How to get rid of Sour taste in Tomato Stew – remove sour taste from Tomato stew

Photo of How To get rid of sour taste in tomato stew

You can get rid of sour taste in Tomato stew by simply following the steps below. The sour taste in Tomato stew can still be removed even if you are preparing the stew using fresh tomatoes, canned tomato paste, or a combination of both.

Stew at times has many challenges when preparing it. The stew may get burnt, become sour,  watery (oily) or it may not be tasty at all.  For these reasons, a lot of care needs to be taken while preparing tomato stew.

If you have ever invested much of your time and energy to prepare a full pot of stew and it turned out sour, just know you are not alone. You don’t need to quit yet from trying out just this one chance. This time around, you will win a medal for just a pot of stew, I have gone through the same stress too and I made it at the end.

Table of Contents

Steps on how to get rid of Sour taste in Tomato Stew

Steam or cook the tomatoes before blending

You can get rid of sour taste in tomato stew by steaming or boiling the fresh tomatoes before blending it. The steaming or boiling of the tomatoes allows the sour water to escape or evaporate out; leaving the real tomato content with less water. This makes it easier for you to fry the tomato without much water in it. This method preserves the nutrients in the tomatoes and reduces the frying time. By using this method, the stew hardly gets burnt because the water content is small.

Adding baking powder to the stew

Baking powder helps to neutralize the acidic content in tomato stew and therefore preventing the stew from getting sour. When the acid is neutralized, the sour taste is also removed.

In order to get rid of sour taste in tomato stew by using this method, all you need to do is add a teaspoon of the baking powder to a medium-sized pot of stew. You add this baking powder when the stew is almost cooked. This does not destroy the nutritional content of the stew; it even prevents the stew from curdling if you decide to add milk.

Use of Edible potash

Adding a teaspoon of edible potash (kanwa i- in Hausa) gets rid of sour taste in tomato stew but it comes with a price. Potash can destroy the nutrients in the tomato and the use of it without cooking can be harmful to health. Though this is not the best of methods, some people prefer adding a minute quantity of it; because it helps to preserve the stew over a longer period of time.

Edible potash is fungicidal and therefore can prevent the growth of molds for people living in places where refrigerating excess of the stew is not possible.

You can add a tablespoon of sugar

A small amount of brown sugar can do the trick of removing the sour taste of tomato stew. Adding much can make it nauseating because it will become too sweet.  You can still use white sugar if you want. The sugar balances the flavor as well as the taste.

Proper frying of the stew

When you properly fry tomato stew, it removes any water and acidic contents in it. This must be done properly by continuously stirring the stew as it is being fried; continuous stirring prevents it from getting burnt before the water content is properly removed. Though this is time-consuming, it is better than using potash, or sugar (if you feel irritated by it).

Adding a small amount of crayfish

Add a little amount of crayfish to your tomato stew. You might wonder or ask me if you are cooking soup, the answer is No; but crayfish do prevent stew from getting sour even while adding to the taste too.

Removing the seeds in tomatoes before blending

When you remove the seeds of fresh tomatoes before blending; you are reducing the amount of acid in the tomatoes because the tomato seeds have a high amount of amino acids that add to the acid content of tomato and make it sour. Some people like their stew with the tomato seeds in it, while some don’t; this is left for you to decide.

The method of removing the seeds in tomatoes should depend on the specie of the tomatoes in use. Some tomatoes are sweet (less amount of amino acids) even with the seed in them while some would require you deseed them before using them. It is best you know the type of tomatoes you are using before applying this method.

Add meat or fish stock

This helps to blind any sour taste of tomato stew especially if you have prepared the stew already and you want to fix the sour taste. Use a small amount of the meat or fish stock so as not to make it watery or too salty. You can also add some spices like nutmeg, curry, thyme, chicken, or beef spice. One or two of these spices might help blind the sour taste in the tomato stew.

Ingredients for preparing delicious stew without it tasting sour

  • 10-12 Medium-sized fresh tomatoes
  • 6 Medium-sized Tatase (Red bell peppers) or more
  • 120 g tomatoes paste (optional) or less
  • 150 ml of pure groundnut oil or any vegetable oil of your choice
  • 1 Kg of meat (chicken, goat or beef) or assorted meat (ka yan chiki)
  • 4 Fresh peppers/ scotch bonnet
  • 3 Bulb onions
  • 1 Cup vegetables (optional)
  • 1 Ginger root divide into two (optional)
  • 3 Clove garlic (optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon thyme, curry, and 1 nutmeg
  • 4-5 Seasoning cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons of ground crayfish
  • Salt

Photo of some ingredients for tomato stew. I used few different spices, beef and fish to help me get rid of sour taste in tomato stew
These are my ingredients for the stew, I used a few different spices, beef, and fish

Using the steaming method to prepare and get rid of sour taste in tomato stew 

Steaming the tomatoes

  1. Wash and steam the fresh tomatoes with red bell pepper (tatase) or shombo before blending them with pepper. If you cook fresh pepper with the tomatoes, it may irritate your throat thereby causing you to cough continuously. You can prevent it by opening the windows of the kitchen.
  2. When the tomatoes are cooked, filter them and wait for them to cool. You can blend the tomato first before cooking it. By steaming it, the sour taste is removed from the tomatoes. Therefore, no need of adding potash or sugar again when doing the real cooking; except if you still feel the sour taste in the stew while frying it; that’s when you can add any of those additives.

Blending the steamed tomatoes into puree

  1. Turn the cooked tomatoes and red bell pepper into the blender and blend with the onions. If the consistency is too thick inside the blender, add a little water to enable the blender to move smoothly.
  2. Either pour the blended tomatoes into a Colander with tiny holes or put it back on fire for all the water to evaporate. If you are going to add the canned tomato paste to your stew, pour it into the pot with the blended tomatoes; so that its own sourness will boil out or you just pour it into a bowl and add a little water to dissolve into a light paste before frying it later.
  3. Add the tomato puree into a pot and place on heat to boil

Boiling and adding other ingredients

  1. While you are boiling the tomato, season your meat with curry, thyme, pepper, onions, and salt and cook until it is very soft.
  2. When the meat is well cooked, remove it from the stock and drain it with a colander.
  3. Put the pot you want to use or a frying pan on the fire. When the pan is heated, pour the vegetable oil into it.
  4. When you feel the oil is hot, fry the meat till they are all brown. You don’t have to fry the meat always; sometimes you can use the meat without frying it.
  5. Remove the meat from the oil and keep aside. After this, pour the tomato puree into the same oil and fry it until all the water in it evaporates; leaving in the oil some kind of twisted tomato fries. Ensure to keep stirring it to prevent it from burning and also adjust the heat source to medium setting. If you notice purely oil floating on the tomato in the pot and no water content; this means it is well fried, if not, keep frying and stirring to prevent getting burnt.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients – seasoning cubes, curry, thyme, nutmeg, and crayfish if you want and taste for salt. If you love vegetables in your stew, you can add them at this last stage while allowing it to cook an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Your tomato stew is ready; serve with either boiled rice, boiled plantain, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, or any recipe you want.
Serve your stew with boiled rice
Serve your stew with boiled rice


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