Tomato Curry

Introduced to me by an old friend, this tomato curry has become one of my favorite Indian dishes!

I learned how to make this tomato curry recipe many years ago while living in Indianapolis for my dietetic internship.

Though it was one of the toughest years of my life, my two Indian roommates helped make it one of the most memorable.

One of my roommates was from Hyderabad and she always shared her recipes with me. She also brought back tasty Indian dishes when she visited her aunt in Chicago.

The food was so different from Kerala dishes yet so familiar.

When I tried her tomato curry, I was skeptical at first (this was before my love affair with tomatoes began). But the curry was beyond delicious and so easy to make!

It is a simple curry with a multitude of flavors. Slightly sweet from onions, tart and tangy from the tomatoes, and a bite of spice from chilies and garam masala.

How to Make tomato curry

Heat oil in pan. Add in 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, and cook for 10 seconds.

Then add 1/2 large finely chopped onion, 1 teaspoon each of minced ginger and garlic, and 1 small minced green chili. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until the onions cook down.

As for chili, my roommate always used minced green chilis. To reduce the spiciness, instead of mincing them, keep the chilies whole or split down the middle.

Or only use the red chili powder.

Next add 1/2 teaspoon each of chili powder and paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric. Stir and cook about 30-60 seconds.

Finally, add in 1 pound of diced tomatoes and mix well. Cover and cook the tomatoes down for 15-20 minutes.

I used beautiful grape tomatoes from our garden. Canned tomatoes can also be used but make sure there are no other ingredients like oregano in there!

Remove lid and add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon garam masala.

Cook for another 5 minutes and then take off heat. Stir in a few tablespoons plain yogurt and fresh cilantro if desired.

We used to eat it with homemade roti made by my Gujarati roommate, but I think it would also taste lovely with rice.

turn Tomato curry into two other unconventional dishes:

  • Spicy Indian Ketchup: Omit the mustard seeds and yogurt. Then blend the curry with molasses and vinegar.
  • Indian Spaghetti: Omit the yogurt. While the curry is still hot, stir in 8 ounces of cooked pasta. Stir over medium-high heat until heated through.

If you love tomatoes and Indian food, you gotta give this recipe a try! You won’t be disappointed.

Here are some other indian vegetable dishes to try

Indian Green Beans
Mildly spiced Kerala style green beans with mustard seeds, chili, and caramelized onions and garlic.
Check out this recipe
Closeup skillet with Indian green beans, curry leaves, chili pepper.
Indian Corn on the Cob
Sweet corn with a spicy and tangy kick!
Check out this recipe
Plate of 2 corn on the cob withs spices, cilantro, and lime wedges.
Kabocha Curry with Black Eyed Peas
A savory and sweet Kerala curry made with kabocha, black-eyed peas, coconut, chilies, and spices.
Check out this recipe
Bowl of kabocha curry with black eyed peas, cilantro.

Pan of Indian tomato curry with cilantro.

Tomato Curry

Joby’s Test Kitchen
A favorite Indian dish of mine, this flavorful curry is made with sweet and tangy tomatoes, onions, and spices.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 36 minutes
Total Time 51 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 1-3 tsps oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ large onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • ¼-1 small green chili, minced, optional
  • 1 lb (448g) tomatoes, diced
  • ½ tsp red chili powder or
  • ½ tsp paprika, optional
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp salt or as desired
  • 2 tbsps (30g) yogurt, optional
  • fresh cilantro to garnish, optional

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in pan. Add the cumin and mustard seeds, and cook for 10 seconds. Then add the onion, ginger, garlic, and green chili (if using). Cook for 5-8 minutes or until the onions cook down.
  • Next add the turmeric and red chili powder. Stir and cook about 30-60 seconds.
  • Finally, add the tomatoes and mix well. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  • Add garam masala and salt and cook for another 5 minutes. Take off heat and stir in yogurt and cilantro if desired.

Notes

Spicy Indian Ketchup: Simply omit the mustard seeds and yogurt. Then blend the curry with molasses and vinegar. I like it vinegary, so used I 3 tablespoons, but I would suggest you season to taste, including adding more salt or sweetener if desired.
Indian Spaghetti: Again, follow the recipe, but omit the yogurt. While the curry is still hot, stir in 8 ounces of cooked spaghetti or other pasta. Stir over medium-high heat, until some of the liquid cooks off. Adjust seasoning and enjoy!
Keyword chicken curry, Indian, tomatoes

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