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spicy tomato curry recipe

Spicy Tomato Curry - Spicy Tomato Masala Fry With Gravy

This spicy tomato curry recipe also known as thakkali curry or tomato fry with gravy is made in South Indian Kerala style, which makes an easy, spicy and delicious side dish with chapathi or poori.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 3
Calories 240kcal


  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • ½ cup water add little more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt as needed
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil (or use any other oil)

Spice Powders

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder

For Seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 string curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons oil (sesame oil or coconut oil or any other oil)


  • Wash and peel the onion in thin long slices, keep aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
  • When the mustard seeds splutter, add the curry leaves, fry for a few seconds.
  • Add the sliced onions and let it get stir fried in low to medium heat for about 8 to 10 minutes until the onions are lightly browned, keep stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, wash the tomatoes, slice as little thick medium sized pieces and keep it aside.
  • Once the onions start to brown, add enough salt and ginger garlic paste, stir well and saute in medium heat for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the following spices - turmeric powder, red chili powder and coriander powder to the onions, mix well and let it stir fry for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  • As the onions get stir fried in the spices, add the sugar and water and bring the mixture to a boil.  In case the gravy is less for your preference, you may add a little more water, but we really do not need more water as we also add the remaining two tablespoons of oil at the end of the preparation, which will add to the gravy. So if you are adding more water, keep this also in mind so you can add accordingly.
  • As the mixture starts boiling, reduce the heat to low and add garam masala powder and black pepper powder to the mixture, stir well and cook in low heat for another 1 minute.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan, stir well, reduce the heat to low and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes or until the tomatoes are lightly cooked and stir fried in the gravy. If needed, you may add a little more oil as to give the tomatoes more of a fried texture. Spicy and delicious tomato curry or tomato masala fry with gravy is ready to be served.


Make sure not to overcook the tomatoes for this spicy tomato curry, as we really need the tomato chunks to be there without getting it mashed up in the gravy. The light cooked and lightly stir fried tomatoes, as you can see in the pictures in this post, is perfect for this spicy tomato curry or tomato masala fry with gravy. Enjoy this tomato curry as a spicy and yummy side dish with chapathi, poori or rice as you wish.


Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 118mg | Potassium: 381mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1135IU | Vitamin C: 37.6mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg