Tomatoes have become a luxury that only a few people can afford. Sometime back, you would get around three tomatoes at only Ksh 20 or even less. And now? A different story altogether. One tomato is retailing at Ksh 20 and even more in some places. So how do you go about making your meals if you can’t afford to buy tomatoes anymore? The truth is that even though we got used to using tomatoes when preparing most of our meals, it’s still possible to do without them. Yes, your food doesn’t have to be awful just because tomatoes are expensive.

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Here are a few alternatives you can use in place of fresh tomatoes:

1. Red bell peppers

Red bell pepper(Specialty Produce)
Red bell pepper(Specialty Produce)

Tomatoes don’t just add to the taste of the meal but also some colour that makes the food seem more appetizing. Instead of buying tomatoes, you can replace them with red and yellow bell peppers. They are tasty and also make your food colourful. You can use them when making vegetable rice, salads or even when making cabbage.

2. Carrots

Fresh carrots(ArchDaily)
Fresh carrots(ArchDaily)

This is another great alternative that never disappoints. The good thing about carrots is that unlike the red and yellow bell peppers, they are easy to come by and very affordable for the ordinary mwananchi. With Ksh 20, you got yourself enough carrots to make one meal. You can add carrots to your stews such as lentils, green grams, peas, beans, and beef. Just make sure you grate them instead of chopping them.

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3. Turmeric

Turmeric roots
Turmeric roots

To add to the thickness of your stew, some turmeric will serve you right. It also gives the food an appealing colour and it’s loaded with lots of health benefits. You can get it in powder form from local outlets or get the root from the market near you.

4. Canned tomatoes

Canned tomatoes(Just A Pinch)
Canned tomatoes(Just A Pinch)

If you still feel like you can’t do without tomatoes, then canned tomatoes are also an alternative that you can try.

If all the above alternatives do not work for you, then you can choose to skip them altogether until the prices come down.