The Best Substitute for Tomato Puree in Curry Recipe
You say tomato, we say tomahto. Well, that’s exactly how the word game goes with tomatoes and their derivatives. Tomatoes are perhaps one of the most widely used ingredients in Indian or rather South Asian cuisine because of their availability and versatility.
Spiced tomatoes, tomato chutney, ketchup, tomato soup or puree… you name it. There are so many ways to use tomatoes in your cooking as a primary ingredient or as a side accompaniment.
The usage of tomatoes is almost universal in all savory dishes from salads to sauces and from snacks to soups. But what if you have run out of tomato puree while making your favorite chicken masala curry?
Or maybe you are preparing a new dish but want to incorporate the red tomato – yes, that’s right! So what do you do when the tomatoes get the better of you? Here is our list of substitutes for tomato puree in curry recipe:
Onion is another red vegetable that goes well with curries. You can replace tomato puree with onion paste if you want a milder taste in your dish. The reason we don’t suggest using onion as a substitute for tomatoes in salads is that it will make your dish taste too strong. If you are not comfortable with the idea of using onion in your dish, you can always go for fried onion. When to use onion paste? – When making gravies or any other dish where onion paste is used. When not to use onion paste? – When making a dish that has to be raw, like salad, raita or chutney.
Garlic has a strong and pungent flavor that goes very well with curries. It is the most commonly used substitute for tomato puree in Indian and Asian dishes. The best part about this is that garlic is easily available and is less expensive as compared to tomatoes. Keep in mind that you should not use garlic paste in dishes where the taste should be mild or where you need to be careful about people with high blood pressure. When to use garlic paste? – When making gravies or any other dish where garlic paste is used. When not to use garlic paste? – When making a dish that has to be raw, like salad, raita or chutney.
Tamarind paste is another popular substitute for tomato puree. It has a tangy flavor that makes a perfect addition to many curries. But note that tamarind paste can add a lot of flavor to your dish, so you need to be careful about the amount you add to it. When to use tamarind paste? – When making gravies or any other dish where tamarind paste is used. When not to use tamarind paste? – When making a dish that has to be raw, like salad, raita or chutney.
Buttermilk or dahi is an Indian staple that is made by fermenting milk. It is a mild ingredient, and it is the most commonly used substitute for tomato puree in North Indian curries like raita, Indian chaat or lassi. It adds a rich, creamy taste to your dish, making it more wholesome. When to use dahi? – When making raita, lassi or any other dish where dahi is used. When not to use dahi? – When making a dish that has to be raw, like salad, raita or chutney.
Indian curd (lassi, mathani, kadhi)
Curd or Indian curd is an integral part of Indian cuisine. You can substitute tomato puree with curd or lassi in curries and other savory dishes. But you need to be very careful about the amount you use because curd is a very strong ingredient and can easily overpower other flavours in your dish. When to use curd? – When making gravies or any other dish where curd or lassi is used. When not to use curd? – When making a dish that has to be raw, like salad, raita or chutney.
Beetroot is the most popular substitute for tomatoes in the Indian subcontinent. It has a very distinct taste and texture, which makes it a popular choice for those who do not like tomatoes or have allergies to them. When to use beetroot? – When making curries or any other dish where beetroot is used. When not to use beetroot? – When making a dish that has to be raw like chutney, salad or raita.
There are many substitutes for tomato puree in curry recipes. The best substitute for tomato puree depends on the dish you are making. You can use onion paste, garlic paste, tamarind paste, buttermilk, curd or beetroot to make your recipe tomato-free. If you want to go the extra mile to make your recipe more delicious, you can use any one of these substitutes. They are great flavour enhancers and will make your recipe pop with flavour. So, go ahead and try these substitutes for tomato puree in curry recipe and make your recipes tastier, healthier and more wholesome.