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Southern Indian Fresh Onion ChutneyIf you’ve ever eaten in an Indian restaurant, then you’ve had this.  The Goddess has been known to have a bowl of this.  You think she’s kidding?  She is not.  This stuff is addictive, because it’s just, plain delicious.  The best version I’ve ever had, was in a now defunct little Indian restaurant, in of all places, Hartford, CT, called India Oven.  All the food was superb.  It was family run and we had been there a number of times, when I asked if they would tell me what was in their version.  I think I might have been on my 3rd bowl at that point.  The young man told me a list of ingredients.  And then said, “Oh, yes.  We add some amchur (amchoor) powder.”  Well, I’d never seen that listed, but it made perfect sense.  Amchur is sun-dried, green mango, ground to a powder.  It has quite a “bite” to it.  It adds a sour note, but is also fruity, as you might imagine.  If you want more ideas, head over to Serious Eats…they are always loaded with great ideas and information…their Rasam Tomato Soup is terrific.

Onward and upward with our Chutney/Relish…whatever you want to call it.  This is easy-peasy.  Southern Indian Fresh Onion ChutneyI toast the whole cumin seeds, let them cool, then grind them.  The flavor is superb.  Southern Indian Fresh Onion ChutneyI grate a fresh tomato, usually a plum tomato, as I find they have consistently better (read…more) flavor than other “winter” tomatoes.  I do not soak the onions before hand, as many recipes suggest; I like the intensity of onion.  But, if you don’t, then soak away!  Because I’ve never met fresh (always, always and only fresh!) cilantro, I add it.  I also like to add a little fresh mint.  Neither of these are conventional additions, but as you know, The Goddess swings a tad unconventional.  Trust her.  It’s a nice addition.  I use this blissfully delicious condiment as an appetizer.  It’s funny how many people really, really like it with crisp bits of papadams or toasted pita chips and a cold beer!

Put everything in a bowl, except the cilantro and mint.  Give it a good stir, cover and chill for at least 45 minutes.  Then, just before serving, stir in the cilantro and mint, if using.  Serve with toasted pita chips or as part of an Indian dinner.  Personally, it’s adds a delightful zing to a burger…fine…damn fine, indeed!

Southern Indian Fresh Onion Chutney

  • Servings: Makes about 1 1/2 cups
  • Difficulty: Easy
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  • 1 red onion, finely chopped or sliced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 Roma tomato, grated, leaving the skin behind
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds, crushed after toasting
  • 1 teaspoon amchur powder (green mango powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • A large pinch of salt
  • 2-3 teaspoons finely minced fresh cilantro (and/or 1 teaspoon minced mint)

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients, except the cilantro; stir until well combined.  If the mixture is on the dry side, it will “juice” after sitting.  Refrigerate (covered) for about 45 minutes before serving; stir in the cilantro.  Perfect with papadams, toasted naan or with a spoon right out of the bowl!

NOTE:  The cilantro (and/or mint) are not original.  I happen to love cilantro, as well as mint, though I use less mint, as I find it’s more pungent.  Leave it out and this will still rock your world!

Southern Indian Fresh Onion Chutney Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2019.  All rights reserved.

In the interest of a cross-cultural culinary adventure, this lovely concoction is superb on tostones (fried green plantains).  I use a smallish cooked shrimp, and a dollop of Onion Chutney atop.  Delicioso!!