Tomato Kurma: A Tangy Spicy Mix Of Pulses With Tomato
Image Credit: Archana's kitchen

 When talking about the preparation of Kurma in Indian cooking it automatically leads the brain to think of Mutton Korma. But down in the southern state of Karnataka, there is a korma made entirely out of onions and tomatoes being the base ingredient. Known popularly as Tomato Kurma, this rich creamy preparation of tomatoes immersed in the goodness of cashew nuts make for a healthy satisfying meal. With just the addition of a few Masalas taken off the kitchen shelves, grinding them into a paste and letting it simmer with the tomatoes, is divine. Besides, being a complete contrast to the otherwise meaty Korma, this Tomato Kurma is a win on any dinner or lunch table.

From The Royal Kitchen Of Mughals To A Humble Preparation

Tracing the origin of Korma's style of cooking, it will take one to the royal kitchens of the Mughals. With its roots in the Mughlai cuisine, the korma style of preparation can be traced back to the 16th century when Mughals stepped foot in India. During that time, white korma was prepared by the royal cooks garnished with vark, and served to Shah Jahan. As this cooking style traveled across India, the meat was replaced with seasonal vegetables. As for the name, Korma comes from the Urdu word Qormā which means braise. It is referred to as the cooking technique.

But looking into the definition of Korma it is referred to as a dish where meat or vegetables are braised with yogurt or stock. The additional taste of korma comes from the mixture of spices cooked slowly with the meat or vegetable. Another variation to korma is the combination of meat and vegetable with the richness of regional spices.


  • ¼ cup grated coconut
  • 1 tsp roasted Channa Daal
  • 1 Green Chilli
  • 5-6 Cashews
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup chopped Onion
  • 1.5 cup chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • A handful of coriander leaves
  • Salt
  • Water


1. In a grinder add coconut, Chana Daal, green chilli, fennel seeds, cashew, coriander seeds, and water as required. Form a smooth paste and keep it aside.

2. Over medium heat place a pan. Add oil, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick. Sauté for a minute and then add the onions and fry until it becomes soft. To this add the tomatoes, cover, and let it cook on low flame for about 5-6 minutes.

3. Then add the salt, turmeric, and red chilli powder. Give this all a good mix and then pour the grounded masala. Add about half a cup of water, combine all together, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Traditionally a Tomato Kurama is well relished with soft Dosa but there is no rule as to how one should dig in a bowl of this goodness. Gone are the days when children will run away from eating tomatoes or pick them out of vegetables. As this rich creamy only tomato Curry will win their hearts.