Tomato Onion Gojju|Tamilnadu Style Tomato & Onion Relish

Let me tell you today about Tomato Onion Gojju, a beautiful accompaniment to idli, dosa, poori, rotis, parathas, pongal and the like. It is an easy-peasy thing to make, yet so flavourful – hot and salty and sour, with a hint of sweet, it’s easy to get addicted to this. 🙂

This Tomato Onion Gojju makes for a refreshing change when you are tired of the usual chutney, sambar and poriyal. I’m sure there are many different ways to make it, but here’s the way we make the gojju in our family. Do give it a shot!

This is a completely vegetarian and vegan preparation, suitable to those on a plant-based diet. Skip the asafoetida used in the tempering, and it becomes gluten-free too. Please note that the home-made rasam powder I have used here does not contain any asafoetida – please do make sure of the same in case you are using a store-bought version.

And, now, without any more delay, here’s the recipe for Tomato Onion Gojju, our family’s way.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. 5 medium-sized tomatoes, finely chopped
  2. 1 big onion, finely chopped
  3. 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  4. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  5. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  6. A pinch of fenugreek seeds
  7. 1 sprig fresh curry leaves
  8. Salt to taste
  9. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  10. Red chilli powder to taste or 2-3 green chillies, slit length-wise
  11. 1/2 tablespoon rasam powder
  12. 1/2 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste


Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Centre: Steps 3 and 4, Bottom left, centre and right: Steps 5, 6 and 7

1. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to sputter. Add the fenugreek seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves to the pan. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.

2. Add the chopped onion to the pan. Turn the flame down to medium.

3. Saute on medium flame for about 2 minutes or till the onions start browning.

4. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan.

5. Also add in a bit of salt and the turmeric powder. Add in the slit green chillies too, if using them. Mix well. Continue to cook on medium flame for 3-4 minutes, or till the tomatoes start getting mushy.

6. At this stage, add the rasam powder, jaggery powder and red chilli powder (if not using green chillies). Adjust the salt. Mix well.

7. Continue to cook on medium flame for 1-2 more minutes, or till the mixture thickens up a bit. Switch off gas. Your Tomato Onion Gojju is ready. Serve it hot or at room temperature.


1. Use the tart country or ‘Nati’ tomatoes, rather than the ‘farm’ variety, for best results.

2. If the tomatoes you are using are not too tart, you can add in a little tamarind paste. I haven’t, as the country tomatoes I used were sour enough.

3. Don’t overcook the Tomato Onion Gojju. Switch off the gas when it is still a little runny, as it thickens up on cooling.

4. You can store leftover Tomato Onion Gojju in a clean, dry, air-tight bottle, refrigerated for 2-3 days. Use only a clean, dry spoon.

5. If kids are going to be consuming this gojju, it would be best to avoid using green chillies and use red chilli powder instead.

6. Sesame oil works best in the making of this Tomato Onion Gojju, but you may use any other variety of oil you prefer instead, too.

7. Use ripe, juicy tomatoes that are not blemished. While this gojju can be made any time of the year, it is best made towards the end of winter, when tomatoes are in season and at their flavourful best.

8. I have used home-made rasam powder here. You can use any store-bought version of your choice instead, too.

9. The rasam powder can be substituted with sambar powder, for a different-tasting gojju. I prefer using rasam powder, while my mom likes adding sambar powder to her gojju.

10. You can skip the onion, and use only tomatoes to make the gojju. In that case, you might have to adjust the quantities of the spices and jaggery suggested in the recipe.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!


5 thoughts on “Tomato Onion Gojju|Tamilnadu Style Tomato & Onion Relish

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