Punjabi Tomato Curry | The Spice Tailor
Punjabi Tomato Curry
  • 3simple
  • 10mins
An earthy, robust and exceptionally versatile curry that forms the base of the most recognisable North Indian curries and is pure Punjabi soul food. Perfect with fish, chicken, prawns, lamb, paneer, vegetables or egg.

Contains a whole spice pouch, a base sauce and a stir-in sauce

  • Serves 2-3
  • No Nasties
  • Vegetarian
  • Mild

The North Indian region of Punjab is a fertile region, with a fantastic selection of seasonal vegetables, grains, river fish, lamb and chicken. The food is rustic and robust and, for most of us, perhaps the most familiar of the Indian flavour profile.

Typical of the region, this sauce is often used in creating the most popular everyday curries, from paneer curry to chicken or fish. It is a truly versatile curry and works whether you have a dish in mind that you want to recreate, or are just throwing in bits from the fridge (let’s be honest, we all do!). Great for both the experimenter and the Punjabi conformist!

Anjum’s Top Tips

Cut the meat, fish or paneer cheese into generous pieces.

If you don’t like whole spices, powder these in a pestle and mortar and add them in at the end of step 3. Alternatively if left whole remove them with a spoon before serving.

Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan, add the spices and cook for 20 seconds.

Add the meat, vegetables or paneer and brown lightly before adding the base sauce. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Stir in the main sauce and fish, eggs or beans (if using) and simmer for another 3-5 minutes or until the meat or other protein is cooked through.

OUR PERFECT Punjabi Tomato Curry

Skin 350g chicken thigh joints - or a mix of joints around the same size. Trim off the excess fat.

Heat 1 tsp. oil in a large non-stick saucepan. Add the spices from the spice pouch, including the dried red chilli for optional extra heat. Fry for 15 seconds or until puffed up. Add the base sauce from the small pouch, 4 whole, skinned chicken thighs and stir as it comes to a simmer. Add in the second sauce and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally and adding hot water to the pan if it looks dry. Cook until the chicken is cooked through - around 35-40 minutes depending on size. Stir in a good handful of chopped fresh coriander (leaves and stalks) and serve with Indian flatbreads or rice. 

For added Punjabi heat, add 2 green chillies which have been pricked with the tip of a knife into hot oil after the spices.

You can also use diced chicken thigh fillets for a 10 minute cook. I like to add a little chicken stock if I am missing the bones.

Finish with a little single cream or butter for a richer dish.

Also really delicious with seafood, vegetables and paneer, lamb, pork and almost anything.


Onion, Water, Tomato Paste (20%), Sunflower Oil, Garlic, Ginger, Spices, Coriander Powder, Salt, Chilli Powder, CASHEW NUTS, Turmeric


PER 100g
ENERGY 636kJ/133kcal
FAT 11g
of which saturates 1.2g
of which sugars 5.6g
FIBRE 2.8g
SALT 1.3g
The spice mix
  • Bay Leaf for mellow fragrance
  • Black cardamom for smoky depth
  • Black Peppercorns for heat
  • Cassia for sweet warmth
  • Cloves for pungent sweetness
  • Whole red chilli for clean heat
  • Green Cardamom for freshness
I get Punjabi Tomato Curry a lot, so you can guess this is one of my favourites. I enjoyed every curry, ever so quick and easy. Would recommend The Spice Tailor to anyone
- Keith
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