Tomato Chutney – Hyderabadi style

This vegan Hyderabadi Tomato Chutney aka “Tamatar ka khatta” is the PERFECT addition to any lonely rice dish you make, like Pulavs or steamed rice with lentils or honestly just any fried snack you can think of, South Asian or otherwise.

Hyderabadi Tomato Chutney

Tomatoes like potatoes are frikkin VERSATILE! There are so many different types of sauces, dips and chutneys it can create! This particular Tomato chutney is known as “Tamatar ka khatta” in Urdu/Hindi, which literally translates to “tang of tomato”. It comes from the Hyderabadi cuisine made by cooking tomatoes in oil and spices. It is closely related to tomato ka kut, which is another Hyderabadi tomato curry recipe, served with eggs on top. Hyderbadis are known for their love of tangy food. Case in point would be the Hyderabadi khatti dal. True Hyderabadis would tell you that they always have a batch of this tomato chutney in their fridge or freezer, and I must say I like that sort of ahead-thinking when it comes to food!

What is this tomato chutney paired with?

This tangy “tamatar ki chutney” is popularly eaten with rice dishes that are non-spicy on their own like Pulav rice and steamed rice. Rarely also eaten with roti, parathas and kebabs. Here are a couple of things this chutney is normally eaten with:

meal showing rice, beef kebabs, raw sliced onions, salad and tomato chutney on the side
Tomato chutney on the side of rice, salad and kebab.


labelled ingredients shown seperately for tomato chutney
  • Tomatoes – Fresh ripe tomatoes are ideal for this recipe. But, don’t worry, you can also use canned tomatoes.
  • Powdered Spices – Salt, red chili flakes, Turmeric, Red chili powder
  • Whole Spices – Nigella seeds (Kalonji), cumin seeds (Zeera), mustard seeds (Rye), whole red chilies (Saabit laal mirch), curry leaves. You may not have all the ingredients in your pantry, and thats fine, you can skip them if you don’t have them all but I would highly recommend not skipping the curry leaves.
  • Spice base – You need garlic and onions to get the “base” started. You can skip the onions if you don’t like them for xyz reasons.
  • Oil – Any regular cooking oil, ghee or butter would do.

How to make the chutney

This is a very straightforward and quick recipe. Here’s a quick pictorial to guide you through the steps.

  1. Start by processing the tomatoes. Keep in mind to not add any water when you do this step. All the water you see in the 2nd part of the image is just the water leaching out from the finely chopped / processed tomatoes.
2 photo collage; First one showing raw tomatoes in a food processor, 2nd image shows finely chopped tomatoes from a top view

2. I simply fried the whole spices with onion and garlic until they turned golden. (NOT Brown, just golden ok!) ITs best to do this at medium to low heat so that you can control the color of garlic and onion easily.

2 picture collage; Image 1 shows whole spices and chopped ingredients frying in oil within a black pan, Image 2 shows onions and garlic turning golden brown in the same pot

3. Next step is to add the powdered spices.

PROTIP: Always add powdered spices BEFORE adding tomatoes. This allows the raw spices to be tempered in oil and be activated.

2 picture collage; Image 1 shows powdered spices added to fried onions in a black pot, Image 2 shows tempered spices along with whole spices in a black pan

4. Chuck in all your tomatoes, mix everything and cover it up. It should take 10 to 15 mins for all the water from the tomatoes to evaporate and the oil to seperate on the sides.

2 picture collage; Image 1 shows raw finely chopped tomato in a black pan, Image 2 shows semi cooked tomatoes in spices in a black pot

5. Once you see oil seperating on the side, add water and cook at high flame to bring the chutney together. You will see oil seperation once more and that is your cue to turn off the flame. Allow the chutney to cool down before serving.

A cooked and ready tomato chutney close up shown with oil seperated on the sides.

This chutney is generally served at room temperature so you don’t need to reheat it if you’ve made it earlier in the day. If you are having it on the next day, simply bring it out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for about 10 – 15 mins. No need to reheat it.

Frequently asked Questions

How long can the chutney last?

Your chutney can last for over a month easy in the fridge! Just make sure to keep it in a glass / ceramic airtight container in the fridge.

PROTIP: Never store your cooked chutneys in plastic tupperware. It WILL stain your plastic yellow or even corrode it from the inside if its cheap plastic.

Can I freeze the chutney?

Absolutely! If you plan on using it later and not right away, you can easily freeze the chutney after it cools down. Freeze in a ziplock bag and simply reheat in the microwave whenever you are ready to consume.

Can I reduce the level of spices in the chutney?

This chutney is not overly spicy to begin with (atleast not to my “brown” palate). But if you are someone who can’t eat spicy food in general, then I’d say switch the red chili powder to paprika and you should be fine. Some people in my family also add a teaspoon of jaggery aka “gud” in their chutneys.

Does Tomato chutney go with NON-South Asian food?

If you are fan of fusion and experiment than absolutely! We love it as a dip with nuggets and Arabic grill platters. And because of the flavors, I can tell you it will go well with Mexican food too!

tamatar ki chutney ready in a bowl with spoon on the side

More recipes like this

Khatti dal (tangy red lentils)
Gajar ka achaar – Pickled carrots
Imli ki chutney – Sweet tamarind chutney
Green Mint chutney

top view of tomato chutney in a bowl

Hyderabadi Tomato ka khatta

Tangy tomato chutney, cooked with mild spices, originating from Hyderabadi Cuisine and eaten with pulavs and rice. Known as "tamatar ka khatta" in Urdu/Hindi
4.80 from 5 votes
Print Pin
Course: Dips & Condiments
Cuisine: South Asian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 cups of chutney
Calories: 500kcal
Author: Wajiha


  • 1 kg fresh tomatoes or canned
  • teaspoon table Salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Crushed red chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red chili powder
  • 1 medium onion chopped 60 gm
  • 6 big cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup vegatable oil

Whole spices

  • 1/2 teaspoon Nigella seeds Kalonji
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds Zeera
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds Rye
  • 4 whole red chilies Saabit laal mirch
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves


  • Add onion and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Remove and set aside.
  • Add tomatoes in the food processor and process till it becomes finely chopped (salsa consistency). DO NOT ADD WATER.
  • In a saucepan or small pot, add oil and place on the stove at medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onion and garlic, along with all the whole spices. Saute till the onions and garlic become slightly golden.
  • Reduce the heat to low, and add all the remaining spices and salt, saute for 1 to 2 mins.
  • Now put all chopped tomatoes in the pot and increase the flame back to medium high. Once you see the tomatoes have heated up, put the lid on and let the tomatoes cook for 10 to 15 mins.
  • Once all the water from the tomatoes has evaporated, cook for another 5 mins until you see oil seperate on the sides.
  • Now add 1 cup water and cook for another 5 mins at medium to high flame or until you start seeing oil seperation again on the sides.
  • Serve warm or room temperature with rice or dishes of your choice.


  1. The chutney or Khatta can safely be consumed for 1 month to 45 days after it has been made, if refrigerated.
  2. You can also freeze the chutney for upto 4 months.
  3. Save the chutney in an airtight container in the fridge and simply leave outside to come down to room temperature before serving
  4. This chutney is served at room temperature so it doesn't need heating up prior to being served.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 500kcalCarbohydrates: 74gProtein: 16gFat: 78gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 68gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 1273mgFiber: 18gSugar: 40g

Did you make this recipe?

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1 month ago

Happy everyday!

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