Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bombay Chutney / Kadalamaav Gothsu/ Besan Chutney

  It beats me why this dish is called a "chutney" it's more like a sambar in my opinion, but that's irrelevant here. This is a great accompaniment for Idly and Dosa and it is a very easy and quick side dish to make. Back home in India, my mom used to make this for me every time she made idly/dosa. Though I was a big fan of this recipe, you might have guessed by now, my brother did not like it. This one time my parents were out and I was going to take care of dinner for my brother and I. I made idlis and this chutney/gothsu to go with it and my brother was to have it with the molaga podi (a spicy powder made of roasted lentils and is mixed with oil and had as an accompaniment with idly dosa). So we sat down for dinner and I guess my brother was bored with his molaga podi and asked if he can taste some of . I was like "if you had told me sooner I had to share this with you, I would have made more." He just wanted to taste a little bit. Minutes later, he had finished the entire side dish and when my mom got back he accused her of never making this for him! My mom was like "yeah that's exactly how it is - I deprived you of this dish when clearly you always have liked it!"

  Then a couple of years back, after getting married, I made this for my hubby for breakfast once. My husband is a big foodie as I've mentioned before. He generally doesn't hate anything but he didn't like this! I was upset initially and I got around eating it later - it tasted like feet!!! In my defense, I made this for breakfast and I am no morning person. No wonder he hated it! I got around making it again for dinner this other time and he was like "errr... do you have coconut chutney instead?" I tasted it and it seemed fine. After that I learnt that he dislikes any dish that has besan (gram flour) in it, even if it is well hidden. So, I forgot about this dish for almost a year till one day when I was on the phone with my mother and she was making this chutney for dinner. I got reminded of this favorite I had not made in a while! So, I decided to make it again for myself and make some coconut chutney for the husband. I was enjoying myself and reeling in the memories of life in Chennai when I was interrupted by a "can I try some?" This was like deja-vu! I even gave him the same reply I gave my brother many years back! He tastes it, and he was like "this is not so bad, its actually pretty good", and he ended up finishing the whole thing. I don't think I did anything different other than that the very first time I made this for him, I screwed up the dish. I guess the man with his falter-less devotion for coconut chutney finally got bored of the plain looks and got attracted to my yellow-red-green tinged side. With that, I had successfully converted two people into liking this dish... Yay!

  All this talk of "conversion" because the theme for FSB this time around was chosen by Anu, who wanted us to make something with an ingredient that we have not cooked with ever or avoid because someone in the house doesn't like it. I picked an ingredient that the husband doesn't like because his list of things he doesn't like is much shorter than mine and he is not fussy. My endless list of dislikes was hard to pick from and I am pretty stubborn in not eating what I don't like.

Onion - 1 Medium/Small ( you can skip it if you are avoiding onions)
Tomato- 1 Medium
Chilly powder - 1/2 - 1 Tsp (as per your taste)
Salt - As per taste
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Corriander Leaves/ Cilantro - a generous portion
Hing - a generous pinch
Besan - 2-3 Tbsps
Oil - 1 tsp
Urad Dal - 1 Tsp
Mustard seeds
Green Chillies -1-2 slit (I don't like the pieces coming in my mouth!)
Curry leaves
  • In a sauce pan, add some oil and once hot enough temper with mustard seeds, urad dal, chillies and curry leaves.
  • Sautee the onions till translucent. Add the tomato and sautee for a min.

  • After lowering the heat, add the besan that has been mixed in 1- 1.5 cups water. Ensure that the paste it is smooth and free of lumps prior to adding. Add the rest of the ingredients, and increase the temperature of the stove to medium heat.
It looks pretty!

But a terrible idea ! It was so difficult to mix it into a smooth paste!
  • This mixture will thicken. You do not want the mixture to be thick like a paste, nor should it be runny. If the mixture doesn't thicken, you can always add some more besan, and if the mixture is too thick, you can add some water - so no sweat!

  • Take it off the stove and garnish with cilantro/ corriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with Idly

  • Or Dosas

  • Or both!!!

This recipe is super easy and super quick! I personally like the onions and the tomatoes to be a bit chunky. Try it once and you will be converted into liking it too :). Do check out what my other FSB buddies are cooking up in their kitchens: Anu, Deepti, DK, Lata, Madhuri, Nags, Siri


  1. This is my all time trump when I am pressed for time:)and yes even DH does not like purely because of the besan base...I have to always add generous quantity of onions and extra flavouring to make up!
    But honestly, I like this chutney!

  2. @Lata - Sounds like the story of my life ;) Good to know I am not alone here :)
    @Tina - thanks :) do try it out sometime

  3. Chutney looks really tempting and tangy also.

  4. I luv this besan chutney,the best and easy sidedish for dosa and chappathi

  5. Hello Mittu!

    All you FSB's belong to my 'Favourite Food Blogs' folder bookmark, both on my laptop and iPod.

    Very beautiful presentation, photograph, along with great tasting food are what differentiate between the normal food blog and favourite food blog for me. Kudos to all of you. How do I tag all other FSB's to this comment here? :P

    This post of 'Bombay chutney/kadalamaav gothsu' is the, I believe, TN's version of Maharashtrian popular semi-solid 'jhunka' minus the onions and tomatoes.

    My Aayi prepares great 'Jhunka' too, eager to try your version.


    1. Hey Chetana! Thank you so much for your lovely words! I shall pass it on to the other free spiriters! Do wait and watch for a round 2 coming up soon...

      This is I guess my moms version of Bombay chutney!!! Even in the TN version the tomatoes and onions are mostly not present!!!