Spicy Roasted Tomato Chutney

Looking for an Indian condiment is that spicy, tangy and tasty? Then this spicy tomato chutney might work for you. This is my ma-in-law’s recipe and she used to make it often when she was here with us. She has quite a collection of chutneys, dry powders, Thokku’s etc which not only taste great but enhances the flavor of any meal. (as a side dish). 

This recipe involves a three steps process; making the spice powder, roasting the tomatoes and then seasoning it. You can make the powder ahead of time and use it while making the chutney. 

I agree, this is not an easy dish, it is time consuming but then the end product is really worthwhile. But if you make the powder in advance, then it reduces a step and preparation becomes easier. Usually when time permits I take up the task of making chutney on a Sunday. This way I have time to make it and also a week’s time to use it up. Remember a little goes a long way. This lasts for 4-5 days in the fridge and pairs well with idli, dosa, rotis and rice. 

Note: Change the quantity of the redchilli powder depending on your hotness tolerance level. I use a fiery red chili powder for this which we bought from India. 

Some more tomato related recipes: 



  • 4-7 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 3-4 small pieces of raw tamarind
  • 2 tsp urad daal
  • ¼ tsp Hing/asafetida
  • 2-3 Tbsp Red chilli powder
  • 1/2 cup oil (canola/peanut)


  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • ¼ tsp methi seeds/fenugreek
  • ½ Tbsp jeera/cumin seeds


  • Wash the tomatoes well and chop them into two halves (along with the skin).
  • Powder: In a small pan separately roast the coriander seeds, then the cumin seeds and methi seeds (without oil). Transfer to plate.
  • After it is cooled, powder it finely and keep aside.
  • Roasting: Heat a heavy bottom flat pan and add 2 Tbsps of oil. Place the halved tomatoes directly in the pan.
  • After the bottom part has cooked, turn it around and cook on all sides. After it has cooked it will begin to wilt and loose shape. Press it with back of the spoon, so that all of it gets cooked. Now add the raw tamarind piece in it and stir again.
  • After it has cooled, grind it in a mixer (along with the tamarind) and set aside.
  • Seasoning: Heat oil in a pan, add the asafetida, urad daal mix until the urad daal turns light brown. Now add the roasted tomato paste and keep stirring, making sure it does not stick to the bottom.
  • After it has sufficiently cooked, add red chilli powder and the ground powder to this and mix well.
  • If you think it is a bit dry then add a teaspoon of oil. Let it continue to cook, until the oil leaves the sides.
  • After it has cooled store in an air tight container and this usually lasts for about 4-5 days in the fridge.   

This can be served with rice or rotis, dosa, idli and rice.

Murmura Upma/Puffed Rice Snack

Hope you had a good and relaxing weekend! 

Remember the rant I made last about the relentless summer heat here in Texas, with the temperatures being above 100+ for the past 45 days? Guess what? The rain Gods finally answered our prayers and it rained here for a little bit providing much needed relief.  Come Saturday morning, we woke up to the smell of the earth. And not to mention the grass, yard all soaked in water provided a happy sight. As I stood there it reminded me of the old age adage, that it is the simple things in life that gives you most joy.

Now take this puffed rice for example a simple ingredient sold most by the street vendors. I am sure most of us are familiar with this regional name than the translated English name, chirmure/kadle puri/ mamra/ muri/ pori. There are so many recipes using this humble ingredient, that it is hard to keep count. I guess, each region in India has its own specialty making it so unique. Our family favorites are the Khara Kadle Puri, this upma and the ladoo that is made of it.

This is referred to as Mandakki Usli/ Kadle puri oggarane in Kannada, Soosla in Konkani. This is a low calorie dish, good as breakfast or as evening/ afternoon snack. You can add veggies like potato, tomato, peas, carrots and make it filling and nutritious. If you are new to this or have not tasted it before then this tastes like the regular old poha upma/ aval upma and looks the same too (after it is cooked).


  • 4 cups puffed rice/ murmura (chirmure/kadle puri/ mamra/ muri/ pori)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 5-7 curry leaves
  • 3-4 green chillies (chopped)
  • Asafetida/hing a pinch
  • 2 tsp urad daal (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp peanuts
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4  tsp turmeric powder
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1 tsp Sugar (optional)
  • Oil
  • salt 


  • Wash the puffed rice and rinse it in water. Since they are light, they will float in water. Use your hands to press it down to absorb water and then squeeze out the water completely from the puffed rice and keep aside.
  • Take a big pan and heat oil in it. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and when they splutter add the curry leaves, asafetida.
  • Add the peanuts, urad daal and keep stirring until the urad daal turns light brown.
  • Add chopped onion and green chillies until the onion becomes translucent.
  • Add salt and turmeric powder and add soaked puffed rice and mix well. Keep stirring until it is coated well.
  • Check for seasoning and then add the juice of lemon, sugar (optional) mix and switch off the gas.
  • Serve immediately when warm, otherwise it will become soggy. 

Vermicelli (Semiya) Upma/ Shavige Uppittu

vermicelli upma semiya upma
This will probably be my last post for the Light Lunches Event here @RedChillies an on-going event for the month of June. This event focuses on light lunches that are easy on the calories, yet rich in taste and delicious.

 Once such dish that fits the bill and one which I make often is this Vermicelli Upma (called as Shaivge upma in Kannada). Semiya is Indian vermicelli and is available in the Indian grocery stores. 

At our home it has transformed from a breakfast/tiffin/evening snack dish to a main course lunch/dinner dish owing to lack of time. The good thing is that this is a one dish meal and that means less work with cleaning and dish washing. This is also a crowd pleaser and can be put together in no time (if you have the semiya/shevai on hand). This is also a good one to make when you are looking for quick ideas when unexpected guests arrive.

 Growing up, as kids we preferred this upma over the regular Sooji upma. My mom would then sneak in as many veggies as possible to make this colorful and healthy. You can add the vegetables mentioned here or more to make it nutritious. This is a kid’s favorite dish as it looks more like noodles. You can reduce the amount of green chillies and sprinkle little bit of sugar before offering it to them.


  • There are two varieties of Vermicelli available (at least in the Bambino variety) the plain broken vermicelli and the roasted vermicelli.
  • Using the roasted vermicelli makes the upma process easier as it prevents the extra step of roasting. This is also non-sticky and avoids forming clumps.
  • But taste wise I like the plain vermicelli better and I like roasting the vermicelli myself. But the color of the vermicelli in this case will not be white.

shavige uppittu

How to prevent the vermicelli from sticking?

  • Roast the vermicelli in little oil slowly so that it is evenly browned. Keep aside. Also use the correct amount of water while cooking. This prevents the vermicelli from sticking.
  • If pre-cooking the vermicelli, then first boil the vermicelli in water as per package suggestion. After draining the hot water, add running cold water. After the cold water is drained add about a tsp of oil and toss it gently so that the oil sticks all around. This prevents from vermicelli sticking to each other.


Vermicelli Upma Recipe


  • 2 cups  vermicelli/ semiya/ shavige ( I use this Bambino variety)
  • ½ cup onion (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup peas (shelled)
  • ¼ cup carrot (chopped finely)
  • ¼ cup potato (peeled and chopped finely)
  • 2-3 green chillies ( finely chopped )
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad daal
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Cilantro (for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup broken cashew (optional)
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • Salt


  • Please read the notes above before proceeding.
  • Heat 1 tsp of oil in pan over medium heat and add the vermicelli. Keep stirring the mixture until the vermicelli turns pale brown. Transfer to plate and keep aside.
  • In the same pan now heat 1 Tbsp oil. Add mustard seeds, urad dal and mix until the urad daal turns light brown in color.
  • Add the chopped onion and green chillies.  After the onion has cooked a little add the chopped carrots, potatoes and peas and keep stirring. (Since the vegetables are chopped finely, they will cook fast.)
  • Add salt and little bit more oil if necessary and stir continuously.
  • Add 3 cups of water to this and let it come to boil. At this point check for seasoning. It is better to have the correct taste at this time.
  • Add the roasted vermicelli to this, stir, turn the heat to medium and cover with a lid.
  • After 5 minutes stir again and now partially cover the pan until the water has all absorbed. Turn off the heat.
  • Lastly garnish with lemon juice, chopped cilantro and cashew pieces. Keep the lid covered for another 5-10 minutes. Stir again and serve hot.


semiya uppuma