Strawberry Coulis | Compote

Strawberry compote cooked further and strained is Coulis, a smooth sauce made with berries cooked with sweetener, lemon juice and zest. 
Strawberry Coulis | Compote

I grew up only seeing strawberry flavoured gums and candies which I used to abhor! I don't think we used to get berries in the market those days like we do now. I am talking about at least 20 years ago in India. And I had this aversion to anything pink which was the reason I avoided eating anything strawberry - silly, isn't it? Only in my late 20s I saw an actual strawberry and loved how pretty and bright they looked until I popped one and Ewww... it was so sour! I never gave them a second chance feeling confused why people were in so much love with it?

So, how did I come to like it? As a newlywed, I was served strawberry mousse made with fresh berries by my co-sis-in-law. I was hesitant at first as it was pink but had it anyway and was totally surprised how good it tasted. I wondered how I missed out on this all these years! I became a fan of strawberry mousse. nothing else about it. :-) 

Shift to Yanbu, I got to know F loves strawberries, but I was zero in dessert making. I learnt to make the egg-less mousse recipe that co-sis was happy to share. I made it so many times, that F got bored of it :-) (why doesn't that happen with eating as such :-P ) I then began to mix the berries with chocolates like I did with this chocolate strawberry cake or just devour the Nutella dipped berries! yum! By now my perceptions have changed, there are sweet and sour strawberries and it all depends on how ripe it is. It still does hold on to the sour or tangy taste so the only way to relish the fresh berries are by adding sweetness to it.

Two years down the lane, I believe I have tried quite a few desserts and cakes with strawberries and so wanted to do the mousse again just for old times sake. So chopped the strawberries, tossed them into the saucepan with some sugar and let it cook while I was doing my dinner... the fruity berries aroma filled the kitchen and I was imagining a cheesecake with strawberry compote... immediately shifted the gear and off I went to check on how to make the compote. I followed the idea from Food 52 article and did my first ever compote. Sorry mousse! 

Compote Vs Coulis

For newbies - compote is a fruit cooked in syrup and coulis is when the compote is cooked further and pureed.  As my strawberries were boiling away in sugar turned syrup, I added some lemon zest and waited for it to reach the thick sauce-like texture with no lumps - my personal preference. I did not want any lumps or runny sauce like the usual compote so blitzed it in the blender and transferred it to glass, clicked pictures, cling wrapped and stored it in the fridge. Now for some knowledge sharing do read this article by Serious Eats which will help you to differentiate jams, preserves, conserve, compote, etc. It helped me identify the sauce I made as Coulis which is a cousin of Compote. :-)

To avoid wastage while trimming the strawberry top, you may use a straw to core out the top like in this video.

Updated the recipe content on 22nd march 2021 with some additional flavour ideas and cooking method. 

How to make a small batch of Strawberry Coulis that you can stock and use! 

Strawberry Coulis Recipe


  • 12 large strawberries, washed and trimmed
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar
  • zest of half a lemon
You may add one or more flavour options that pair well with strawberries: vanilla, grated ginger, fresh basil, mint, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, or chilli!


  1. Chop the strawberries into large chunks and toss them into a saucepan along with sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. You may also add one ore more flavour ideas like vanilla, grated ginger, basil, mint, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, or chilli! 
  2. Set the saucepan on the stove-top on the lowest flame and occasionally stir to prevent getting the berries burnt. Cook until the berries have started to lose their shape and become soft and glossy. 
  3. For making compote, you can stop at this stage and let it cool before storing. For making Coulis,  cook further until thickens completely with fewer lumps. For a runny sauce, you may add water or orange juice and boil well.  
  4. Switch off and let it cool. Once cooled, you may blitz and strain if needed and transfer it into an airtight glass jar.
  5. Refrigerate and use with a clean dry spoon as needed on ice creams, yoghurt, overnight oats, cheesecakes, slices of bread, etc.
Strawberry Coulis | Compote

I did a small portion-controlled Cheesecake which I will share next, InshaAllah.

I have used this as a spread on my brown bread for breakfast, added to overnight oats for a couple of days, and added to ice creams too. I used it up within a week and it was good in a glass with cling wrapped. Now I get why foodies are thrilled to crush and torture these berries in hot is the best way to get the most out of the berries!

I would love to know if you have tried this recipe. You may leave a comment below or follow me on Instagram and mention @butfirstchaai or tag #butfirstchaiblog so that I can see your creations! Thank you!