At Indian restaurant in the northeast US, your order always arrives with a flight of chutneys: a green (cilantro) chutney, a white (coconut), and a red (sweet onion). Here's how to make the wonderful sweet onion chutney to have at home, bedside your naan.Yum
I'm not quite sure where this chutney originates or whether it's an Indian-American invention. I suspect the latter, given the irascible presence of ketchup in it. Whatever its origin story, it's a keeper, a wildly addictive sweet-and-savory dip for your naan (or pita, or any flatbread you happen to keep company with, but, of course, especially naan). I finally tracked down a recipe from The Curry Guy that, with a few tweaks, turns out spot-on like the sweet onion chutney I remember getting at Indian restaurants (back before my kosher-keeping days). It's as simple as can be to make it, and completely wonderful.
Making the chutney
You will need to soak the onions for an hour to take away their bite. And then, the finished chutney needs time to stand before you use it. So you'll need to make this a few hours before you plan to serve it.
The real deal would use Kashmiri red chili powder. However, I've never been able to find one that's kosher certified. (It's possible that a reliably single-ingredient powder wouldn't require one, but I need to ask.) In its place, I use hot paprika, which is mild, and, I gather, very similar. You can use regular, sweet paprika if you prefer it with no heat at all.
What to serve sweet onion chutney with
We like this chutney best dipped in with naan. It would also be great with idli and other Indian breads. And it wouldn't be out of place among salads served with hummus or challah!
Looking for more Indian recipes?
- How to Make Indian Naan Flatbread - There's nothing better for dipping into chutney. This recipe truly gives you restaurant quality naan from your home oven. (I was picky during recipe testing!)
- Curry Hill Matar Paneer - the north Indian classic, a favorite at Indian restaurants. (If you're wondering where to get (kosher) paneer—I have post about making paneer yourself, which is easy and fun.)
- Indian-Spiced Fish Patties - Easy and so good, these are made with canned salmon or tuna.
Sweet Onion Chutney (parve)
Soak the onions:
- Dice the onion into small pieces. Place the diced onions in a bowl of cold water, cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Make the chutney:
- Drain the onions, then dry in a clean kitchen towel.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, tomato paste, paprika, cumin, and salt. Add the onions and turn to coat well.
- Refrigerate for about 1 hour more before serving.