Tomatillo Chutney| Mexican Husk Tomato Chutney

Tomatillo Chutney is a flavourful dip, South Indian style. It is a unique chutney made with the tomatillo fruit, a nice change from the usual varieties of chutneys we make regularly. I served it with idlis and dosas, and my family loved it to bits.

Read on to know more about the tomatillo and how to make this chutney.

Yummy Tomatillo Chutney

Tomatillos are not green tomatoes!

Native to Mexico, the tomatillo refers to a small green fruit enclosed in a papery husk. Also called ‘Mexican Tomatoes’ or ‘Mexican Husk Tomatoes’, tomatillos can be eaten raw or cooked. They are very sour, and cooking helps in reducing their tartness to some extent.

Tomatillos are quite a commonly used ingredient in Mexican cuisine, but not very easy to come across in India. When I found them at Namdhari’s some time ago, I knew I had to get them home to experiment. I was thrilled with the Tomatillo Chutney I made with some of the fruit – other experiments are underway!

How pretty are these tomatillos!

Tomatillos might look like small green tomatoes, but both are different. Tomatillos come with a husk which needs to be removed and discarded, while that is not so in case of tomatoes. Unripe tomatoes are green, and they turn red upon ripening – however, tomatillos continue to stay firm and green even when they ripen. Tomatillos are more tart than tomatoes, too. From what I have read and understood, both tomatoes and tomatillos belong to the same family, though.

Ingredients used in Tomatillo Chutney

I have prepared this Tomatillo Chutney on the lines of the Green Tomato Chutney that is popular in Andhra Pradesh. It needs just a few ingredients and is very simple to make, but turns out very delicious. I will also share the recipe for the Andhra-style Green Tomato Chutney on my blog soon.

Tomatillos are the star ingredient of this chutney. To even out their tartness, I have used onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Some jaggery has also been used.

A handful of fresh coriander is added in, to perk up the colour of the chutney as well as for extra flavour.

I kept the tempering for this Tomatillo Chutney simple – just some mustard, asafoetida and curry leaves.

Tomatillo Chutney recipe

Here’s how I made it.

Ingredients (serves 4-5):

1. 4 tomatillos

2. 1 medium-sized onion

3. A 1-inch piece of ginger

4. 4 cloves of garlic

5. 2 green chillis

6. A handful of fresh coriander

7. 1/2 tablespoon + 1/2 tablespoon of oil

8. Salt to taste

9. 1/2 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste

10. 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

11. 2 pinches of asafoetida

12. 1 sprig of curry leaves


Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Centre left: Step 3, Centre right and bottom left: Step 4, Bottom right: Step 5

1. First, we will prep the tomatillos. Remove the outer husk and discard. Wash the tomatillos well to get rid of the waxy film on them. Then, cut the tomatillos into quarters.

2. Peel the ginger, garlic and onion and chop them up roughly. Chop the coriander and green chillies finely. Keep these prepared ingredients ready.

3. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a pan. Add in the chopped onion, ginger and garlic. Turn the flame down to medium. Saute on medium flame for 2-3 minutes or till the onions start browning.

4. Add in the chopped tomatillos at this stage, followed by a little salt. Mix well.

5. Add a little water to the pan. Cook on medium flame for 4-5 minutes or till the tomatillos turn mushy.

Left top and bottom: Steps 6 and 7, Right top and centre: Step 8, Right bottom: Step 9

6. Add in the chopped coriander and green chilles at this stage. Mix well. Saute on medium heat for about a minute, then switch off gas.

7. Allow the mixture to cool down completely.

8. When the mixture has cooled down fully, transfer it to a mixer jar. Add in the jaggery and adjust the salt. Add a little more water if needed. Grind to a mostly smooth, slightly coarse chutney. Transfer the chutney to a serving bowl.

9. Now, we will prepare the tempering for the chutney. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a small tempering pan. Add in the mustard, and let it sputter. Add in the asafoetida and curry leaves. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds, then switch off gas. Pour this tempering over the chutney in the serving bowl. Your Tomatillo Chutney is ready to serve, along with idlis, dosas, upma, vadas, rotis and the likes.

Dietary guidelines

This Tomatillo Chutney recipe is completely vegetarian and vegan. It is suited to people following a plant-based diet.

To make this chutney gluten-free, skip the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most Indian brands of asafoetida contain wheat flour and are, therefore, best avoided when following a gluten-free diet. However, if you find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, do go ahead and use it.

This recipe for Tomatillo Chutney contains very little oil and zero coconut. It is made using onions and garlic, but you can also skip these ingredients if you do not prefer adding them (see the ‘Tips & Tricks’ section of this post for details).

Tips & Tricks

1. Do not use more than the specified number of tomatillos. They are very tart, and this can make the chutney very sour. It is for this reason that no tamarind or other souring agents are used in the making of this chutney.

2. Adjust the number of green chillies you use as per personal taste preferences.

3. You may skip the jaggery if you do not prefer using it, but I strongly recommend adding it. The jaggery rounds off the other flavours beautifully.

4. If you do not prefer using onion and garlic, you may skip them. However, in that case, you might want to add in about a tablespoon of peanuts and some sesame seeds to add some bulk to the chutney and even out the tartness of the tomatillos. A little bit of fresh coconut can also be used.

5. You may add in some mint leaves along with the coriander. This also gives a lovely taste to the chutney.

6. Do not add too much water while grinding the chutney. Add just enough to help in the process of grinding.

7. We prefer keeping this Tomatillo Chutney mostly smooth, only slightly coarse. However, you can keep the texture as per your personal preferences.

8. Sesame oil (‘nalla ennai‘ in Tamil) tastes best in this chutney. However, if you don’t have it, you may use any other oil of your choice.

9. You may also add in a ripe red tomato, along with the tomatillos. This also adds a beautiful flavour to the chutney.

10. The same kind of chutney can be made using green (unripe) tomatoes. You might have to add in a little tamarind in that case.

11. Any leftover chutney can be transferred to a clean, dry, air-tight box. Refrigerated, it stays for 3-4 days.

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


Bangalore Hotel Style Coconut Chutney| Green Coconut Chutney

If you have eaten often enough at the small local restaurants – called ‘Darshinis‘ – that are spread across Bangalore, chances are you would have been served this delectable green-coloured coconut chutney along with your thatte idlis, open butter masala dosas, vadas or khara bath. This is one of the ways coconut chutney is made in Karnataka, sometimes with a tinge of sweet to it. I adore this chutney and, in today’s post, am going to share exactly how to go about making it.

Bangalore Hotel Style Coconut Chutney. Just how pretty is that green?!

What goes into Bangalore Hotel Style Coconut Chutney?

This chutney is a variation of the Basic Coconut Chutney recipe I had shared on the blog some time ago.

The Bangalore Style Coconut Chutney uses fresh grated coconut, fried gram (‘pottukadalai‘ in Tamil), green chillies and a bit of ginger. The green colour comes from the addition of fresh coriander (sometimes mint). Often, a dash of sugar or jaggery is added for a hint of sweetness. Lemon juice is used to gently sour the chutney.

The tempering is a simple one – mustard, asafoetida, curry leaves and dry red chillies in some oil.

It is best prepared fresh, and goes very well with ‘tiffin’ items like idlis, dosas, vadas and upma/khara bath. It is super easy to make, and you can customise the consistency as per your requirements (check the ‘Tips & Tricks’ section for this!).

How to make Bangalore Hotel Style Coconut Chutney

Here’s the detailed recipe.

Ingredients (makes about 1 cup):

1. 1/2 cup grated fresh coconut

2. 1/4 cup fried gram

3. 1/4 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped

4. 1-1/2 green chillies, roughly chopped

5. A 1-inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped

6. Salt to taste

7. 1/2 tablespoon jaggery powder

8. Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste

For tempering:

1. 1/2 tablespoon oil

2. 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

3. 2 pinches of asafoetida

4. 1 sprig of curry leaves

5. 2-3 dry red chillies


Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Below top right and bottom right: Steps 3 and 4, Bottom left: Step 5

1. Put together the basic ingredients needed for the chutney – grated coconut, fried gram, chopped coriander and green chillies, peeled and chopped ginger. Transfer them to a mixer jar.

2. To the mixer jar, add salt to taste and the jaggery powder. Add in just enough water to help with the grinding.

3. Grind everything together to a mostly smooth, slightly coarse mixture. Transfer to a serving bowl.

4. Add lemon juice. Mix well.

5. Now, we will prepare the tempering for the chutney. Heat oil in a small tempering pan. Add in the mustard, and allow to sputter. Reduce heat to low-medium and add in the asafoetida, curry leaves and dry red chillies. Mix. Let them stay in for a few seconds, without burning. Transfer the tempering to the chutney in the serving bowl, and mix well. Bangalore Hotel Style Coconut Chutney is ready – serve with ‘tiffin’ dishes like idli, dosa, vada or upma.

Other chutney recipes on the blog

You might be interested in taking a look at the other chutney recipes on my blog too.

Bombay Chutney is an interesting one, made with gram flour.

Palli Chutney is an Andhra-style chutney made using peanuts, and tastes absolutely delectable.

Sutta Kathrikkai Thogayal is a beautiful eggplant chutney with a rustic smoky flavour.

Kale Thogayal is a Tam-Brahm chutney using the very nutritious kale.

Pineapple Thogayal is a lip-smackingly delish chutney made with pineapple.

Momo Achar is a lovely Sikkim-style peanut chutney for momos.

Karonde Ki Chutney is a unique sweet-and-sour relish made with ‘karondas‘ (‘kalakkai‘ in Tamil).

Kale Angoor Ki Chutney is another sort of relish, made with black grapes.

Anarosher Chaatni is a Bengali-style chutney made using ripe pineapple.

Meethi Chutney is the sweet tamarind chutney that goes into different types of chaat.

Hari Chutney is the mint-y green chutney that is used in chaat, sandwiches and the like.

My friend and fellow food blogger Sujata ji has shared a very different and interesting recipe for Mint & Coriander Chutney – do take a look!

Is this chutney vegan and gluten-free?

This recipe for Bangalore Hotel Style Chutney is completely vegetarian and vegan. It is suited to people following a plant-based diet.

Most commercially available Indian brands of asafoetida do contain wheat flour. It is best to avoid asafoetida in the tempering, in case you wish to make this chutney gluten-free.

Tips & Tricks

1. Adjust the quantity of green chillies depending upon how spicy you want the chutney to be.

2. You may skip the jaggery powder if you don’t prefer it. However, I would highly recommend using it because of the lovely flavour it adds to the chutney.

3. Sugar can be used in place of the jaggery I have used here.

4. You may use a small piece of soaked and de-seeded tamarind while grinding the chutney, in place of the lemon juice. However, this might affect the colour of the chutney. I prefer using lemon juice.

5. Use just a little water, as needed, for grinding the chutney. Too much water will cause the chutney to become too watery. However if you want to keep the chutney runny, do add in more water by all means. Adjust the salt and spice level accordingly. We prefer keeping this chutney thickish – not too watery and runny, but not overly thick either.

6. We prefer grinding the chutney mostly smooth, just slightly coarse.

7. For a taste variation, substitute the fresh coriander used in the above recipe with fresh mint leaves. You could also use a mix of mint and coriander.

8. This chutney is best prepared fresh, just before serving. Any leftover chutney can be stored on a clean, dry, air-tight box, refrigerated, for 2-3 days.

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