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Indian onion chutney

I'm thinking of making some Indian food on my own this weekend, and one thing I've never been able to make at home as good as I have in restaurants in the onion chutney I'm always served in most Indian restaurants. It's bright red and slightly spicy and seems to be mostly onions. Does anyone know exactly what this is called and have a recipe for it?

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  1. I've been in the same boat. Luckily my local grocer (...I'm marooned in Philly, so it's not a local Boston chain) carries a bottled chutney jam. It's really, really good and tastes just like the chutney served by my Indian restaurant. You basically mix in a couple tablespoons with a chopped red onion. I can't recall the brand, but maybe you can rummage through your grocer's Asian aisle.

    I know buying bottled sauce is not very chowhoundish, but sadly, I don't have an authentic Indian connection.

    1. could you describe the chutney in more detail ? from your description i would guess at red chilly powder, salt and some kind of tart either vinegar or lime juice. does that sound accurate or is there more to it ?

      4 Replies
      1. re: foodwich

        The chutney I am seeking to emulate seems to mostly be raw onions, is often bright red can be a bit spicy. Spicier than just chili powder.

        1. re: heatherfields

          as mentioned raw onions, salt, cayenne pepper powder, some lime juice and cumin. it is usually referred to as kachumer.

          1. re: foodwich

            is it also called kachumber, what you are referring to, foodwich?

            (actually, your description is a bit different than my link here....
            i also noticed that if one substituted green bell peppers for the cukes, and lime instead of lemon, you get pico de gallo --- it's all good!)

            1. re: alkapal

              yes it is also called kachumber. i make a form of it at home with raw onions, tomatoes, cukes, cilantro and salt with some tart like lime/lemon or even vinegar. you can also add finely chopped serrano peppers to it.

      2. Are you talking about the stuff that's kind of like raw, marinated onions? I have an onion chutney recipe, but comes out more like jam, and is more sweet/sour than spicy.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jlafler

          Yes, it's raw onions mostly, diced very fine.

          1. re: heatherfields

            Just lemon juice and paprika for the colour. Maybe a touch of chili powder - although I use Spanish pimenton which has a kick and still gives the colour so no need for the sweet paprika.

          1. re: alkapal

            Thank you! I think that is it. I will give it a try this weekend.

          2. how did your chutney turn out, heather?

            1. So funny! I've also been thinking about this...ate Indian lunch yesterday and marvelled over the onion chutney, just as you described...onions in a bright red sauce, slightly spicy...I asked the server if it was made on the premises and he said "Yes, it's onions, chili peppers, tomato paste, basically."

              1. From Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking:
                Onion Relish

                1 medium onion chopped
                3/4 teaspoon salt
                4 teaspoons lemon juice
                1/4 teaspoon paprika
                1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
                1/8-1/4 ground cumin(optional)

                mix all ingredients together. set aside for 30mins in order to let flavors blend.

                1. Only over two years late, but I think I have what you're looking for...

                  You'll need to trust me on this one, it's suprisingly similar to the one you get at restaurants! Just combine these ingredients:-

                  1 onion
                  2 garlic cloves, mashed
                  2 tablespoons mango chutney
                  3 tablespoons strawberry jam (the cheap kind with not much fruit!)
                  I red chilli, finely chopped (or you can use chilli powder to taste)
                  handful of coriander, optional
                  red food dye, optional


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: claya_1

                    Over two years for me, too. I actually ate this onion chutney last night when we got takeout from a chaat place in Mountain View, CA. I'm thrilled that folks have posted recipes because I have been thinking of making it myself.

                    Happy to have come across this thread because of the new post! Thanks claya 1