7 Tomato-Free Recipes To Beat the Price Increase
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The raging food discussion all over India right now is all about tomatoes, and for good reason too! Over the last few weeks, tomato prices have climbed so high that people are now comparing tomato prices with those of petrol. News reports suggest that tomato prices across India rose from Rs.10-20 per kilo to a minimum of Rs. 80-100 per kilo just within the last two-three days. In some parts of the country, tomato prices have exceeded Rs.100 per kilo as well.  

According to experts, the hike in tomato prices is due to the recent floods and heavy rainfall in states like Karnataka and Telangana, where tomato is a major crop. The heavy rains have damaged the crops of tomatoes and also disrupted the tomato supply chain, leading to an inflation in tomato prices. The result is that most people are now unable to afford to buy tomatoes, and that means either preserving them or using them too less in your food—or skipping them altogether. 

Truth be told, Indian cuisine is so vast and varied that you can easily skip tomatoes until the tomato price hike crisis lasts and still eat like a king or queen. You can use tomato substitutes that replicate the flavours of the fruit or you can opt for the huge range of tomato-free dishes Indian cuisine has to provide. Wondering what these dishes are? Here are seven tomato-free recipes to beat the tomato price increase. 

Video Credit: YouTube/Chef Ranveer Brar

Baingan Bharta 

This popular North Indian dish is made by roasting eggplant over an open flame, mashing it, and then sautéing it with onions, ginger, garlic, and aromatic spices. It's a smoky and flavorful dish that pairs well with roti or rice. There are plenty of regional variations, like Baingan Chokha and Begun Poda as well which you can try out. All are tomato-free dishes. 

Aloo Gobi

A classic Punjabi dish featuring cauliflower and potatoes, this one is cooked with onions, ginger, garlic, and a blend of spices. The dish of Aloo Gobi is usually tomato-free so it is the perfect fit for these tough times. This hearty and satisfying curry is a perfect accompaniment to roti or rice, providing a delightful blend of textures and flavors. 


A traditional South Indian lentil soup prepared with a variety of vegetables, tamarind, lentils, and a unique blend of spices, sambar is a dish most of us can’t do without. Now you might argue that sambar tastes better with tomatoes, but given that it also have other veggies and tamarind, not adding tomatoes won’t affect its taste that much. This tangy and aromatic dish is typically enjoyed with idli, dosa, or rice, offering a harmonious balance of flavors. 

Chicken Korma 

The best bit about Mughlai cuisine is that most of its dishes don’t require tomatoes and instead rely on onion and yoghurt-rich gravies. So, a chicken korma made with onions, yoghurt, poppy seeds and spices is a great choice during the tomato price-hike crisis. In fact, you could also try other Mughlai dishes.  

Palak Paneer 

A delightful dish made with fresh spinach, paneer, and a blend of spices, palak paneer is a North Indian staple enjoyed with rotis and parathas. The creamy and nutritious curry is rich in iron and protein, making it a favorite choice for vegetarians and paneer lovers. The best thing is, of course, that you don’t need tomatoes to make it. 

Pindi Chana

A popular Punjabi dish made with boiled chickpeas cooked in a spicy and tangy onion-based masala, pindi chana is a rich and complex dish that is also traditionally tomato-free. This robust and flavorful curry is often enjoyed with bhature or puri, offering a delightful combination of textures and tastes. This one can be enjoyed in both dry and gravy forms too. 

Methi Aloo

A simple and flavorful dish prepared with fenugreek leaves or methi and potatoes, sautéed with onions, garlic, and spices—this one is tomato-free and so easy to make that anybody can cook it up. This nutritious and aromatic curry pairs well with roti or rice, providing a wonderful blend of earthy flavors. You could also try other potato dishes like Jeera Aloo and Matar Aloo for a tomato-free meal.