Simple, Delicious and Flavourful Poondu Chutney | Garlic Shallots Chutney is a famous, slightly spicy dip served with Idlis/Dosas. It is easy to make this chutney with the main ingredients of garlic, shallots, tamarind, and red chillies.
South Indian meal preparation is incomplete without making Idli Dosa Batter. It is a weekly staple in most households. If you are a South Indian, I am sure that Idli or Dosa is your breakfast on most days. I am not big on having a heavy breakfast. For the last five years, I have only had fruits for breakfast. But how can I not have Idli or Dosa regularly? So, it automatically goes into my dinner routine. Fluffy Idlis with some flavourful chutney is my comfort dinner. Even a bland dish with a delicious accompaniment like this Chutney can turn interesting.
Idli and Dosa taste the best with Sambar and Chutney. If you have visited any South Indian food joint, you would have seen Idli Dosa served along with colourful chutneys on the side. Growing up, I tasted various chutneys made using many vegetables and herbs. Our moms and grandmoms are experts in making chutney out of any vegetable or even vegetable peel.
Poondu Chutney is one of my favourites out of the lot. If you are a fan of the taste and intense flavour of Garlic, you will love this chutney. Each household has a different way of making this Chutney. I love this version mainly because it uses minimal ingredients and is still super delicious. It is a lifesaver recipe when you don’t have tomatoes, coconut, or green chillies. I love keeping the consistency of the chutney a bit thick, and it resembles a thokku/pickle. This way, it can also be served along with Curd Rice.
About this Chutney
Easy to prepare. Takes less than 20 minutes.
Uses very basic ingredients from the kitchen.
Keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days.
This chutney is vegan and can be made gluten-free if you skip the asafoetida in the tadka.
It tastes amazing with Idli, Dosa, Uthappam, and Rotis. Can be had with bread too.
Poondu/Garlic: Garlic is the main ingredient for this chutney. Make sure you use fresh, peeled garlic for the best results.
Shallots/Small Onion: I love using small onions in my cooking. It has a lovely flavour and gives a great taste to any dish.
Red Chillies: I have used both Kashmiri Red Chillies and regular Red Chillies in this recipe.
Tamarind: Tamarind is used for a slightly tangy taste. Adding a bit of tamarind to the spicy chutney gives a balance of flavour.
Jaggery: This is an optional ingredient but once again just like tamarind, the sweet taste from jaggery balances the taste and flavour.
Sesame oil: Poondu Chutney tastes the best when tempered with hot sesame oil. Most South Indian Chutney recipes call for sesame oil for its flavour.
Tadka/Tempering Ingredients: Tadka is optional but adds more taste and texture to the chutney. According to me, chutney recipes are incomplete without tempering. I have used mustard seeds, curry leaves, urad dal, asafoetida.
How to make Poondu Chutney?
Saute garlic and small onions in sesame oil for around 5 minutes on low to medium flame.
Add red chillies, Kashmiri red chillies, tamarind, and jaggery. Saute for another 5 minutes.
Switch off. Cool down. Transfer to a mixer jar. Add salt. Grind to a fine paste by adding very little water.
Add sesame oil to the pan. Once hot, add mustard seeds, urad dal, and curry leaves. Add the ground chutney to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Switch off and serve with Idli/Dosa.
Store the garlic shallots chutney in a clean, dry container. Since we have added a generous amount of sesame oil and cooked the chutney, it will keep well in the refrigerator for a week. In my house, it usually gets done in a day or two. We don’t let it last for that long. When a chutney tastes so good, who can resist eating it? 🙂
What to serve this Chutney with?
Poondu Chutney is best served with Idlis, Dosas or Uthappam. This chutney can also be served with Pongal, Uthappam and other South Indian breakfast items. You can also use it as a dip for snacks.
The flavour and taste of the chutney also make it an excellent accompaniment for Rotis. I also love applying this chutney to a fresh slice of bread and having it for my evening snack. Gives a fresh, spicy taste to boring sandwiches.
As I already mentioned, this chutney resembles a nice thokku. So, you can serve this with some creamy curd rice too.
Instead of shallots, regular onions can be used.
You can add a small, ripe tomato to this chutney.
Grated coconut can also be added to the chutney.
Add a small handful of mint leaves to this chutney for a fresh flavour.
The chutney is slightly on the spicier side. Adjust the number of red chillies to suit your spice level.
Other Recipes you may like
Poondu Chutney | Garlic Shallots Chutney
For the Chutney
- 1 cup Peeled Garlic
- 3/4 cup Small Onion / Shallots
- 5 Red Chillies
- 3 Kashmiri Red Chillies
- Tamarind small marble size
- 1 tbsp Jaggery
- Salt as needed
- 2 tbsp Sesame oil
- 3 tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 tsp Urad Dal
- Asafoetida a pinch
- 10 Curry Leaves
- Saute garlic and small onions in sesame oil for around 5 minutes on low to medium flame. By now the shallots and garlic would have become golden brown.
- Add red chillies, Kashmiri red chillies and saute for another couple of minutes.
- Add tamarind and saute for a minute. Add jaggery, give a mix and switch off. Jaggery will melt in the heat of the pan.
- Switch off. Cool down the mixture. Transfer to a mixer jar. Add salt. Grind to a fine paste by adding very little water.
- Add 3 tbsp sesame oil to the pan. Once hot, add mustard seeds, urad dal, asafoetida, and curry leaves. Add the ground chutney to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Switch off and serve with Idli/Dosa.