The Perfect Summer Tomato Curry

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This seasonal summer curry uses fresh tomatoes from the market, complemented with a wide variety of Indian spices, curry leaves and tamarind. It’s a total flavor bomb in your mouth!

  • Author: Sunny Gandara
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour+
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegan



2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
4 whole cloves
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon kasur methi (Indian Kashmiri chili powder or regular chili powder)
4 tablespoons rapeseed, avocado or coconut oil
2 onions, sliced
10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
12 curry leaves
1 cinnamon stick
2.2 lbs (1 kilo) cherry or mixed tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, crushed
45 whole Kashmiri chilies (dried or fresh red chilis)
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 x 15 oz (425 g) full-fat organic coconut milk
Pinch of kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon coconut sugar (optional)
1 handful fresh cilantro and lime wedges, to serve


In a large sauté pan, toast the fennel, mustard, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and whole cloves until they are warm and fragrant. Tip into a pestle and mortar and grind until fairly fine.

In the same sauté pan, heat 4 tablespoons of the rapeseed oil over medium heat, add the onions, the ground spices, the cardamom pods, curry leaves and the cinnamon stick plus a couple of generous pinches of salt. Fry for 10-12 minutes until the onions are golden.

In the meantime, cut up your tomatoes. Halve the cherry tomatoes, or if using larger tomatoes, dice them as you wish.

Add the chilies and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring for a few minutes before adding the tamarind and coconut milk.

Stir so everything is well combined, then add the tomatoes. Make sure they are in an even, single layer in the pan, If your pan is too small, divide your sauce between two pans and then add the tomatoes.

On low-medium heat, let the tomatoes sit in the beautiful spiced mixture, cooking gently so they soften as the water in the coconut milk evaporates, leaving you with a rich, reduced sauce. This will take about 40-45 minutes. Add a teaspoon of coconut sugar if you think it needs a little sweetness – a little sweetener also helps bring out all the flavors of the spice.

Once the curry is ready, check for seasoning, garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with a lime wedge. Serve with jasmine rice and a dollop of vegan yogurt!