Today I am sharing a traditional chutney recipe from Tamil Cuisine. Kara Chutney (TamilNadu Style) is a popular chutney variety .A perfect accompaniment with South Indian Breakfast. It is spicy and Tangy. Each area where Tamils have lived has developed its own distinct variant of the common dishes.

TamilNadu Cuisine :

South Indian restaurants are popular for the variety of Chutneys they serve.Chutneys lift up the meal time spirit.Kara chutney is one of my most favorite among all the chutneys. Apart from serving with breakfast, you can serve with Rice as well.On special occasions, traditional Tamil dishes are served using banana leaves in place of utensils. . Growing Up we were served traditional dishes at home most of the time. There are many traditional recipes from this fabulous cuisine :
  • Sambar Varities
  • Rasam Varietues
  • Poriyals
  • Kootu Varieties
  • Rice Variety
  • Sweets
  • Thogayal Varieties
  • Chutneys
  • Pickles

Some Popular Chutney Varieties from TamilNadu:

  • Coconut Chutney
  • Coriander Chutney / Kothamalli Chutney
  • Pudina Chutney
  • Peanut Chutney / Verkadalai chutney
  • Onion Chutney
  • Tomato Chutney
  • Kara Chutney
  • Garlic Chutney / Poondu Chutney
  • Curry Leaves Chutney

Serving Traditional Food:

On any auspicious occasion, traditional dishes are served on a banana leaf. It is best enjoyed when eaten using your hands and sitting on the floor .Before eating traditional cuisine, people clean the banana leaf with water.After eating, the banana leaves are then fed to the cattle.Rice staples,  Paruppu, sambar, rasam, poriyal ,pachadi and koottu are served with salt, ghee, pickle, appalam and curd. It is really soul satisfying.


Preethi Prasad
Kara Chutney is Spicy and Tangy with vibrant red color from the Kashmiri Chillies. Serve with Idli , Dosa , Paniyaram or Appam . Goes well with Rice too.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3


  • 3 Nos Ripe Red Tomatoes chopped
  • 10 Nos Shallots
  • 6 Nos Kashmiri Dry Red Chillies
  • 3 Nos Dry Red Chilli (Spicy Variety)
  • 4 Nos Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tbsp Channa Dal
  • 1 Tsp Urad Dal
  • 1 Piece Small Piece of Tamrind
  • 2 Tbsp Gingelly Oil
  • Salt to taste

For Tempering :

  • 2 Tsp Gingelly Oil
  • 8 Nos Curry Leaves
  • 1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/4 Tsp Asafoetida


  • Heat 2 Tbsp Gingelly Oil ina wok. Once the oil is hot add channa dal , urad dal and dry red chillies.
  • Fry till the dals change colour. Now add garlic pods and saute well.
  • Next add shallots and saute untill they change color slightly.
  • Now add the chopped tomatoes , tamrind piece and saute untill they are soft and mushy.
  • Turn off the heat and allow it to cool completely.
  • Add salt to the tomato onion mixture and blend to a smooth paste. I have not added water.
  • Transfer the Contents to a bowl.

For Tempering

  • Heat 2 Tsp Oil in a small pan.
  • Add curry leaves and mustard . Once it starts to splutter add Asafoetida or hing.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Pour the tempering over the chutney.
  • Serve with Idli , Dosa, Det Dosa, Paniyaram , Appam or Rice and Enjoy…………………….


  1. Always use Gingelly oil for best results. It elevated the taste of the chutney.
  2. Adjust the number of chillies as per your spice tolerance.
  3. I have used Kashmiri Chillies for the bright red colour. It is not hot.
  4. You can use a mix of dry red chillies and fresh green chillies. The colour will vary.
  5. Serve fresh for best taste.
  6. You can store it in an airtight container . Stays good when refrigerated.
  7. I prefer to make it fresh as it just takes 20 minutes.
  8. You the desi variety of ripe plump red tomatoes .
https://preethicuisine.com/veppam-poo-konda-kadalai-kuzhambu-curry/ Check out this delicious Araichuvitta Sambar by Priya VJ. Do follow my blog and Social media handles on Facebook , Instagram , Twitter and Pinterest to get an update on the latest recipes.The more you share the more I will Smile. Thank you for your encouragement and support.

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  1. 5 stars
    Wow, wow a really tempting bowl of Kara Chutney. Love this tomato based chutney with idlis. I like your suggestion of enjoying it with some rice. Going to make some today so I can have it leftover rice.

  2. 5 stars
    The color of the chutney with tempering on the top makes me mouthwatering. I will lick the entire bowl of chutney all myself. would need some hot idli/dosa

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