Gingered Tomato Sauce

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Gingered Tomato Sauce

Despite the Indian origin of the "chonk" or oil-fried spice seasoning in this very simple tomato sauce from Yamuna Devi's Vegetarian Table, it makes a beautiful and versatile deep-flavored pizza or pasta sauce as well.

After making a batch as a base for an Indian dal curry the other day, I had plenty left over to mix with some mushrooms for a perfect pasta dish the next day. Use a can of crushed tomatoes for a smooth sauce or 4 cups of chopped fresh tomatoes for a chunkier version.

Gingered Tomato Sauce Gingered Tomato Sauce
Recipe by
Adapted from Vegetarian Table: India
Cuisine: Indian
Published on April 27, 2008

Simple zesty gingered tomato sauce with Indian spicings and techniques — easy and delicious for Indian dishes as well as pasta and pizza

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  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped (2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (1 28 oz can)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • Combine the ginger, garam masala, fennel seeds, dried red chili flakes and water in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.

  • Heat the ghee or olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat and add the spice mixture. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until a thick paste separates from the oil — up to 10 minutes.

  • Raise the heat, add the tomatoes, and bring to a boil, being careful of splattering. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with cilantro if preferred.

Makes 3 cups


Luca and Sabrina said...

Hi Lisa, this is Sabrina with my husband Luca. We have just discovered your blog and we think it's gorgeous.We have a blog too, come and see it but we're afraid you wouldn't like it because we're not vegetarians as you. Anyway this is our address

Lucy said...

Fabulous flavours in this. Somehow I never think to combine ginger and tomatoes, but it works beautifully.

I've got some cauliflower in the fridge drawer that needs a little something...

Anonymous said...

you're right - ginger and tomato is a fantastic combo for a sauce. when i made the bengali red dal for RCI, one of the components was a simple mixture of just browned onions, ginger and tomatoes, and it tasted just amazing! i did wonder what I could pair it up with... lucy says cauliflower, any other veg ideas? or perhaps pulses, chickpeas? :) yum!

btw, I'd love to see the recipe for the dahl you're mentioning!

Lisa Turner said...

Lucy, this is one of the tastiest sauces I have tried.

Maninas, the dal dish you describe would go nicely with your favorite grain, legume or veggie. You simply can't go wrong with classics like that.

The dahl dish mentioned will be appearing soon.

Anonymous said...

I'd probably never think to put this on pizza, but it sounds like it would be really interesting!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

This is a very versatile sauce Lisa:D

Anonymous said...

This is so delicious. I am on a tomato kick at the moment and think this will be in my kitchen soon!

test it comm said...

This does sound like it would make an interesting pizza sauce.

LisaRene said...

I love making homemade flatbread and this would be a wonderful topping for an Indian inspired version. I can just imaging the piercing combination of fennel and ginger.

If I had an "On the menu soon" list your entire blog would be posted :) Preparing Indian food intimidates me for some reason and I tend to "dabble" in it by making "Indian inspired" dishes instead of just picking a recipe and following it. Now I've motivated myself and am going to pick a couple of your recipes and follow them exactly. You will be the first to know how they turn out ;)

Lisa Turner said...

Thanks Lisa Rene! I'm looking forward to hearing how your Indian meal turns out.

Laura Paterson said...

Lovely sauce - now that I have cleared some space in my freezer I'm very tempted to knock up a big batch of this and freeze it in portions!

Anonymous said...

That's it, Lisarene! I agree - it would be perfect with a flat bread! Thanks for sharing the idea!