Onion chutney recipe without vinegar and sugar?! Really?! Yes, really 😊 The natural sweetness of caramelized onions, the tanginess from tamarind, and the spice from red chilies make this chutney super delicious and healthy. Serve it as a dip or a spread in your sandwich. It will be a perfect accompaniment to your cheese board.
If you have been following my blog for long enough you will know that I am a huge fan of chutneys. I mean, why not?! They are delicious and easy to make, last long in the fridge, and are so versatile. For example, this cilantro mint chutney comes in handy not just as a dip, but also to make quick fried rice on a busy day.
Do you love chutneys as well? What is your favorite one? Do let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear from you.
This onion chutney recipe is free from
This is a vegan recipe.
Why you will love this recipe
In addition to being vegan, nut-free, gluten-free, and soy-free, there are so many reasons which make this recipe a winner:
✨ Requires under 10 ingredients.
✨ Stays in the fridge for up to 2 weeks (read storage instructions below).
✨ Super easy, healthy, and uses natural ingredients.
✨ Is versatile - use it as a dip, spread, or accompaniment to your cheese board.
✨ Requires no added sugar.
✨ Has no balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, or any other type of vinegar.
This is a super easy recipe and one that requires under 10 ingredients. Some of the ingredients may require you to make a trip to an Indian grocery store.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Onions: For best results, taste and color use red onions. You can use yellow onions but bear in mind that the color of the chutney will be lighter.
Tamarind Pulp: This is extracted from the tamarind fruit and is quite commonly used in Indian and South East Asian cooking. You can use store-bought pulp or learn how to make tamarind pulp at home.
Lentils: White lentils (urad dal in Hindi) are sold in stores with their skin (and therefore look black, like the one in the picture above) or without their skin (white). These lentils keep fresh for months and so buy them in bulk (saves you multiple trips to the store!) and use them in other recipes such as this bottle gourd recipe and this spicy cucumber salad.
Asafoetida: A common ingredient in the Indian store cupboard, asafoetida adds depth and savoriness to the caramelized onion chutney.
Red chilies: Use as many or as few as you want. I like to use enough spice to balance the caramelized sweetness of the onion and the tartness of the tamarind.
Oil: I have used neutral oil. Olive oil will work too.
I have not, but you can use mustard seeds in this recipe. I will tell you when to add them to the recipe in the instructions section.
Let's make this delicious caramelized onion chutney.
Step 1: Measure out all the ingredients. Peel, wash, and chop the onions.
Step 2: Place oil in a frying pan on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the lentils, chilies, and asafoetida.
If you want to add mustard seeds, this is when you should add them.
Wait for the lentils to start browning (and mustard seeds, if used, to splutter). The chilies will also, by this time, get char spots on them.
At this stage, add the onions and stir so that the oil coats the onion pieces.
Step 3: Fry the onions, on medium heat till they turn to a beautiful brown color (see picture below).
This is the most important step and it will take 10-12 minutes so be patient 🙂
Tip: Add salt to the onions when they are frying. The salt will prevent the onions from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Step 4: Now add the tamarind pulp, stir and fry for another 3-4 minutes on low heat. This will allow the tamarind to cook and flavors to mingle.
Step 5: Remove from heat and keep aside to cool. Once cool, grind to a smooth paste.
And that's it, delicious red onion chutney is ready to serve!
Note: The moisture of the tamarind and onions will be enough to grind. If required, add 2-3 teaspoons of water.
One of the best parts about this recipe is that it stays fresh for up to 2 weeks. So go ahead and make a big batch!
Just keep in mind to:
- Store in a sterilized jar or glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid.
- Let the chutney cool completely before storing it away.
As I mentioned earlier, this chutney is so versatile! Here are some ways you can enjoy this deliciousness:
📌 As a dip with carrot and cucumber sticks
📌 As an accompaniment to your cheese board - this chutney tastes divine with crackers 😍
📌 As a spread in your sandwich or wrap.
Quick sandwich recipe: This one is a family favorite: Spread onion chutney on one slice of bread and arrange thinly sliced cucumbers on the slice. Spread butter or any plant-based spread of your choice on the other slice. Voila!
Frequently Asked Questions
Onion chutney is a popular Indian condiment that is made with red onions. The spices used vary from region to region: some use ginger, garlic, bay leaves, mustard seeds, and chilies to enhance the flavors of the chutney. Herbs such as cilantro and curry leaves are added for fragrance.
Onion chutney tastes good as a dip with cucumber and carrot sticks. It can be a perfect accompaniment to your cheese board. It can also be a spread for your sandwich or wrap.
Stored in a clean glass bottle, onion chutney will last for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
Have you made this delicious onion chutney recipe? Then please take a moment to leave a comment and a rating below. This will make me super happy and motivate me to create more good content for you! xx Padma
Onion Chutney Recipe without Vinegar
- 1 frying pan
- 1 spatula
- 1 high speed blender
- 1 sterilised glass jars (for storing the chutney)
- 2 medium sized red onions (300 grams, approximately)
- 1 and ⅓ tablespoons tamarind pulp
- 1 teaspoon salt (adjust as per taste)
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil (or olive oil)
- 2 teaspoons white lentils (urad dal) (with skin or without)
- ¼ teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
- 6-8 whole dry red chilies (adjust as per taste)
Prep the onion
- Peel, wash and chop the onions into medium-sized, even pieces.2 medium sized red onions
Make the chutney
- Measure the rest of the ingredients1 and ⅓ tablespoons tamarind pulp, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons neutral oil, 2 teaspoons white lentils (urad dal), ¼ teaspoon asafoetida (hing), 6-8 whole dry red chilies
- Start with the tempering: Place a thick-bottomed frying pan on medium heat. When hot, add the oil. Add the lentils, asafoetida, and red chilies. Wait for the lentils to start browning. The chilies will also, by this time, get char spots on them.2 tablespoons neutral oil, 2 teaspoons white lentils (urad dal), ¼ teaspoon asafoetida (hing), 6-8 whole dry red chilies
- Add the onions and stir so that the oil coats the onion pieces. Add salt. Fry till the onions start to caramelize i.e. they turn into a beautiful brown color.Adding salt early on prevents the onions from sticking to the bottom of the pan.2 medium sized red onions, 1 teaspoon salt
- When the onions have caramalized, add the tamarind pulp. Turn the heat to low and fry for another 3-4 minutes.1 and ⅓ tablespoons tamarind pulp
- Take off from the heat and set aside to cool. Once cool enough, grind in a high speed blender to a smooth paste, There is enough moisture in the mixture to make a smooth paste. If not, add 2-3 tablespoons of water to help grind.
- Serve as a dip or as a sandwich spread.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only.
The nutrition information is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.