconut just doesn't give that same taste. And so the onion chutney and many variations of this chutney have become a staple now.
Even though the coconut chutney is by far the most popular one, the onion chutney is equally a favorite at home. In fact it is my favorite chutney. I like it best when served along side Rava dosa.
The addition of fennel seeds in this chutney makes it even more flavorful. But if you don't like fennel then please feel free to skip it. Though I would suggest you try it once.
What you'll need
- Onion - 2 Big, roughly chopped
- Kadala Paruppu/Channa Dal - 1 tbsp
- Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp
- Dried Red Chilles - 2 or 3
- Tamarind - 1 inch piece
- Salt to taste
- Oil - 1 tbsp
- Heat a Kadai with oil, add the kadala paruppu/channa dal and fry for a couple of minutes then add the red chillies and fry till the dal turn golden brown. Take care not to burn it.
- Transfer it to a plate. Take care not to drain the oil along with the dals.
- Now add fennel seeds onions and tamarind and saute.
- Add salt to taste and saute till the onions are browned.
- Remove from heat and let it cool.
- Transfer the dal and red chilly to the chutney jar of the mixie and grind.
- Then add the sauteed onions and grind. You can add a tsp of water if you find it difficult to grind.
- This chutney can be slightly coarse. No need to grind to smooth paste.
Serve with idli/dosa.