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Jan 31, 2013 05:58 AM

Chutneys with Dosa/Dosai (Indian cooking)

I bought ragi flour ( and they have a nice picture of the dosai with 2 chutneys on the packet. I wonder if anybody knows what these chutneys are and have a recipe for it.

These chutneys are not sold in store and the woman at the store didn't even know what chutneys they are, except 'some kind of dal chutneys'.

Thanks for the recipes.

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  1. I don't have recipes, but every time I've had dosas in a restaurant, they were served with a tangy tomato-based chutney and a coconut-based one, which matches the picture.

    1. Hi, the white chutney is coconut chutney, and the orange one is a tomato-onion chutney. Both are traditional accompaniments to idli and dosai.

      Coconut Chutney:
      1 cup frozen or dessicated UNsweetened coconut
      1/2 cup daliya (a form of channa dal)
      Small piece ginger
      1 green chili
      Salt and lime juice to taste

      Grind the above into a smooth paste using very little water.

      Season: heat 2 teaspoons oil in a pan. add 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, cover pan and wait till mustard seeds pop. Add 1/2 teaspoon urad dal, stir until the urad dal turns golden. Add a few curry leaves and a pinch of asafetida (optional :))), then shut off heat.

      Add seasoning to ground coconut mixture, and stir well.

      Tomato-onion chutney:
      Roast 1 tablespoon urad dal and 1 whole red chilli in a teaspoon of oil until dal turns golden.
      Add 3 medium onions diced, and saute until onions are cooked. Add 1 diced tomato and continue sauteing until tomato is just cooked through. Cool. add salt and grind to a coarse paste uing very little water.

      HTH, do let me know how they turn out.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Kulfi

        This is the information I've wanted for years! Thank you so much. I'm going through an idli and uttapam kick right now and we need to make these now.

        1. re: relizabeth

          Tomato chutneys are my favorite. They are easy to be creative with. I like to add toasted mustard seed to mine, cumin ,fennel, etc. I like the tomato chutney with yogurt and chickpea flour dosa in the morning for breakfast :)

        2. re: Kulfi

          Sorry for the late reply.

          I really got this coconut chutney working but tomato-onion chutney did not fly after 3 attempts, so I gave up on that.

        3. There's one chutney missing though. The bright green chili and coconut chutney that's prevalent in the south. You'll never see that orange stuff there.

          5 Replies
          1. re: hal2010

            The chutney you refer to is a variation of the coconut chutney above. You can add cilantro (hence the green color), shallots or a clove of garlic to the basic coconut chutney recipe for new dimensions.

            I am South Indian and in my hometown of Chennai, the tomato-onion chutney is a common accompaniement to dosais and idlis.

            There are endless variations to the tomato-onion chutney as well, but I didn't know if OP wanted to run out and buy a host of new ingredients for a side dish.

            1. re: Kulfi

              Thanks for setting me straight. I was in Hyderabad and Kerala and only saw the green stuff. And a red, very salty mango pickle that was incredibly hot!

                1. re: hal2010

                  The red, salty, hot, chunky mango pickle in Hyderabad (and the rest of the Andhra region) is called avakaya pickle.

                  The most common Kerala pickle is a little different - tiny chopped pieces of mango with mustard seed, hing, fenugreek, red chilli, etc.

                  South India also has a tiny whole-baby-mango pickle (vadumanga) which are little sour-salt-chilli bombs, like incendiary olives.

                  These of course do not even scratch the surface of all the different pickles of South India, to say nothing of the rest of the country.

                  You can get most of them in bottles in the Indian stores, and experiment until you find a brand you like.

                2. re: Kulfi

                  Give me other variations of tomato-onion chutney too. I don't mind buying new ingredients.

                  Currently, I am trying many recipes in Indian cuisine, so I am sure I will be able to use those ingredients somewhere else too.