While every city in Tamilnadu is telling tales on their own special cuisines, Chennai has it all under one roof. Have you ever wondered what makes those Chennai restaurant idlies more delicious? Other than the usual sambar and coconut chutney we see everywhere, they would serve you a spicy red chutney, called kaara chutney. I think it might have originated from Andhra, as they make the spiciest foods in India. If you buy a parcel of idly (carry home version) , from those small idly shops, they would tie this spicy red chutney in a small pouch along with all the other side dishes. If tomatoes are in their peak season, we can see this chutney in all shops. This is one of my most favorite chutney and here goes the recipe for that spicy kaara chutney.
Red onion - 1 medium size
Tomato - 4 (1/4 kg)
urid dhal (black gram) - 2 tbsp
Dried Red chilli - 6 to 8
tamarind - gooseberry size
oil - 1 tbsp
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
urid dal - 1 tsp
curry leaves - 1 sprig
sesame oil - 2 tsp
Salt - tsp
hing - a big pinch
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan.
Fry the 2 tbsp urid dhal to red color.
In the same oil fry the red chillies and keep them aside.
In the same pan add chopped onion and fry to golden brown.
Add chopped tomato and cook covered with few tbsp water till done.
While the tomato is cooking add tamarind and cook it also.
Let everything cool and grind together the onion, tomato, urid dal, tamarind, salt, dry chilly.
For tempering, heat 2 tsp oil in a separate pan.
Crackle the mustard, then add urid dal. Let it get red. Then goes the curry leaves, hing.
Pour this hot over the prepared chutney and mix well.
Chennai kaara chutney is ready!
Serve as side dish with Idly , dosa , along with sambar and coconut chutney for a special treat.
It would be enough to serve with 25 idly.
Makes a big batch and stays good refrigerated for a week.