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Kara Chutney

  • Duration: 20 mins
  • Serves: 4 people
  • Spice Level: Medium

Authenticity Slice

An authentic kara chutney is thick in consistency, like a dip so make sure you sauté the onion and tomato till they turn transparent and mushy before you grind them.

Trivia Tadka

 Kara in Tamil means hot and spicy. Interesting part is that the name doesn’t come from the main ingredient onion, instead from its colour and spice.


  • Shallots (20)
  • Onions, roughly chopped (2)
  • Tomato (small) (1)
  • MTR Lal Mirch/Red Chilli Powder (1–2 tsp)
  • Garlic (lehsun) pods (3-4)
  • Dry tamarind (marble size) or thick tamarind pulp (imli) ( 1 tsp)
  • Sesame oil (1 tsp)
  • Salt (to taste)

For tempering

  • Sesame (til) oil (2 tsp)
  • Mustard seeds (sarson) (1/2 tsp)
  • Dry red chilli (sukhi lal mirch) ( 1)
  • Curry leaves (kadipatta) (1 sprig) (tear roughly)


  • Heat a tsp oil in a pan and add the onions, shallots, MTR Lal Mirch/Red Chilli Powder and garlic pods.
  • Cook the onions and tomatoes till they are transparent and mushy, respectively, on low heat. It will take approximately 7–8 mins. Once cooked, let them cool.
  • Process the onion-tomato mix in a blender, along with the tamarind, to make a puree, adding little water (approximately 1/4 cup).
  • Transfer it to a serving bowl. Also, heat oil for tempering in the same pan.
  • Add mustard seeds and dry red chilli. When the seeds splutter, add the curry leaves and switch off.
  • Pour this onto the chutney.
  • Your tangy and spicy kara chutney is ready be served with dosa, idli or chapatti.

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