Vara Milagai Chutney or Chettinad Vara Milagai Thuvayal is a spicy red dry chili chutney from the Chettinad Cuisine perfect as a side for your Idli, Sada Dosa or as an accompaniment to your main meals.
This Spicy red chili chutney is a simple chutney with basic ingredients and can be made in just max 30 minutes at the most. If you are looking for a chutney without coconut this chutney is one of the best coconut free chutney recipes.
A little about Chettinad Cuisine
Chettinad cuisine is the cuisine from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu, a state in South India. The cuisine is famous for its spicy dishes. It uses a variety of spics and dishes are made with fresh ground masalas. The cuisine offers a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.
So this month when Kalyani from Sizzling Tastebuds asked us to make a dish from Chettinad cuisine, I wanted to make something simple, quick but at the same time which is versatile. Simple and quick, because it is summer here and I am really pressed on time with everything going around, my job, home, gardening, blog and kids summer vacations.
Wanted to make Chettinad Beetroot Kola Urundai but that has to wait a bit longer. I thought I was going to miss it but when Mayuri, my Co-admin of this group, said you still have time and can make something, I decided to make this Chettinad Vara Milagai Thuvayal.
I did not have a partner for this challenge. If you all follow my blog, this challenge involves 2 to work, by giving each other secret ingredients. So Mayuri di voted to give me the secret ingredients and she made this delicious Chettinad Urulai Roast | Potato Roast. Another lip-smacking potato recipe from her blog, which I would definitely love to try. She gave me oil and garlic and I made this fiery hot, Vara Milagai Chutney.
Now there are many different recipes for this Vara Milagai Chutney. Few use tomatoes and few do not. Few of the recipes do the tempering once and some do twice. Now I am not saying this might be the traditional recipe, but based on search, I feel it is pretty close. I did check a couple of recipes and used a combination of different ones.
Gingelly oil for Vara Milagai chutney
Gingelly oil or sesame oil is being used for this chutney. I would recommend to use this vegan oil only and not swap it with vegetable oil as it really enhances the flavor. However if you cannot source it you can replace it with vegetable oil.
Onions or Shallots
Few of the recipes use big onions, but I see that the shallots are the typical ones used. I was keen to make this, as I had my fresh garden shallots and organic tomatoes from my garden.
I am using a combination of Spicy red chili and Kashmiri red chili. The small round red chili gives it desired hot levels and the kashmiri red chili adds to colour.
So the chutney recipe is pretty simple. I first did a tempering of urad dal, mustard seeds, curry leaves, onion and garlic.
Adding Tomatoes to Chutney
Once they are translucent, tomatoes are added. Tomatoes are cooked well until they turn soft and mushy. Tomatoes are added here to bring down the spice level of the chutney. Also I read that to get that perfect red color cook your tomatoes well. A small piece of tamarind is added and cooked along.
Next the mixture is allowed to cool and grinded to a smooth paste. Again a tempering of oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves is done. Chutney mixture is added and cooked for 4-5 minutes until the mixture starts releasing oil on the sides. That’s it, the chutney is ready to enjoy.
Shelf life of Vara Milagai Chutney
This chutney should stay good for 1 week or more in the refrigerator with proper hygiene conditions maintained. Oil here does act as a preservative and if you want to keep the chutney for a week do not reduce the amount of oil.
This chutney is vegan, diary-free, gluten-free and nut-free.
Few more chutney recipes on my blog
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Vara Milagai Chutney (Chettinad spicy red dry chili chutney)
- 5-6 shallots roughly chopped
- 18-20 Spicy red chili
- 2-3 Kashmiri Red chili
- 3-4 small size garlic cloves roughly chopped
- 1 inch piece of tamarind
- 1 medium sized tomatoes roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoon Gingelly oil
- 8-10 curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon split black gram – urad dal
- Salt to taste
- Water as required.
- 1 tablespoon Gingelly oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 8-10 curry leaves
- In a heavy bottom pan add 2 tablespoons of Oil.2 tablespoon Gingelly oil
- Once hot, add the mustard seeds, let it splutter.1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- Add black gram and curry leaves and fry for a few seconds.8-10 curry leaves, 1 teaspoon split black gram
- Now add the shallots, garlic and saute until it is translucent.5-6 shallots roughly chopped, 3-4 small size garlic cloves roughly chopped
- Cook the shallots and garlic well.
- Once done add in the red chili and tamarind and cook for a minute or two.18-20 Spicy red chili, 2-3 Kashmiri Red chili, 1 inch piece of tamarind
- Now add the tomatoes and cook on low until the tomatoes are nicely done.1 medium sized tomatoes roughly chopped
- Once done, switch off and let the mixture cool completely.
- Add Salt and puree this to a smooth paste. Add a little water, a tablespoon at a time, if required.Salt to taste, Water as required.
- In a pan add oil.1 tablespoon Gingelly oil
- Once hot, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter.1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- Now add the curry leaves and fry for 10-15 seconds.8-10 curry leaves
- Add the chutney paste and let the mixture cook on low for 5-7 minutes stirring in between.
- The chutney is done when the mixture starts releasing oil on the edges.
- Switch off and let it cool.
- To store, let it cool completely and store it in a clean and sterile jar.
- Standard US Size cups and spoons used.
- The measurements are a rough guide, one can change a little as per preference.
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