No Tomatoes? Worry Not, 7 Bengali Dishes Without Them
Image Credit: Shukto is a very unique mix veg sabji from Bengal| Shutterstock

We all know that in the current market scenario, tomatoes have become too expensive, and people are finding substitutes for tomatoes to cook their food. Well, if you are looking for authentic recipes that do not need tomatoes at all, Bengali cuisine might just be the answer to your troubles.

Bengali cuisine is a melting pot of delightful flavours—sweet, sour, and spicy—and a celebration of fresh, seasonal ingredients. And not many Bengali dishes rely on tomatoes as a primary ingredient. In fact, the traditional cuisine of Bengal offers many options that showcase the region's culinary prowess without the need for tomatoes.

Here are seven Bengali dishes that can be made without tomatoes. 


Shukto is a unique and special mixed vegetable dish that features an exquisite balance of bitter and sweet flavours. The dish is a combination of various vegetables, such as bitter gourd, raw banana, sweet potato, eggplant, and drumsticks, gently cooked in a mildly spiced mustard and poppy seed paste gravy. Some variations of Shukto include the addition of milk or coconut milk to add a creamy texture, further enhancing the complexity of flavours. It is a must-have dish at festive gatherings and weddings.

Chingri Macher Malai Curry

Recipe - Hands Touch

Bengalis have an unparalleled love for seafood, and chingri macher malai curry is a splendid example of the region's expertise in preparing prawn delicacies. In this dish, fresh, lightly fried prawns are cooked in a luscious coconut milk-based gravy, delicately flavoured with cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. The velvety smoothness of the coconut milk beautifully complements the natural sweetness of the prawns, leaving no space to accommodate tomatoes. 

Mochar Ghonto

Mochar Ghonto is a beloved vegetarian delight that showcases the versatility of banana flowers. The tender, shredded blossoms or flowers are sautéed with grated coconut, ginger, and green chilies. The dish not only presents a delicious play of textures but is also testament to the fact that Bengal doesn’t just have non-vegetarian food. Mochar Ghonto is often enjoyed with steamed rice or phulko luchi.

Aloo Posto

Recipe - Kabita's Kitchen

Aloo Posto is a timeless vegetarian Bengali dish that brings together two quintessential ingredients—potatoes and poppy seeds. The creamy texture of the poppy seed paste, known as posto, imparts a distinct nutty flavour to the dish. Potatoes are fried in mustard oil with paanch phoran, a combination of five whole spices, then cooked in this paste, creating a comforting preparation. Aloo Posto is a beloved dish that evokes nostalgia and holds a special place in every Bengali's heart and plate.


Another delicious vegetarian preparation, chorchori is made with drumsticks or sojne data, kumro or pumpkin, saag, and potatoes. The vegetables are cooked in a paanch phoran tadka, with a light mustard gravy. Best enjoyed with hot steamed rice and ghee, this dish is simple, comforting and makes for a heart lunch meal. 

Shorshe Bata Maach

Bengali cuisine is known for its robust mustard-infused flavours, and this dish is the perfect example of that. Fish pieces are marinated with mustard oil, salt, and turmeric, lending the dish a fiery kick. The marinated fish is fried in mustard oil before being simmered in a mustard-based gravy, resulting in a pungent, strong taste that pairs impeccably with steamed rice. This dish epitomises the art of balance in Bengali cooking, where spices are thoughtfully combined to create a harmonious symphony on the palate.

Shukno Aloor Dom

This traditional Bengali dish translates to "Dry Potato Curry." And it is made without any tomato, pureed or chopped. Potatoes, cut into two, are boiled and then deep fried. The gravy is made with cashew nuts, ginger, green chillies, and posto for the niramish (vegetarian) version. Garlic and onions are used in the Amish variety of the dish. It is typically enjoyed with luchi or porota and is a popular tiffin dish.