Chutney is a great accompaniment to most South Indian breakfast delicacies. Onion chutney or Ulli karam is one such chutney which comes to rescue when you run out of stock of tomato or coconut. Onion is such a versatile vegetable and is a basic ingredient available at every home. I love onions and use them abundantly in all my cooking, so I always have a stock of this chutney in my refrigerator. This version of onion chutney or Ulli (onion) karam (spicy) is a spicy Andhra style recipe, which I got form my friend’s MIL. Thank you aunty for the recipe. It’s so simple and quick to prepare this chutney with minimal ingredients and yet flavourful.
This chutney is unique in its own way without the tangy tinge that regular chutneys have, it is a no tamarind and no garlic chutney. You can also use this chutney to make karam dosa by spreading over the dosa and cooking along with ghee. If you further stuff this dosa with mashed potato curry, it becomes another breakfast delicacy called Masala Dosa.
Onion chutney or ulli karam is a wonderful blend of sautéed onions, red chilli powder, salt and a little sugar giving a perfect balance of sweet and hot flavours. It tastes excellent when accompanied with idli, dosa, vada, upma, pongal, and paniyaram.
Step-by-Step process in making Onion chutney or Ulli karam:
- Peel and roughly chop onions to medium sized pieces. Add red chilli powder, sugar and salt to the onions.
- Grind them together to a coarse paste in a blender and keep it aside. Ensure not to add any water.
- Grab all the ingredients required for seasoning. Take a look at the recipe card at the end of the post for measurements.
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Season with mustard and cumin seeds. Once they splutter, add black gram/urad dal and red chillies. Sauté till the black gram/urad dal turns golden brown, add a pinch of asafoetida and finally add curry leaves, stir for a minute.
- Now add the ground onion mixture to it.
- Stir occasionally till the oil leaves the side of the pan and raw smell goes away. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Turn off heat and allow it to cool and transfer to an airtight container. You can refrigerate and use for about 3 to 4 weeks.
A Quick Summary:
- 2 large onions peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons red chilli powder
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons salt check according to taste
- For the seasoning:
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil or sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons black gram/urad dal
- 2 red chillies
- A pinch of asafoetida
- A sprig of curry leaves
- Mix chopped onions, red chilli powder, sugar and salt. Grind them together to a coarse paste in a blender and keep it aside.
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Season with mustard and cumin seeds. Once they splutter, add black gram/urad dal and red chillies. Sauté till the black gram/urad dal turns golden brown, add a pinch of asafoetida and finally add curry leaves, stir for a minute and then add the ground onion mixture to it.
- Stir occasionally till the oil leaves the side of the pan and raw smell goes away.
- Turn off heat and allow it to cool and transfer to an airtight container.
2. All the moisture in the chutney must be evaporated before turning off the heat.
3. Oil can be reduced if you are using up the chutney in 2 or 3 days.
4. You can increase quantities of the ingredients proportionally, prepare in large quantity to store in the refrigerator for about 3 to 4 weeks and serve with idli, dosa, pongal, paniyaram or combine with any meal.
Happy Cooking 🙂