Spring onions in red coconut chutney (Onion Tambli, Piyava Tambali)

Spring onions in red coconut chutney (Onion Tambli, Piyava Tambali)

Piyava thambali is a spicy, red coconut chutney with crunchy, sweet, spring onions in it. A side dish when had with a bowl of steaming hot congee or rice is comfort food at it's best. A simple, tasty coconut chutney with the flavour and crunchiness of the spring onions is just delicious. One of the easy-to-do dishes that gets ready in 10 minutes, & makes up for a quick dinner.

Piyav means onion in Konkani and tambali/tambli/thambali is the Kannada word for a watery chutney, a gravy that is not cooked. Also, this is one of the tamblis where buttermilk isn't used.

For me this chutney/tambali brings back memories of me, when I was sick, down with fever or cold, sitting with a bowl of piping hot conjee and this chutney. :-) ;-) 

This tambli can be prepared with normal onions too. It tastes good even with normal onions in it too. But it tastes the best with spring onions in it. Jhalle piyav as we call it in Konkani. 

Jhalle Piyav (A variety of sping onion from North Karnataka )

These spring onions are a type of onion from North Canara - from Honnavar, Kumta etc., regions of North Karnataka. They are known for their sweetness & crunch. They are mild & aren't as strong & pungent as other red onions. They do not grow very big in size too. 

They are known for their sweetness & crunch. These onions are used in all kinds of dishes for that extra crunch and sweetness. But the best way to enjoy them is to enjoy them raw, dipped into a spicy raw mango pickle & savour them with a bowl of steaming hot congee. That's comfort food at it's best! We at home love using onions in salads & kosambris that don't involve cooking. And even more enjoy eating them raw for lunch, dinner. A bite of crunchy, sweet onion with curd rice, sambar rice tastes amazing!

The main characteristic of these onions, is people who grow them, plait together their dried leaves. A bunch of these onions plaited together are then hanged by a pole, inside your store room, in a dry place. This way these onions do not get spoilt easily & can be stored for upto a year.  

There are 2 varieties of these onions - white & red variety.

White spring onions (jhalle piyav in Konkani):

Red spring onions (jhalle piyav):

And this is how you can store these spring onions for several months to a year, by hanging them in a dry place:


  • 2-3 medium sized spring onions 
  • 3/4 cup grated coconut
  • 1 walnut sized tamarind
  • 4 dried red chillies
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of oil

Serves : 2

Preparation time : 10 minutes

Preparation Method:

1. Heat oil in a tempering pan, add in the dried red chillies and fry them on medium flame for 2-3 minutes. Fry until you get an aroma of dried red chillies. Put off the flame and set it aside to cool.

2. Once the chillies cool down, grind them along with grated coconut, tamarind & salt into a smooth paste, adding enough water. 

The chutney is usually of thick consistency so add just enough water to form a smooth paste.

3. Transfer the ground chutney into a bowl.

4. Add finely chopped spring onions to the ground chutney and mix well. For an extra crunch while you eat tambali with rice, add more onions to it.
5. Serve with a bowl of steaming hot rice or steaming hot conjee and enjoy! They go well with curd rice too.

Other tamblis:

Tora leaves tambli (Taikile Palle Tambali)

Banana flower tambli (Bondi Tambali)

Gooseberry Chutney/Tambli (Avale Chutney/Tambali)

Malabar Spinach Tambli (Vali Tambali/Thambali)

Tags: Tambali, coconut chutney, chutneys, vegetarian, spring onions, comfort foods, Konkani recipe, Konkani dish, Konkani cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, Konkani food, jhalle piyav, thambali, tambli.