No Need of Onions!!! · Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

20 Minutes Tangy Tomato Gravy – Homestyle??? Nah.. Amma style!!!

As a child, I hated the very thought of idlis…I always argued with Amma “It`s just batter ma, it has no taste”…How can people ever say “great Idlis”??? And she would wordless pass on this tomato gravy to me, and I would gulp down the hot idlis soaked lavishly with the gravy. The next day when she would make crisp dosas, I would submerge them in this gravy and some times amma would wonder whether it was tomato gravy to eat as a side with dosa or the other way round???

I am guessing that this is a recipe that has been passed on to my amma from her mom…Nobody knows exactly…This is a very versatile gravy cum chutney – This could be a side for idlis and dosas as the tanginess really sweeps you off your senses..It`s also an excellent side for hot Venn Pongal or steaming Gujarati Khichdi. It can also double up as a side for rotis for dinner!!! I always make a lot and put away half in to the fridge for another day so  I can toss it out and use it for chappati or parathas and my husband will never even know!!!

It just uses 5 ingredients and is pretty simple. The original recipe does not use onions so there`s no sweat on days when you need to avoid them!!!


To roast in oil...
To roast in oil...

5 Medium sized tomatoes chopped.

4 dried red chillis.

3 spoons of urad dhal.

1/3 cup of coconut.

A cup pf water.

A pinch of turmeric

Mustard and curry leaves to season and salt to taste.


  • In a kadai, add a spoon of oil and roast the urad dhal and red chillis till the dal turns brown. Make sure that the flame is on medium low and the roasting is slow as this enhances taste.
  • Grind this with the coconut and a little water and make a smooth paste. Set aside for later.
  • In the same kadai, add a spoon more of oil, and when it begins to smoke, add mustard, curry leaves and immediately the tomatoes.
  • Stir in a pinch of turmeric and hing and the requisite salt. At this point pour in the one cup pf water and allow to boil.
Bubbling and boiling....
Bubbling and boiling....
  • After 10 minutes add the ground paste and adequate water to make it in to a pouring consistency.
  • Switch off when it comes to a boil and serve Hot with Venn Pongal , Gujarati Khichdi or Idli / Dosa garnished with chopped cilantro.

Off goes this entry to FCI Orange which is the brainchild of Harini of Sunshinemomblogs and hosted by Aparna of MydiverseKitchens.


  1. You can grind the roasted ingredients with a spoon of coconut milk to get added richness.
  2. You could also try this version with onions for an extremely filling side dish.
Snacks & Tiffin Items

Quick Besan Dhoklas.


The best ever dhoklas that I remember having eaten are at The Saravana Bhavan – Gujrati Restaurant in T.Nagar, Chennai. They have the most amazingly soft dhoklas that can melt and come together in your mouth, along with the sweet chutney agog with tamarind and tang, and the green pudina chutney. Ever since, I ve always been on the lookout for recipes on how to make this easy snack. What I like about it, is the fac that it could be whipped up in a few minutes, with no need for prior planning. This is my version of this dish and I hope you will like it too. Posting for the Sweet Tamarind Chutney follows at a later post.


Besan                        – 1 1/4 cups

Buttermilk/Curd – 1 cup.

Ginger Paste          – 1 tsp

Green Chilli Paste- 1 tsp

Eno Fruit Salt         – 1 tsp.

Lemon Juice          – 1 tsp

Salt                              – 1 tsp.

Turmeric Powder – A pinch


Oil, Mustard Seeds, Slit Green Chillis (2), Curry Leaves, Hing.


Dry Coconut Powder, Chopped Corriander.


  • In a bowl, take the besan and use your hands to remove all the clumps. Add the buttermilk and gently whisk to mix. Now also add turmeric, salt, ginger paste, green chilli paste and mix them all together.
  • Mix a spoon of Eno Fruit salt with 1 spoon of lemon juice and mix it in to the besan batter.
  • Let is stand for 20 mins.
  • Take a low flat bottomed cooker vessel, resembling a 9 inch round cake pan and grease the insides with cooking spray or oil.
  • Pour the besan batter in to the cooking pan.
  • Fill the cooker with 1 cup of water and gently place the vessel in to the cooker.
  • Allow it to steam on high for 12-14 mins.
  • Switch off and wait for 5 mins and cool it for 20 mins or so.
  • Cut it in to diamond shape and season with mustard , chilli, hing  and curry leaves.
  • Garnish with coconut and corriander.
  • Serve with chatpata-sweet  tamarind chutney.
....Served with Tamarind Chutney.
....Served with Tamarind Chutney.