I live in a country that grows tomatoes almost all year round. Yet for some reason green tomatoes are not that easy to come by. Green tomatoes are after all the unripe version of the red ones! We like green tomatoes and I try to make the most of them when I can find them. This Green Tomato Korma is one dish I make often when there are green tomatoes on hand. It goes well served with rice or flatbreads like chappati or paratha. Korma is also spelt as Khorma, Kurma, Qorma, etc depending on which part of India you’re in.
Korma is a typically North Indian Mughlai dish and very popular on Indian restaurant menus. It probably came to India with the Mughals and was then adapted by the court cooks using local ingredients. A white korma, supposedly garnished with silver foil, is said to have been served to the Emperor Shah Jahan and his guests at the inauguration of the Taj Mahal! Korma is traditionally a mildly spiced non-vegetarian meat preparation.
The traditional Korma has been be adapted by vegetarians creatively to make vegetarian versions. For example, there is the Navratan Korma made with nine different vegetables. Navrathan means “nine gems”. Green Tomato Korma is not a traditional dish as green tomatoes are not part of the Mughlai cuisine.
There are different ways to make Korma of course. Mughlai Kormas use a small amount of nuts ground to a paste with yogurt to add richness to the gravy. Kashmiri Korma uses nuts, yogurt, saffron, cardamom and dried fruits. Shahi or Royal Korma is made with lots of cream. The South Indian versions tend to use coconut or coconut milk.
This Korma recipe used yogurt and fresh coconut. I have made this same recipe using thick coconut milk instead of the yogurt. Both work very well. Cooking the Korma on low heat after adding the yogurt will prevent it from curding.
This post was originally published in September of 2008 and since been updated with text and images.
Green Tomato Korma
- 4 green tomatoes medium sized
- 3/4 cup yogurt
- 2 green chillies slit lengthwise
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- to taste salt
Grind the following into a fine paste:
- 1 big onion chopped
- 1/2 inch piece of ginger
- 1/2 tsp garlic paste (adjust to taste)
- 3/4 tsp white poppy seeds
- 2 tbsps fresh grated coconut
- 2 tbsps chopped coriander leaves
- 2 cloves
- 2 cardamoms
- Cut each tomato into 8 pieces and keep aside.
- Heat the oil, add the bay leaves and green chillies. Add the ground coconut-spice paste and fry for about 2 to 3 minutes till the raw smell of the onions and garlic disappears. Now add the turmeric powder and fry till the oil appears at the sides of the paste.
- Add the tomatoes and about half a cup of water. Add the salt and curry leaves. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat. Allow the tomatoes to simmer till they are cooked but not mushy.
- In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, garam masala and coriander leaves till well blended. Once the tomatoes are done, add the yogurt mixture and mix well so everything is blended but do not allow to boil, or the yogurt will split. Take off the heat.
- Serve warm with chappathis, puris or rice.