Recipe: Indian red onion chutney

I adore this chutney. This is the lovely red-colored onion condiment that many Indian places serve with pappadums or leave on the table in a jar with a small spoon. Indian food eaten at restaurants is pretty heavy stuff, whipped up with generous quantities of cream and butter, compared to home-made. This tart and savory chutney serves as an excellent foil to cut the heaviness… that is, on your palate, not your waistline…

For many years I’ve used a recipe that used tomato paste. It was tasty, but the texture and flavor was not quite right. This recipe that a redditor received from her Indian sister-in-law is much more closer to the real deal. Apparently there are regional variations in the recipes used to make this onion chutney at Indian restaurants in the US, so your mileage may vary in terms of similarity with your favorite place.

Load up your curry with this goodness. It is the perfect accompaniment to chicken tikka masala or butter chicken. It goes nicely with saag paneer as well! I’ve also read some fun ideas for this chutney, such as using it as a cracker dip or blending it with cream cheese to make bagel spread.

Adapted from a posting on this thread


  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely (red or yellow are both fine)
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin


  1. Mix all ingredients together. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

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