10 Ways to Reduce the Tomato Taste in Curry

Curry is a favorite Indian dish, and there are actually different types of curry dishes. This includes butter chicken, veggie or beef curry, sambar, pork vindaloo, and even basic chicken stew. To get rid of the tomatoey flavor that often overpowers many curry dishes, you can add ingredients to cut the tangy flavor of the tomatoes, including stock, wine, water, some type of sugar, and even oils.

This article will explore the top ways to reduce the tomato taste in curry.

How to Reduce the Tomato Taste in Curry

Reducing the tomato taste in curry dishes usually involves adding ingredients that will cut the tanginess of the tomatoes so that it reduces the tomatoey taste.

While the tomatoes add to the flavor and uniqueness of these dishes, some people aren’t huge fans of tomatoes or simply wish to taste more than just those items when they eat their curry. Below are a few of the things you can add to your curry to take away some of the tomato flavor in your curry.

1. Sugar

Anything sweet, when added to curry, will make the tomato flavor a little less noticeable. All you need to do is add just a pinch of sugar and that should do it.

You can also add other sweet ingredients as well, including natural honey, agave nectar, or even raw sugar. As long as it’s sweet, and as long as you don’t use too much of it, this method will reduce the tomato taste in your curry.

2. Add Sweet Fruit or Vegetables

You don’t only have to add items that are purely sweet such as sugar and honey. You can also add foods that are sweet, including shredded carrots, apples that have a very mild flavor, and even caramelized onions.

Once you add these ingredients to your curry, let it cook slowly over low or medium heat for a while.

3. Add Butter

Any fatty lactose product, including butter, can be added to your curry to get rid of the overpowering tomato flavor.

Bechamel or half-and-half also work, and they all work by eliminating acidic and bitter flavors that seep into your curry or other dishes that contain tomatoes. If you use milk, make sure it’s whole milk and not skim or reduced-fat milk.

4. Baking Soda

Adding just a pinch of baking soda to your curry works because it gets rid of some of the acidity of the tomatoes and increases the overall pH level of your curry.

Together, it goes a long way in helping your curry taste just right instead of too tomatoey. You’ll need only a pinch – or about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon – for this to work.

5. Seasoning

There are certain seasonings you can add to your curry to eliminate at least some of the tomato flavor. This includes basic salt and pepper, as well as ingredients such as fish sauce and plain fish anchovies.

Not all of these will work with all types of curry dishes, so you might have to play around with the recipe for a while to get it to work.

6. Tomato Puree

It may seem like adding something else made from tomatoes will add to the problem instead of helping it, but when you add tomato puree to your curry, its mild flavor essentially tames the acidity of the tomatoes already in the dish and makes it taste much less bitter.

If you make your own puree, which is simple, you’ll get a dish that is much healthier for you.

7. Water or Beef Stock

You can add either beef stock or water, depending on the type of curry you’re making, but if you use this method, make sure you add some extra cumin, salt, or sugar afterwards. Be careful not to add too much stock or water because it will make the curry sauce too thin. You can also add wine instead of water or beef stock.

8. Certain Oils

When you add some oil to your curry, it goes a long way in canceling out much of the tomato flavor. For the best results, use extra-virgin olive oil, but vegetable oil, peanut oil, or most other cooking oils will work as well. Other oils you can use include safflower oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, and canola oil. Oils can also give the curry a much better texture in the end.

9. Cook Tomatoes in Oil

If you cook your tomatoes in some type of oil at the beginning of your recipe, then add the rest of the ingredients, it can get rid of a lot of the tomato flavor, including the flavor of raw tomatoes, which a lot of people don’t like.

10. Cook Tomatoes Long Enough

When you’re cooking your tomatoes for your curry dish, make sure they are cooked long enough so they tone down the bitterness of this fruit. Ideally, you should cook your tomatoes for 45 minutes or even longer in order to get the right results. The flavor of your curry will still be good, but the acidity of the tomatoes will not be as strong.


To get rid of some of the bitterness of tomatoes in your curry dish, you can add an item to the recipe, including oil, water, certain seasonings, salt, sugar, or even something fatty such as butter or cream. There are numerous methods that will work for you.