Yet another one from my grandma's kitchen. But I am sure this was not prepared in this way about a century back. From what I know onions were a taboo in a traditional Brahmin household in those days. My mom says she ate it as a child and at that time it was made with no vegetables at all. It was just Chickpea Flour/Besan and thin buttermilk with the rest of the seasonings. This also explains why no vegetables were used - non availability of all types of vegetables all year round. Imagine this being prepared for at least 30 people at home on a regular basis!! This happens to be a great accompaniment for Poori/Roti or even Dosas. This version is the improvised version of the original! As a child I have eaten Pitla with onions, tomatoes and potatoes too. 

Pitla gets its name from Pittu (Tamil) or Hittu (Kannada) meaning Flour or Pindi. As I mentioned before, my grandmother has some tamilian and kannadiga influences. This is probably one of those. I am not sure why it is also called Bombay Chutney. My guess is maybe because it is made in Maharashtra (and also known as Pitla) as part of street food or maybe be it means something more meaningful in Marathi. Anyone there who can clarify this for me?  This simple yet delicious Pitla forms part of the BM#5 for Day 3.

Bombay Chutney

Ingredients -

Onions, sliced 1 cup
Tomatoes, chopped 1 cup
Potatoes, diced  1/4 cup (Optional)
Besan / Senaga Pindi 3/4 cup
Green Chillies 2-3 (or as required)
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Salt as needed
Water 1 cup + more as needed (Thin buttermilk can also be used instead)
Seasoning(Oil 2 tsp, Chana Dal 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Jeera 1/2 tsp, Mustard seeds 1 tsp, Red chillies 1-2, Curry Leaves few)

Method Of Preparation -

In a saucepan, heat oil and the rest of the seasoning ingredients. After the mustard seeds pop, add the onions and saute till they are translucent.

Add chopped green chillies, turmeric, tomatoes, potatoes and adequate water to cook the vegetables. Add the required salt too.

In a separate bowl, add Besan and water to make a watery paste without lumps. Add this paste to the cooked vegetables slowly while continuously stirring to avoid formation of lumps.

Bombay Chutney

Add adequate water to make a thick gravy or as desired. Upon cooling it tends to thicken so adjust accordingly. 

Remove from fire and garnish with chopped cilantro/coriander leaves.

Serve with rotis or pooris.

Here are my previous posts under the 'Regional Recipes' for this week of Blogging Marathon.
1.Alu-Ginger Dal ~ Urlagadda-Allam Pappu
2.Chow Chow Pala Pindi Miriyam

Check out the Blogging Marathoners doing BM#5 along with me 
Curry in a hurry under 30 min: Aarthi, Divya, Jayashree, Kaveri, Pavani,
Seven Days of Indian Sweets:Gayathri, Priya Suresh,
Seven Days of Microwave Meals: Monika,
Seven Days of Regional Specials: Vaishali, Suma, PJ
Seven Days of Colorful Dishes Kid's Special: Kalyani
Summer Coolers: Jayasree, Kamalika, Srivalli

Preparation Time 15-20 min
Serves 3-4 Adults
Posted by Harini on Wednesday, May 25, 2011


  1. Suma Gandlur Says:
  2. One of the quick and delicious side dishes. As you mentioned when onions are not used, I have seen bombai chutney prepared with chayote / potatoes at my home. However I think the onion - tomato combo is the best because of the tang.

  3. Aarthi Says:
  4. yummy..I have never tried this will try one day

  5. Umm Mymoonah Says:
  6. Interesting to know about it's name origin. Best with poori's

  7. Jayashree Says:
  8. I do make this, but haven't used potatoes in it. And no matter what it is called, it is delicious.

  9. Love this side dish with pooris and rava dosa...I always add onions and tomatoes but MIL prepares it without onions and it tastes equally good...

  10. Chitra Says:
  11. this is a completely new to me will definitely try...
    the chutney looks very creamy and rich...nice clicks

  12. jayasree Says:
  13. I liked your improvised version. I knew it as Bombay Chutney.

  14. Unknown Says:
  15. Bookmarked :)

  16. Priya Suresh Says:
  17. Wonderful pair for rotis or pooris, looks delicious and yummy..

  18. Sunanda Says:
  19. The recipe looks very interesting Harini.. I am gonna try this out for sure..

    Sunanda's Kitchen

  20. I have not tasted pitla made with tomato. In my house it is always onion and potato combo and it is always made to go with puri

  21. Harini,this is mouthwatering...never tasted this kind of chutney...bookmarked!

  22. Looks creamy & delicious!!

  23. divya Says:
  24. Mouthwatering here, super delicious chutney,yumm!

  25. Shylaja Says:
  26. I simply love this dish.I used to have this with idlis...
    Looks so delicious and yummy
    South Indian Recipes

  27. I love bombai chutney especially wid dosas n chapathi..:)
    looks yumm

  28. my all time fav.. xcept me no one in my family likes this...i loveee it..

  29. Indian Khana Says:
  30. Looks so gud ..

  31. Even my mom prepares this but she uses fried gram powder instead of besan and she uses only onions. She also calls it bombay chutney. Using veggies makes this more delicious..

  32. Pavani Says:
  33. Yummy combination. I love dishes with besan, will have to try your version soon.

  34. Ms.Chitchat Says:
  35. Interesting recipe,never heard of this,would love to try this.

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