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recipe for onion chutney

Recipe for Onion Chutney | Chinna Vengaya Chutney

Recipe for Onion Chutney - This Chinna Vengaya Chutney is completely made with pearl onions, tomatoes and a few spices. The spices are what makes this chutney stand out from regular chutney. It is really simple to make but super delicious and takes you directly to a chettinad kitchen. It pairs well with dosas and paniyarams and even idlis.
Course Breakfast, Dinners
Cuisine South Indian, Tamil Cuisine
Keyword chutney, Onions, Pearl Onions
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Niveditha


  • Saute Pan
  • Blender


  • 3 tbsp Sesame Oil or Peanut Oil
  • 1 tsp Kadala Paruppu/ Channa Dal
  • 40 medium Pearl Onions , peeled and washed
  • 6 cloves Garlic , peeled
  • 1 tsp Ulundhu / Black Gram Dal
  • 1 tsp Thuvaram Paruppu / Toor Dal
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds / Sombu
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds / Seeragam
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds / Vendhayam
  • 5 medium Dry Chillies , unshrivelled ones (see photo above)
  • 2 medium Heirloom Tomatoes , (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup Grated Coconut , loosely packed (approx quarter of a half coconut)
  • 1 marble sized Tamarind , or 1 tsp tamarind extract
  • 1 tsp Rock Salt , adjust to taste
  • 1 sprig Curry Leaves


  • Set up the saute pan or kadai on the stove on medium heat. Pour the oil and let it get hot.
  • Once hot, add the kadala paruppu and sauté until golden brown.
  • Then add the pearl onions and garlic and sauté until the shallots turn translucent. Next, add the cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds and dried red chillies and sauté stirring frequently so that seeds get the heat.
  • Sauté until the onions begin to brown around the edges. The add the tomatoes and sauté until the tomatoes begin to become mushy. Quickly turn the heat off and add the coconut and give it a stir. Let it cool down.
  • Once it has cooled down, transfer all of it to a blender. Add the tamarind, rock salt and curry leaves to it and blend until it becomes a smooth chutney.
  • Serve it with dosas or idlis!


  • Tomatoes - If you don't have any heirloom tomatoes, replace it with roma tomatoes and increase the quantity of tamarind.
  • Onions - This is a small onion chutney. But if you absolutely must, you can substitute it with big onions.
  • This chutney can be served as it is. It doesn't require tempering. 
  • This onion chutney is best served immediately. However, leftover chutney can be stored for up to a day.