Naga Tomato Chutney

April 30, 2019mayurisjikoni
Blog post



Nagaland, one of the seven sister state is mountainous state bordering Myanmar in the east, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam to the north, Assam to the west and Manipur to the south. Home to diverse indigenous tribes, their markets and festivals celebrate diverse cultures. I had no idea that the capital city of the state, Kohima, suffered heavy fighting during World War 2. Nagaland is one of the smallest states of India, but by no means backward. Literacy rate is 79.55% and the official language is English. Though the 16 different tribes may have different cultures, ethnic dresses and different languages, the official language unifies them as one. Majority of the people from Nagaland are Christians by faith.

20% of Nagaland is covered by wooded forest making it a haven for flora and fauna.Mt. Saramati is the highest peak in Nagaland, its range adding as a natural barrier between Nagaland and Myanmar.Agriculture is an important part of the economy.

Coming to the cuisine of this state, naturally growing edible leaves are consumed along with fish or meat and rice. Their cooking method can be pretty simple without much oil or no oil at all. I recently met someone from Nagaland and he told me that to experience the true cuisine of Nagaland one needs to eat at home. Most people in Nagaland prepare their food at home so its difficult to find a restaurant that will serve authentic Naga food. You will find restaurants serving North Indian food or momos. A normal Naga food meal would include rice, some kind of meat (either dry or pork with bamboo shoots), boiled vegetables, and spicy chili sauces or chutneys. Food is eaten with your hand. They also tend to add axone which is boiled and fermented soy beans either smoked or sun dried. Some chutneys may have axone or dried fish added to it. Their food tends to be spicy as they make use of chilis, and special spicy ginger and garlic. Not much of mixed dry spices are used. Meat is usually smoked or sun dried and enjoyed throughout the year. Pork is their favorite and therefore a pork lover’s paradise.

Some dishes that are a part of the Naga Cuisine are:

  1. Akibiye – a thick stew made from colocasia roots or arbi and mustard leaves.
  2. Fish in Bamboo – a fish is placed inside the bamboo along with some fresh spices and smoked over fire.
  3. Pork with dry bamboo shoots – chunks of pork are fried with dry bamboo shoots and fiery hot chilis.
  4. Hinkejvu – a simple stew like dish made from colocasia, cabbage, mustard leaves and some green beans. Usually served with rice and a hot chutney.
  5. Akini Chokibo – snail meat is cooked with perilla seeds, lard from pork and axone. Perilla is a type of natural herb like mint.
  6. Smoked pork stew – akhuni or axone is boiled with smoky pork chunks, potatoes, tomatoes and chilis.
  7. Bushmeat – its a delicacy prepared using dog meat.
  8. Galho – a soupy concoction of rice, vegetables and sometimes meat added to it. Its their version of khichdi. Seasonal greens are added and if using meat then smoked pork, pork chunks or pork lard is added. For a vegetarian version, sometimes ginger and garlic are added.
  9. Roasted Intestines – the intestines of a pig are cooked to resemble strips of bacon and sausage chunks.
  10. Zutho – fermented rice drink.


My partner for this month is Pavani who blogs at Pavani’s Kitchen. Check out her blog for a mixture of non vegetarian and vegetarian recipes. I gave her fresh green leaves and tomato as her secret ingredients. She made Naga Galho with the ingredients. She was kind enough to give me simple ingredients like tomato and garlic as I wanted to prepare a dish using what I had in the kitchen. I was in the process of closing down my kitchen as I’m traveling and didn’t want to buy any new ingredients.

With the ingredients she suggested I made a Naga Tomato Chutney/Chawtni. Here the tomatoes are boiled with ginger, garlic and lots of chilis till the tomatoes become soft and then the chutney is mashed slightly with the back of the cooking spoon. If you can source some raja chilis(ghost chilis, bhut jolokia) then use those. Since I didn’t have them I used normal green chilis which by no means were mild. An interesting fact is that during the annual Hornbill Festival ghost chili eating competitions are held.

As I mentioned above, chutneys form an important part of the daily meal as not many spices are used in the main dishes.


Makes 1 cup

2-3 large tomatoes, chopped roughly

2-3 fresh chillis of your choice

2-3 whole dried red chillis

6-8 cloves of garlic, chopped

1″ piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated

½ cup finely chopped fresh coriander and mint (perilla)

¼ – ½ tsp salt

½ cup water

  1. Add all the ingredients except for salt, coriander and mint into a pan.
  2. Put the pan over low heat and allow the ingredients to cook gently till the tomatoes become soft and the water has evaporated.
  3. Add salt, chopped coriander and mint. Let the mixture simmer for 1-2 minutes, stirring it frequently.
  4. Lightly mash the mixture with the back of a spoon or just process it with a hand blender in short bursts. You don’t want a smooth chutney so be careful.
  5. Enjoy it with some traditional Naga dish or any dish of your preference. I simply enjoyed this chutney with some rice.



  • Use ghost chili and perilla if you can get it.
  • Adding the number of chilis depends on how hot you want the chutney.
  • Sometimes powdered fermented soybeans or dried fish are added.
  • Don’t leave the chutney watery as on mashing it or processing it a bit, water is released from the tomatoes.

Pin for Later:

A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962

You may want to check out the following chutneys:

lemon chutney 1

Lemon Chutney

Blog post

Green Apple and Spring Onion Chutney

garlic and red pepper chutney 1

Garlic and Red Pepper Chutney

Sharing this recipe with the following event:


Shhh Cooking Secretly a group started by Priya of Priya’s Versatile Recipes,  is where every month food bloggers are paired up and give each other 2 secret ingredients to cook with according to the theme chosen. If you’re interested in joining this exciting group then please leave a message in the comment section. Thank you.



  • Vasusvegkitchen

    May 1, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Nice and detailed information about Nagaland Mayuri ji.. Tomato chutney looking colorful and yummyyy.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 7, 2019 at 4:10 pm

      Thanks Aruna.

  • Rafeeda – The Big Sweet Tooth

    May 1, 2019 at 8:33 am

    I would die if I were in a chili eating competition… hehe… that bowl of chutney looks really delicious and healthy with no oil involved!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 7, 2019 at 4:09 pm

      I too Rafeeda as I can’t eat to much chilis.

    2. poonampagar

      May 20, 2019 at 10:22 am

      I love the simplicity of this cuisine. I too made a naga tomato chutney but byroasting method. Your boiled version sounds interesting and the fiery hot color of the chutney makes it all the more desirable for a spice lover like me.

  • Renu Agrawal Dongre

    May 6, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    A yummy and a lip smacking chutney with simple ingredients available at home. Though I would love to try bhoot jholokia some day, if I can source it. Beautiful and tempting clicks.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 7, 2019 at 4:04 pm

      Thank you so much Renu, I too would love to try it with bhoot jholokia.

  • jayashreetrao

    May 10, 2019 at 10:39 am

    This is a tasty and quick accompaniment to make anytime, isnt it? Looks delicious.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 13, 2019 at 9:35 am

      Thanks Jayashree and yes its a quick easy chutney.

  • poonampagar

    May 20, 2019 at 10:22 am

    I love the simplicity of this cuisine. I too made a naga tomato chutney but byroasting method. Your boiled version sounds interesting and the fiery hot color of the chutney makes it all the more desirable for a spice lover like me.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 21, 2019 at 5:51 pm

      Thanks Poonam, I will be trying out your version as my son wants some chili chutney.

  • Seema Doraiswamy Sriram

    May 23, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    love the colour of the chutney Mayuri di. I have tries a version of Bhoot jalokia , the nagabon chilli once and combined it with watermelon. this chutney version will surely be tried as my chilli plant is growing.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 24, 2019 at 9:06 am

      That sounds exciting, share picture whenever you make a version of it.

  • namscorner18

    May 23, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    Love the vibrant colors. such a simple and quick chutney.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 24, 2019 at 9:01 am

      Thank you so much Narmadha.

  • Pavani

    May 29, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    Tomato chutney looks absolutely irresistible and one of my favourite. Beautiful presented.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 1, 2019 at 11:56 am

      Thanks Pavani.

  • Sujata Shukla

    May 30, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    The bright colour of the tomato chutney catches the eye to an extent it takes time to move away and read the recipe. I would love to make it and use as a filling for quesadilla or just with hot rice. Bhut jolokia is now available online on some sites, and I will try to get some and try this recipe.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 1, 2019 at 11:54 am

      Thanks Sujata and yes I saw after I made the chutney that these chilis are available online.

  • Vishvesh

    March 29, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    I made the Naga Tomato Chutney. It is very easy to make and very delicious. It was liked by everyone at home.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      March 29, 2021 at 4:57 pm

      Thank you so much Vishvesh for trying out the recipe. I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it.

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