No-Tomato Recipe: How to Make Tomato Curry Without Tomatoes



Tomatoes are a staple ingredient in many dishes, including curries. However, for those with allergies, dietary restrictions, or simply looking to try something new, making a tomato curry without tomatoes is a fantastic alternative. In this article, we will explore how to create a delicious and flavorful tomato curry without using any tomatoes.

Why Make a Tomato Curry Without Tomatoes?

There are several reasons why you might want to make a tomato curry without tomatoes:

  1. Allergies: Some individuals may have allergies to tomatoes or certain components in tomatoes, such as histamines or lycopene.
  2. Dietary Restrictions: For those following specific diets, such as a nightshade-free diet, avoiding tomatoes is essential.
  3. Variety: Trying out new recipes and variations can add excitement and diversity to your cooking routine.

Ingredients for Tomato Curry Without Tomatoes

To make a delicious tomato curry without tomatoes, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Oil: For sautéing the ingredients.
  • Onions: Finely chopped onions add sweetness and flavor to the curry base.
  • Garlic and Ginger: These aromatics provide depth and complexity to the dish.
  • Spices: Common spices include cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala for that quintessential curry flavor.
  • Yogurt or Coconut Milk: For creaminess and tanginess, you can choose between yogurt or coconut milk as a tomato substitute.
  • Vegetables: Choose your favorite vegetables such as bell peppers, peas, carrots, and potatoes to add texture and nutrients.
  • Protein: You can add protein sources like chickpeas, tofu, paneer, or chicken to make the curry more satisfying.

Steps to Make Tomato Curry Without Tomatoes

Follow these steps to create a delicious tomato curry without tomatoes:

  1. Sauté Aromatics: Heat oil in a pan and sauté chopped onions, garlic, and ginger until fragrant.
  2. Add Spices: Add in your favorite spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. Toast the spices for a minute to enhance their flavors.
  3. Incorporate Vegetables: Add the vegetables of your choice and cook until slightly tender.
  4. Add Protein: Introduce your protein source (chickpeas, tofu, etc.) and mix well with the vegetables.
  5. Creamy Base: Pour in either yogurt or coconut milk to create a creamy base for the curry. Stir well to blend all the ingredients.
  6. Simmer and Serve: Let the curry simmer on low heat for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Serve hot with rice or bread.

Tips for Making Tomato Curry Without Tomatoes

  • Balance the Flavors: Adjust the spices and seasonings to balance the dish’s flavors without the acidity of tomatoes.
  • Experiment with Ingredients: Feel free to experiment with different vegetables, proteins, and spices to create a unique curry every time.
  • Use Tamarind or Lemon: To add a hint of tartness typically found in tomatoes, you can use tamarind paste or lemon juice.
  • Garnish Well: Fresh herbs like cilantro or mint can add a burst of freshness to your tomato curry without tomatoes.
  • Make it Ahead: Curries often taste better the next day as the flavors have more time to develop, so consider making it ahead of time.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Can I use other fruits as a tomato substitute in my curry?
  2. Yes, fruits like mangoes, tamarind, or even apples can be used to add a tangy sweetness to your curry.

  3. How can I thicken my tomato curry without tomatoes?

  4. You can use ingredients like cashew paste, yogurt, coconut cream, or even ground almonds to thicken the curry.

  5. What spices are essential for a flavorful tomato curry without tomatoes?

  6. Cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala are common spices used in tomato curry without tomatoes.

  7. Is it possible to make a tomato curry without any tanginess?

  8. Yes, you can adjust the recipe to exclude tangy elements like yogurt or tamarind for a milder flavor profile.

  9. Can I make a tomato curry without tomatoes in a slow cooker?

  10. Yes, you can adapt the recipe for a slow cooker by adjusting the cooking times and liquids used.


Creating a delicious tomato curry without tomatoes is not only achievable but also opens up a world of culinary possibilities. By exploring different ingredients, spices, and cooking techniques, you can craft a curry that is unique, flavorful, and perfectly tailored to your tastes. So, get creative in the kitchen and enjoy a tomato-free curry that is sure to impress your taste buds.


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