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Onion Chutney or Ulli Karam

Onion chutney or ulli karam is a wonderful blend of sautéed mixture of onions, red chilli powder, salt and sugar giving a perfect balance of sweet and hot flavours.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Chutney (Side Dish), Condiment
Cuisine: Indian (South Indian)
Keyword: Onion chutney, Ulli Karam, Ullipaya Chutney, Vengaya Chutney,
Author: Padma Veeranki


  • 2 Large Onions Peeled & Roughly Chopped
  • 2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt check according to taste
  • 1 tsp Tamarind Extract Optional
  • For the seasoning:
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil or Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp 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.
  • You can refrigerate and use for about 3 to 4 weeks to serve with idli, dosa, pongal paniyaram, upma or combine with any meal..

Recipe Video


  • Spice levels can be adjusted with chilli powder.
  • All the moisture in the chutney must be evaporated before turning off the heat.
  • Oil can be reduced if you are using up the chutney in 4 to 5 days.
  • 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.