Tomato Too Expensive? Try 6 Dishes That Can Be Cooked Without It
Image Credit: Palak can easily made without tomatoes | Unsplash

Tomatoes are a staple ingredient in many cuisines, including Indian cooking, known for its rich and diverse flavours. However, fluctuating prices and seasonal availability can make tomatoes expensive or inaccessible at times. Just like now, when the prices of tomatoes are soaring! Indian cuisine offers a myriad of delicious dishes that can be prepared without relying on tomatoes. So, if you are thinking twice before using every slice of tomato, here are 6 Indian recipes that showcase the versatility and creativity of Indian cooking, proving that a lack of tomatoes doesn't mean compromising on taste.

Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer is a popular North Indian dish that features creamy spinach and soft paneer. Instead of relying on tomatoes for tanginess, this dish derives its flavour from a blend of aromatic spices such as cumin, coriander, and garam masala. The spinach provides a rich and earthy taste, while the paneer adds a creamy texture, resulting in a delightful and nutritious curry.

Aloo Gobi

Recipe - Kabita's Kitchen

Aloo Gobi is a classic vegetarian dish made with potatoes, cauliflower, and an array of spices. Traditionally, tomatoes are used to enhance the flavours, but they can easily be omitted. The dish can be prepared by sautéing onions, ginger, garlic, and spices like turmeric, cumin, and coriander. The combination of tender potatoes, cauliflower florets, and aromatic spices creates a delicious and hearty curry.

Chana Masala

Chana Masala is a popular chickpea curry that is both satisfying and delicious. While tomatoes are commonly used in the recipe, they can be replaced by a blend of spices like roasted cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. The chickpeas are cooked in this aromatic spice blend along with onions, garlic, and ginger, resulting in a hearty and tangy dish that pairs well with rice or naan bread.

Baingan Bharta

Baingan Bharta is a smoky and flavorful eggplant dish that can be enjoyed as a dip or a side dish. In this recipe, eggplants are roasted until tender and then mashed with sautéed onions, garlic, and a medley of spices. The resulting dip has a rich and smoky flavour that is enhanced by the spices, making it a delightful alternative to tomato-based dips and sauces.

Dal Tadka

Dal Tadka is a comforting and nutritious lentil dish that is commonly enjoyed in Indian households. While some versions of this dish incorporate tomatoes, they can be omitted without compromising its taste. Yellow or red lentils are cooked with aromatic spices and tempered with ghee or oil infused with cumin seeds, garlic, and dried red chillies. The result is a flavourful and wholesome dal that pairs perfectly with rice or bread.

Malai Kofta

Malai Kofta is a luxurious and indulgent Indian dish made with vegetable dumplings in a creamy gravy. While tomatoes are often used in the gravy, they can be replaced with a mixture of cashews, cream, and spices to create a rich and creamy base. The vegetable dumplings, made with mashed potatoes, paneer, and assorted vegetables, are cooked in this luscious gravy, resulting in a decadent and flavoursome dish.