Coconut Curry Tomato Sauce


This tomato sauce, fragrant with the warm flavors of ginger, jalapeño, and mild curry powder, will become one of your favorite kitchen shapeshifters. It's infinitely versatile: Use it as a poaching liquid, finishing sauce, or even as a soup base.

Coconut Curry Tomato Sauce
Photo: © Wendell T. Webber
Total Time:
35 mins
4 cups


  • 2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced

  • 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mild curry powder

  • 1 (28-ounce) can peeled tomatoes, chopped and juices reserved

  • 1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and ginger; cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the coconut milk, and sugar; bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 20 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and transfer to a bowl.

Make ahead

The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.


Applications: Use as a poaching liquid for chicken, shrimp, lamb, pork, and vegetables. Add to a sauté at the last minute. Toss with boiled potatoes or serve over rice. Mix with chicken stock and vegetables or seafood for a quick soup.

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