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.


It is recommended to include these herbs 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.


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.


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


Variations: 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.


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


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.jpg

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.

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.

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.

57 Comments Add yours

  1. InspiresN says:

    great share Megala , have not used the herb before hope to make it sometime

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks !

  2. Wow this sounds so good and not too difficult! I will have to try it!

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you !

  3. Sandhya says:

    This herb is new to me Megala. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Megala says:

      Most welcome !

  4. very new to me megala.Lot of health benefits u have shared that was very useful and sure will give it a try. Very eager to know the taste of this healthy stuff.

    1. Megala says:

      This herb tastes sweet, your kids will like it ! Thanks !!

      1. sure will try if its available in my place.

  5. Nirathya says:

    Thank you Megala for sharing a beautiful recipe with a useful herb 🙂 . I will try this recipe 🙂

    1. Megala says:

      Oh! Thanks !!

  6. Lavs Raj says:

    Wow.. looks yummy Megala.. Has been years since i had these..

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you !

  7. Christy B says:

    Ohhh as a sandwich spread, YES!!

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you ! 🙂

  8. Ramyarecipes says:

    This looks yum and love the combination on sandwich 🙂

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you !

  9. Trayee says:

    I was totally ignorant of this herb till now. Thank you so much for sharing such a healthy and tasty recipe.

    1. Megala says:

      Most welcome ! Thanks for stopping by !!

  10. Dreamtemples says:

    I always find the thorns on the thoothuvalai as the tricky part in using it in cooking.Is it a good idea to use scissors to remove the thorns? Thank you so much for writing about the healing herbs of Tamil nadu and how they are used in cooking and how food becomes medicine.

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, I did find it difficult initially, but my mother suggested me to use it without removing the thorns on the leaves, we just need to remove the stems/stalks not the midribs. So washing those thorny leaves alone is a difficult task. Hope you would try it in this winter ! Have a great weekend !!

      1. Dreamtemples says:

        You too! I will definitely try this recipe.

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