By Gowri

Growing up in a Malayali household (Keralan families who speak the Malayalam language) I was spoiled for choice when it came to food. As a tribute to my beautiful, crazy home, I wanted to share something small and memorable from our Malayali kitchen - onion and tomato chutney. Onions and tomatoes are staples in any kitchen, and a Malayali pantry without either is a travesty! The chutney made from them is typically eaten at breakfast or at tea-time with dosas, idlis, bread, savoury rice dumplings, and so on.

Not only is this recipe easy to make, it is a good way to find a use for that straggler onion, tomato or clove of garlic found at the back of the fridge. It also keeps well in the refrigerator (for up to a week).


  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (red preferred)
  • 1 tomato, rough slices
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ½ tsp of chilli flakes
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional: coriander, parsley, or dill.


  1. In a pan, fry the onion and garlic in some oil (about ¾ of a tablespoon).
  2. When the onions turn slightly brown, add the sliced tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes start to break down and caramelize. A good sign for this is watching for the oil to rise to the top.
  3. Add the chilli flakes at this stage. Any earlier, and you can burn the flakes. Add salt to taste.

To serve

  • Use chutney as a healthy alternative to mayonnaise on sandwiches or salads.
  • Make a nutritious and protein-rich breakfast by cooking in a pan with 3 boiled eggs. Serve with bread or rice.
  • In a blender or mortar and pestle, grind the chutney into a smooth paste, cook in a pan with a little clarified ghee or any oil to make a dip for fries or a spread for toast.