Zesty Tomato Onion Curry 

Our everyday lunch platter consists of four tasty dishes. Curry is a gravy based side dish which is always served with steamed rice, mashed lentils and a side of vegetable. This delicious curry is flavored with ginger, garlic and an array of spices. It’s an authentic recipe from my home town and I’m happy to share it with you all.

Thakali Vengaya Kulambu –  Tomato onion Curry 

This recipe serves 4 


  • Shallots/ Small onions – 6 (sliced)
  • Tomato – 1 (sliced)
  • Green chili – 2 (chopped)
  • Ginger – 2 pieces (grated)
  • Garlic pods – 3 (grated)
  • Sambar powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Tamarind pulp – 1 tablespoon
  • Grated coconut – 1/4 cup
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon


  1. If you don’t have shallots just use regular onions.
  2. I have used homemade sambar powder, you can also try Sakthi masala’s – South Indian sambar powder, it’s available in stores.
  3. You can also use curry powder, since it has some aromatic ingredients the taste will slightly vary*

  • Prep the veggies and keep it ready

  • In a hot pan add a teaspoon of oil, add the grated coconut and toast it until it’s golden brown.
  • Put it into a blender, add the salt and powder it.
  • Now add 1/4 cup of water and grind it into a smooth paste and set it aside.

  • Heat oil in a pan, add the sliced onions and sauté it until they are slightly soft. No need to cook it through. 
  • Now add the tomatoes and sauté it for a minute. Make sure it doesn’t get mushy. 
  • Add ginger, garlic and the green chili, you need to sauté them just for a second so that they don’t lose their aroma.
  • Add the tamarind pulp and 2 cups of water and mix it well.
  • *Don’t add all the pulp, if the tomatoes are sour you don’t need much tamarind, so taste it first then add more if you need to. 

  • Now add the sambar powder and combine it nicely.
  • Close it with a lid and let it simmer for sometime.
  • The curry has to thicken up to a pourable consistency.
  • Now add the coconut paste and let it simmer for couple of minutes until it comes to a gravy consistency.
  • * Keep in mind we have added salt while we were grinding the coconut paste. So don’t forget and add more. 
  • We purposely did not add any salt to the gravy because it makes the onions and tomatoes mushy. They need to hold their shape until the curry is done. 

  • Now heat a teaspoon of oil add mustard seeds, once it pops take it out of the heat add curry leaves and pour it on top of the curry and mix it well.
  • Garnish it with a tiny sprig of coriander leaf, Serve it nice and hot.

Look at this mouthwatering curry! The aroma from this curry literally perfumes the whole kitchen. The smell of ginger, garlic and the spices are irresistible!

We South Indians specially like to eat this zesty curry with Parruppu Sadham (dhal rice).  I just can’t wait to dig in.  Yum! it’s tangy, spicy and so aromatic ! It’s lip smacking good!

This flavorful curry can be made in a matter of fifteen minutes with simple ingredients you have in your pantry. You can also serve this with idli, poori or Chapathi (flatbreads). Enjoy !




Published by Latha @ savvysouthindian.com

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