Thoothuvalai Chutney

Thoothuvalai (Solanum trilobatum) is a quickly spreading herb usually props up in our surroundings after a good spell of rain. It is a medicinal plant used in Indian medicines Ayurveda & Siddha to treat respiratory problems like asthma, cough, cold & flu.

tutuvela Thoothuvalai Chutney
Thoothuvalai plant

These herbs are recommended by Indian medicine system to include twice a week in the diet of children/ old people, who usually fall sick during monsoon & winter, as it gives them enough relief from common cough, cold & flu. We can also take thoothuvalai candies that are available in drug stores here during this season.

img_1777 Thoothuvalai Chutney
Thoothuvalai mittai

Although thoothuvalai leaves, stems, flowers & fruits have medicinal properties, their leaves are being used for culinary purposes to prepare rasam (soup) and chutney as a home remedy.

img_1663 Thoothuvalai Chutney
Thoothuvalai leaf

I  prefer to use thoothuvalai chutney as a sandwich spread or serve it as a side for idli or dosa.

img_1762 Thoothuvalai Chutney
Thoothuvalai Sandwich
img_1767 Thoothuvalai Chutney
Thoothuvalai chutney for idli & dosa


We can prepare thoothuvalai thuvaiyal as shown here and serve as a side for curd rice. Thoothuvalai chutney may be prepared with/ without tomatoes/ coconut as shown below; please refer “Tips & Tweaks” section at the end for their recipes.

img_2092 Thoothuvalai Chutney
Thoothuvalai chutney with coconut
img_1929 Thoothuvalai Chutney

Now let us look into the recipe for thoothuvalai chutney with tomato that tastes like our usual onion chutney:

img_17452 Thoothuvalai Chutney
Thoothuvalai chutney

Thoothuvalai chutney recipe:

Time taken: 20 min

Yields: ½ cup (100 ml)


  1. Thoothuvalai keerai – 1 cup
  2. Red chillies – 4 Nos.
  3. Bengal gram – 1 tbsp
  4. Onion – 1 No. (or shallots – 10 Nos.)
  5. Tomato – 1 No.
  6. Salt – ½ tsp
  7. Sesame oil – 1 tbsp + ½ tsp
thooth-chutney-ingrdnts Thoothuvalai Chutney

Cooking Method:

  • Wash thoothuvalai leaves after trimming their stems.
  • Chop thorny leaves carefully using scissors or knife.
  • Chop onion & tomato roughly and keep them aside.
  • Heat a pan in low flame with ½ tsp oil.
  • Roast Bengal gram & red chillies.
  • Remove them from pan when roasted.
  • Grind them into a powder at room temperature and keep aside.
  • Meanwhile heat the same pan with 1 tbsp oil in medium flame
  • Add chopped onion and saute until translucent.
  • Add thoothuvalai leaves & salt (¼ tsp) and saute until cooked.
  • Add tomato & salt (¼ tsp) and saute until mushy.
  • Add to the Bengal gram powder at room temperature and grind into a smooth paste after adding 50 ml of water.
  • Serve with (or without) tempering.

Thoothuvalai Sandwich:

We can make sandwich using thoothuvalai chutney as shown below:

  • Spread chutney on the bread slices (I used multigrain bread).
  • Place any steamed and/or raw vegetables of your choice.
  • Sprinkle grated cheese before toasting.
  • Serve thoothuvalai sandwich with tomato ketchup.
tc-sandwich Thoothuvalai Chutney
Sandwich using Thoothuvalai chutney

Tips & Tweaks:

  • When we suffer from cold, it is not recommended to include tomato in our diet, so we can make the same chutney by replacing tomato with a piece of tamarind.
  • We can prepare quick & easy thoothuvalai chutney as below. If we add a tbsp of curd into this chutney, it can be used as a dip for pakora, tikka, kebab, etc.
  • We can also make coconut chutney using thoothuvalai as shown below and it tastes exactly like a curry leaves coconut chutney:
  • Since thoothuvalai plant has sharp tiny thorns all over the stems & leaves, we need to be careful while handling it. We have to discard its thorny stems but we can use thorny leaves alone; no need to remove those thorns on the leaves as they become soft & tender while sauteing; if you find it difficult to chop these thorny leaves, you can use the whole leaves as shown below.
img_1924 Thoothuvalai Chutney

57 comments on “Thoothuvalai ChutneyAdd yours →

  1. This is a new introduction into my limited knowledge about herbs, but surely an interesting one. Not sure it is available in this part of the world but surely will pass this on to my mother. She might have access to these leaves. Thank you for sharing, Megala.

  2. Thanks for introducing me to this herb. I have to try it. Lots of useful information in your post and your recipe seem easy enough for me. Might give it a try.

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