To reduce the tomato taste in butter chicken you can add more cream, butter or other fatty products such as coconut milk. Cooking your sauce for an hour or more will also help to reduce the rich tomato taste.
This article will explore easy ways to reduce the tomato taste in butter chicken.
How to Reduce the Tomato Taste in Butter Chicken
If you use the right tomatoes and follow the recipe to the letter, your butter chicken should taste perfect. If you find the tomato flavor is too bitter or tart, don’t panic because there are some things you can do to change up the taste somewhat.
Most of these include additions to the sauce that remove some of the tomatoey flavor so that it isn’t nearly as bitter. Let’s take a look at some of the simplest ways to get rid of the tomatoey flavor in your butter chicken.
1. Add Cream
Cream is usually already an ingredient in butter chicken, but if your sauce is too bitter or tart because of the tomatoes, you can add slightly more cream and see if that works. Exactly how much you should add is subjective because it depends on how much sauce the recipe calls for in the first place.
Just remember to add the cream in very small amounts to begin with, then taste it to see if that’s enough. Better to start small then to put too much cream in the sauce and change the taste entirely.
2. Add Some Butter
Any type of fatty ingredient will cut the tartness of the tomatoes and make the dish taste better. A half or whole stick of butter can work, as can some whole milk, yogurt, or even whipped cream.
Remember that the sweetness is going to reduce the bitterness of the tomatoes. Butter seems to be the easiest option of all of these, and it’s best to use actual butter and not margarine.
3. Add Some Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is healthier than many other types of milk, which is why some people use it to cut some of the bitterness from the tomatoes. For something different, you can also use a plant-based milk, but make sure it’s flavored if you want the best results.
It might not work as good as something that is fattier and sweeter, but it will still add some sweetness that removes some of the acidity from the tomatoes.
4. Add Some Sweetness
There are numerous ways you can add a little sweetness to your tomato sauce, but remember to only add these things in small amounts until you get the chance to taste it and determine if you need more.
Some of the things you can add include regular table sugar, coconut sugar, whole milk, or whipped cream. Start with 1/4 cup and add more only if the sauce is still bitter. Make sure you stir well in between each addition, then taste it to determine if you need more.
5. Cook It Long Enough
Any type of curry dish that includes tomatoes needs to be cooked a minimum of 45 minutes, but many cooks cook it over low to medium heat for an hour or more. The longer you cook butter chicken, the sweeter the tomatoes become, which means the less you’ll taste the bitterness and tartness of the tomatoes themselves.
It is especially important to do this when you’re using fresh and not canned tomatoes. When you’re cooking your sauce, make sure you cover it and keep it covered for as long as you’re cooking it.
6. Add Something Bland
Sometimes, adding something bland will get rid of the tartness of the tomatoes and make your butter chicken yummy again. One of the items many cooks use is dal, which are split pulses that are used in many curry and other Indian dishes.
Unlike lentils and other peas, dal does not have to be soaked before doing anything with them, so you can simply throw them in your tomato sauce and it can eliminate some of the bitterness of the tomatoes. Some people mash them up before adding them so the sauce isn’t too chunky, but this isn’t a necessity.
7. Add Water
You can add a small amount of water to the sauce to get it less tomatoey. Start with 1/4 cup and taste it to see if it needs more. This usually works because it dilutes the sauce and allows it to taste the way it’s supposed to taste.
Some people remove part of the sauce before they add the water. That is up to you, but adding water to your butter chicken sauce does indeed cut back on the bitterness.
8. Add More Spices
This method doesn’t always work for butter chicken, but it’s worth a try. You can add spices such as garlic, ginger, onions, peppers, garlic paste or ginger paste, and Fenugreek leaves. If you decide to add garlic and ginger, use the fresh kind and blend the two together with a little oil and water before placing them in the tomato sauce for great results.
When your butter chicken is too tomatoey, you can add sweet, spicy, fatty, or bland ingredients to counteract the taste of the tomatoes, which can be rather bitter and tart. You also have to cook the sauce for a minimum of 45 minutes so it can taste right.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.