Slice the onions and keep aside. Soak the sambar onion in warm water for 10 mins to remove the skin easily. Chop them and keep aside.
Heat a pan with 2 tsp oil. Add urad dal seeds and sauté till it becomes golden in color. Now add whole dry red chilies and sauté over low flame till they become roasted as well. Now add chopped onion, sambar onion and tamarind and sauté till the onions become deep pink and they shrink well in size. Take off fire and let it cool.
Transfer this mixture to a mixie jar, add salt and grind to a smooth paste adding little water, if needed.
Once again heat the same pan with remaining 1 tsp oil. Add mustard seeds and when they splutter, transfer the ground chutney to the pan and mix well and cook over low flame for 2-3 mins or till the chutney becomes thick and raw smell disappears.
Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with hot idli, dosa or paniyaram.
I use both the regular onion and the sambar onion to make this chutney. By nature sambar onion gives out a sweet taste so when we add regular onion it balances the taste of the chutney with its pungent, sharp taste.
If you do not wish to add both the onion, use any one.
Usually Nallennai (sesame oil) is used to make this chutney, but if you do not happen to have, use any vegetable oil.
Adjust the quantity of the red chilies according to the spice level you prefer.
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