1. Home
  2. Health & Lifestyle

Tomato Price Hike: Here's A Look At Pocket-Friendly Tomato Alternatives in Your Kitchen

As the tomato price has touched Rs 140 per kilo, here is a look at some wallet-friendly alternatives that are already present in your kitchen.

Shivangi Rai
There are several cost-effective options available that can be used as substitutes for tomatoes. (Photo Courtesy-Unsplash)
There are several cost-effective options available that can be used as substitutes for tomatoes. (Photo Courtesy-Unsplash)

As tomatoes continue to rise in price, reaching as high as Rs 140 per kilo in the capital, you might find yourself contemplating the possibility of going without this essential ingredient in your meals, especially considering your budget at the end of the month.

However, you don't have to sacrifice the flavour and texture that tomatoes provide. While tomatoes are technically fruits, they play a crucial role in numerous Indian curries, such as butter chicken and pav bhaji, as they contribute essential flavours.

You might be tempted to substitute packaged tomato puree until the prices become more affordable, but bottled purees often lack the same authentic taste and flavour. Additionally, there's a higher risk of synthetic or adulterated ingredients in these products. So, why settle for a junky option when you can explore natural alternatives?

Fortunately, there are several cost-effective options available that can be used as substitutes for tomatoes.

Let's take a look at some ingredients that can serve as alternatives to tomatoes.

Red Bell Pepper

Red bell peppers are a fantastic alternative to tomatoes, offering a similar colour and texture when cooked. They can be used fresh in sandwiches and salads, providing a delightful taste. To enhance the flavour profile further, you can utilize red pepper paste or create your own tomato substitute by grinding roasted peppers with sugar, lemon juice, and salt. This homemade alternative can serve as a viable option for tomatoes, allowing you to enjoy a diverse range of flavours.

Raw Mango

Raw mangoes can serve as an excellent alternative to tomatoes, offering a similar tangy and sweet flavour. When cooked properly, they also exhibit a comparable texture. Priced at a maximum of Rs 80 per kilo, raw mangoes present a cost-effective option worth considering. The advantage is that you will require a lesser quantity of raw mangoes in your curry compared to tomatoes. So not only do raw mangoes provide a suitable replacement, but they also offer the added benefit of requiring fewer quantities for the desired taste.

Curd or Yogurt

Yogurt or curd can be a valuable substitute for tomatoes in Indian-style curries. It adds thickness and the desired tanginess, ensuring you don't miss tomatoes too much. To incorporate yogurt, make sure to stir it well and add it towards the end of the cooking process to minimize the risk of curdling.


Tamarind, with its concentrated tangy taste, can serve as an excellent substitute for tomatoes in chutneys and relishes. Instead of using tomatoes, why not infuse your sabji with the flavour of tamarind? Also, you won't need to use the entire quantity. Additionally, tamarind has a long shelf-life, making it a reliable and cost-effective option. With tamarind, you have a winning alternative to tomatoes for your culinary needs.


When it comes to achieving a distinctive sour and tangy flavour after tomatoes, vinegar is an excellent choice. Apple cider vinegar, in particular, offers the added benefit of possessing antibacterial properties that can boost your immunity and help combat intestinal infections and diarrhoea, promoting healthy digestion.


Amla, also known as the Indian gooseberry, not only shares a visual resemblance to green tomatoes but also offers a similar taste. Alongside its numerous health benefits, incorporating amla into your curries and sabjis can be a delightful addition. The quantity required is typically small, making the price per kilo less significant. So, why not give Amla a try tonight and experience its unique flavour in your dishes?


Considering its similar texture, bottle gourd can be a viable substitute for tomatoes in your recipes. By incorporating a touch of amla or tamarind into your bottle gourd curry, you can achieve the taste and texture similar to tomatoes. The added advantage is that bottle gourd is available at a reasonable price of just Rs 52 per kilo, making it a cost-effective and advantageous choice.


Pumpkins offer a texturally similar experience to tomatoes and possess a natural sweetness that can be quite satisfying. By employing clever cooking techniques, you can create dishes with pumpkins that make you forget about tomatoes during dinner.

Moreover, pumpkins are currently available at a low cost of Rs 22 per kilo, making them a budget-friendly choice.

So, if you're hesitant to forgo tomatoes and don't want to rely on packaged tomato puree, consider these viable options. While the colour of tomatoes may be missed but these ingredients will surely provide you with the desired taste and texture.

Take this quiz on World Meteorological Day to check your knowledge about meteorology! Take a quiz
Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters