Green tomatoes have a strong sour citrus flavour so you need to be careful when cooking them that it’s not overpowering.

I adapted this BBC Good Food chicken balti recipe and left out the lime juice as it would be citrus-y enough.

It’s important to use other vegetables to tone down the flavour slightly – potatoes work well for this. I also added a few courgettes when I made it – you can add whatever other vegetables you like to this.

I separated the ingredient list to make it easier to prepare them. Each group of ingredients can be chopped and mixed in bowls in advance of cooking.


Green tomato marinade

  • 300 g green tomatoes, cubed
  • 300 g potatoes, cubed
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • vegetable oil
  • pinch of fresh ground black pepper

First spices

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cardamon pods
  • 1 green chilli, left whole
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

Curry paste

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 cm piece of ginger, chopped
  • 1-2 green finger chillies, chopped

Second spices

  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 ½ tsp garam masala

Remaining ingredients

  • 400 g passata
  • 1 red pepper deseeded and cubed
  • 2 medium red tomatoes, chopped
  • 100 g spinach, roughly chopped
  • handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • salt


  • Mix the green tomato marinade ingredients together in a bowl, so that the tomatoes and potatoes are coated.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large saute pan or wok. Fry the first spices briefly so they are just starting to colour. Make sure they don’t burn.
  • Stir in the curry paste ingredients and fry on a medium heat until the onion starts browning. Add 1 tbsp oil and then add the green tomato marinade ingredients. Stir fry for 5 minutes.
  • Add the second set of spices. mix and fry for another 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the passata, 100 ml of water and the red pepper.
  • Bring to the boil, turn the heat low and and simmer for 20-30 mins. Make sure the potato is firm but cooked through.
  • Stir in the red tomato pieces and simmer for another 2-3 mins.
  • Either add water or cook with the lid off to reduce to the desired sauce thickness. Don’t cook for too long though or the vegetables will disintegrate.
  • Add the spinach right at the end, take off the heat and stir through to wilt. Season with salt to taste.


  • Scatter fresh coriander over the top, and serve in a bowl with raita or natural yoghurt on the side.
  • Can serve with rice, but is best with naan bread or chapatis, to soak up the sauce.