Tomato Substitute In Curry: Top 7 Best Choices

tomato substitute in curry

Ever find yourself craving a good curry but don’t have enough tomatoes to make your own sauce?

You can still enjoy this dish without compromising taste by using one of these tomato substitutes.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and seasonings for the best results.

Your curry will never taste the same.

Now, let’s check out these alternatives, shall we?

Read more: What To Do With Leftover Apple Peels?

Best tomato substitutes in curry

tomato substitute in curry

Lemon and nut-based milk

Lemon and nut-based milk can sometimes substitute tomatoes in curry.

You need to add other acidic ingredients like lemon or lime juice to make up for what the tomato would have added. You cannot use dairy milk but you can use nut-based milk, such as coconut and cashew. Lemon and nut-based milk

will not replace tomatoes by themselves, but they still help balance out the flavor profile of a dish that is thrown off without tomatoes.

You can try increasing spices and vegetables that are commonly used in tomato sauces as well. Red chili is a safe bet if you’re already using lemons to add acidity.

Red bell peppers

This is a common food in curry. They have very similar colors and textures to tomatoes, so they can be used instead of tomatoes.

If you need paste or sauce made of tomatoes, then try a combination of roasted red peppers and lemon, salt, sugar. With it, you will have an easy substitute for tomato sauce.

These peppers are also good in salads or sandwiches too.


Onions taste good in curry. They are healthy because they make your heart strong and can fight some cancers. They clean your stomach too. Onions are good to eat, so try eating more of them.


Garlic might make you stronger. It helps people who have heart disease. And it can help healthy people too. There are lots of ways to use garlic in food – you can put it in savory dishes, soups, sauces, dressings, and more.

And of course, you can try substituting it with tomatoes in your favorite curry as well.


This is also a good consideration.

Ginger is a plant from Asia. It’s healthy and it tastes good. The part of the plant that is used often as a spice is its root. Ginger can be eaten fresh, dried, or ground into powder. It is sometimes used in processed food and cosmetics.

Cashew nuts

Cashews are a good source of fiber, protein, and healthy fats.

They also contain vitamins and minerals that can help your diet.

There is less research on cashews than on other nuts, but the little research there is shows that they have benefits for weight loss, blood sugar control, and heart health.

The only downside to adding cashews to your diet is that you should always pick unsalted dry-roasted or unroasted varieties whenever possible.


Cabbage is good food. It can be used in recipes instead of tomatoes.

It has lots of vitamins, like C and K. Eating cabbage may help you with certain diseases, digestion, and inflammation. Aside from that, it’s cheap and yummy.

You should eat cabbage more.

Should you put tomatoes in curry?

Yes. Tomatoes and onions are the main ingredients for making curry sauce. You can also use canned diced tomatoes.

What curries are tomato-based?

Tomato-based curries are curries that have tomatoes in them.

There are five different types of tomato-based Indian curries:

  • Tomato Chaman
  • Tamatar Kadhi
  • Tomato Chicken
  • Tamatar Ki Launji
  • Tomato Curry

How to reduce the tomato flavor in curry?

Tomatoes can make a curry taste too acidic. You can try adding some baking soda to make the flavor less strong. Otherwise, add spices like chili flakes and garam masala.

Cardamom will give your dish a lot of depth.

Can you use canned tomatoes for curry?

No. You cannot use canned tomatoes for curries because they have vinegar in them and are not good for fish or curries.

How do you cut tomatoes for curry?

Here is a great video tutorial that you can watch and follow.

Can I use passata instead of chopped tomatoes in a curry?

No, you should not use passata instead of chopped tomatoes in a curry. Tomato purée is different from other types of tomato, like passata. You would have to use less of the puree than if you were using other tomato types.

What can you do if your curry is too tomatoey?

If your tomato-based curry is too tomatoey, you can add more onions, potatoes, or chickpeas to dilute the flavor. You can also try adding a different type of tomato such as a green tomato.

How can you thicken a tomato-based curry?

You can thicken a tomato-based curry by adding some ground almonds, flour, or cornstarch to it. You can also add some coconut milk to make it creamier.

What are some good side dishes for tomato-based curries?

Some good side dishes for tomato-based curries include naan bread, rice, or roti. You could also try serving it with some cucumber raita or chutney.

What types of tomatoes are good for curries?

There are many types of tomatoes that are good for curries. Some good options include cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, or green tomatoes.

Should you refrigerate leftovers of a tomato-based curry?

Yes, you should refrigerate leftovers of a tomato-based curry. It will stay good for up to 3 days.

How to reheat a tomato-based curry?

To reheat a tomato-based curry, place it in a pot over medium heat and cook until it is heated through. You can also microwave it in a microwave-safe dish for 2-3 minutes.

What type of tomato is best for curry?

Experts say that desi tamatar or tomato desi is better for curry than the hybrid and genetically engineered varieties.

Which tomato is good for Indian curry?

Whole plum tomatoes could be of use here. But you can try freshly-picked tomatoes that are blended or chopped ones. You should leave the skin and seeds in place as well.

That would be great for lentil dhal and vegetable dishes.

Why use tomato puree in curry?

Tomato puree is a key ingredient in curry. It is similar to the sauce that cooks down and is more like a paste. Tomato puree can be too strong if you don’t mix it with other things, but it tastes good when mixed together with other ingredients.

Can you use canned tomatoes for Curry?

Canned tomatoes are not good for fish or curries. They have vinegar in them that will make the food taste bad.

What to replace tomatoes in curry?

Apart from the ones I shared above, you can try tamarind, mango, alma, pumpkin, or yogurt. It depends mostly on what you want your curry to taste like and what other vegetables are in it.


In short, here are the 7 best substitutes for tomatoes in curries:

  • Lemon and nut-based milk
  • Red bell peppers
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Cashew nuts
  • Cabbage

As you can see, there are many substitutes for tomatoes in curries. If you do not have tomatoes on hand or want to try something new, these 7 options should be great alternatives.

Let me know if we can help with your next curry recipe.

Tamara Pierce

Tamara Pierce is a food writer at Elapasony, passionate about exploring diverse cuisines and sharing recipes and food experiences. From trendy restaurants to local hotspots, she's always on the lookout for new and exciting flavors.

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