Savoury Tomato-Free Recipes to Try Today!

Tomatoes are a staple ingredient in most kitchens. This stands true for Indian cooking as well as continental and other styles of cooking. 

The unique features of tomatoes are their distinct sweet, slightly sour and tart flavour. This helps to balance out the other flavours in dishes and ensure the dishes don’t have overpowering flavours. 

However, like the current scenario where the prices of tomatoes have skyrocketed, there are several health conditions where tomatoes are advised to be avoided.

Consider using red bell peppers, canned tomatillos, carrots, beets, butternut squash or tamarind paste as alternatives. While one can easily opt for tomato puree, canned tomatoes, tomato ketchup, etc. as other tomato options, it is best if one looks for more natural options.

Finding exact replacements for tomatoes is a little difficult because of their distinct flavours and textures. But we have curated a few recipes that can be prepared without tomatoes and still taste delicious. 

Dhaba Style Chicken

This recipe is commonly seen in small eating joints during road trips. Often the places are small and insignificant and yet have some of the most delicious meals. High on oil, masala and flavours, this recipe will be a treat for your taste buds. 

Cooking Time: 45 mins
Serves: 3-4 people



  • First, marinate the chicken. Take a bowl and add curd to it, then add ginger garlic paste, salt, red chilli powder, a little of the chicken masala and a bit of turmeric.
  • You may even add a spoonful of mustard oil (optional). Mix it well, now add the chicken pieces to this and mix well to ensure all pieces are well coated. Cover the bowl and let it marinate for a minimum of 45 minutes.
  • Now take a kadhai, add the oil and allow it to heat well, lower the flame and add all your whole spices. Once they crackle, add the chopped onions along with the slit green chillies. Slow-cook the mixture on low flame. Stir it every time to ensure they do not stick to the bottom of the kadhai.
  • Once the onions turn golden brown, add the dry masala, you can even add some more ginger garlic paste for additional flavour. As soon as the masala is well cooked, add the curd and chicken mixture.
  • Do not add any water, as the curd will release its liquid. Cover the kadhai and allow the chicken to cook. Once the chicken is well cooked, and the curd has formed a perfect thick curry base with the onions, turn off the flame, and top it with Kasuri methi.
  • Serve hot with roti, paratha or even rice.

Mexican Salsa without Tomatoes

While this may sound different, Mexican salsa without tomatoes is very much possible and it even turns out to be lip-smacking! So a shortage of tomatoes should not stop you from making this favourite dip. Check out the recipe. 

Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
Serves: 4 people 



  • Slightly grease the red bell peppers and slit green chillies with oil and gently roast them on an open gas flame on a low flame. Keep shifting the position of the chillies and peppers so that they are evenly roasted.
  • Once they get multiple small black spots on them, remove them from the flame. Gently scrape out all the burnt parts. Use a vegetable chopper or small blender to roughly grind them. Make sure not to make them into a fine paste.
  • Now add this rough mixture into a bowl, to it, add finely chopped onions. Add the finely chopped pineapple along with salt and jeera powder and mix well. Top it with some fresh lemon juice and coriander.
  • Enjoy this spicy and tangy salsa with nachos or any other chips of your choice.

Pasta in Pumpkin Arrabbiata Sauce

While this recipe may not be the perfect arrabbiata sauce with its characteristic tomato flavour, it comes close and is a tasty pasta recipe at the same. 

Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4 people



  • Take a bowl and add olive oil on low flame, now add the cinnamon and star anise. Once it crackles, add the chopped garlic and onions and cook it until translucent. Now add the red bell peppers and stir until the mixture becomes fragrant. 
  • Now add the roasted pumpkin puree to the mixture and stir well. 
  • Add some salt, paprika and cook until it becomes a thick homogenous mixture. Now add the cooked pasta to it and mix well. 
  •  Now, finally, add some lemon juice and mixed herbs. Garnish with some fresh basil leaves and parmesan cheese. Serve with a piece of garlic bread and enjoy hot. 

Konkani Fish Curry without Tomatoes

If you are anywhere close to the western coastline of India, you may have access to some fresh seawater fish, as well as kokum. This recipe is an all-time hit fish curry, especially in Goa, this time made with a twist without tomatoes. 

Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-5 people



  • First, clean the fish and marinate it using a mixture of kokum concentrate, turmeric and salt. Coat the fish well and keep it aside in a refrigerator. 
  • Now to make the curry, in a blending jar, add the soaked bedgi chillies, garlic, coriander seeds, jeera seeds and black peppercorn and blend it into a fine paste and set aside.
  • Now in the same jar, add the onions along with fresh coconut and make into a fine paste as well. Now take a kadhai and heat some oil in it. Add mustard seeds and once it splutters, add the onion and coconut paste.
  • Cook this on low flame for some time, stirring occasionally. Now add the spice paste and stir well. Add the dried kokum pieces and water if needed and cover the kadhai and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the onions and other ingredients are fully cooked. 
  • You can press the kokum pieces using your ladle to ensure the tart taste is imparted perfectly. 
  • Once the curry looks cooked, add the pieces of marinated fish. Just allow it to boil once and remove it from the flame and cover it. 
  • Here the kokum in both forms (dried and concentrated) will make up for the lack of tomatoes. 
  • Serve this fish curry with hot steamed rice and enjoy.

1 comment on “Savoury Tomato-Free Recipes to Try Today!

  1. Veena Dang

    Excellent way of cooking, simple nd great 👍😊

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