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Dried red chilli chutney from Tamil Nadu (Vatral milagai chutney)

The variety of South Indian chutneys is immense and diverse. The cuisine boasts chutneys made from every vegetable and even meat in diverse flavours and textures. here is an unusual chutney that pops with spice/

This is a chutney for the spice lover. The bright red should serve as a warning but the subtle flavours are also beautiful. The chutney starts with nuanced flavours that explode with the chilli. This is a lovely chutney with traditional dosas and idlis, but also with fried fritters (bhajis) and other snacks for a change.

This cookbook on South Indian dosa is a very specialized cookbook from one of my favourite chefs. Every recipe is authentic and this book is written with a depth of knowledge and understanding of the different cuisines in South India. This pancake recipe, like the other dosas and adai recipes from this cookbook, makes this cookbook essential for those who enjoy this type of dish.

For more recipes from the amazing cookbook, click here.


To temper:

1 1/2 tablespoons oil

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon split Beh=ngal gram (chana dal)

1/2 teaspoon asafoetida

For the chutney:

8 dried red chillies, or to taste

1/2 cup shallots, finely chopped

1 large tomato, finely chopped

Salt, to taste

1-2 tablespoons water

Red chilli, to garnish

Heat the oil in a small pot and add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, about 20 seconds, add the Bengal gram and fry for 30 seconds till they are lightly golden. Add the asafoetida and mix in.

Immediately add the onions and sauté on low heat for 2 minutes till the onions are soft and translucent. Do not let the onions get coloured.

Add the tomatoes and salt. Cook for 8-10 minutes till the tomatoes are broken down and soft. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

Blitz in a blender with just enough water to allow the ingredients to spin well. Purée till smooth.

Remove into a bowl and garnish with red chilli.

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