No onion, no garlic but absolutely delicious fare

Innovative recipes

Onions and garlic always add a special taste to gravy, making any dish lip smacking. Their strong flavours when combined with the essence of spices gives a taste that make any dish a gastronomic delight.

 It doesn’t mean that cooking without onions and garlic isimpossible task. “One can easily make a dish without onions. It is not the same as leaving eggs out of a cake,” says executive chef Pankaj Rana, Club Rhino. “However, most people would find some recipes unacceptably bland, but the dish without onions has its own culinary taste,” he says. 

“One can substitute onions with fennel, which tastes like licorice and has a texture like onion. One can try it with chicken or fish. Bell peppers, green peppers and celery are a good base for rice dishes as a substitute for garlic and onions,” says Rana.

He mentions about French cuisine which has onion and garlic in good proportions. “Usually in France, a lot of french people are allergic to onions; they usually use carrots with celery as a substitute of onions in french cuisine,” says the chef. 

But as Indian cuisines are incomplete without onion and garlic, executive chef Sunil Tomar, Storm Bar & Grill, East of Kailash says, “Cooking without onions is something which will be very interesting as a lot of regional dishes require no onions, Especially Gujarati food. Dishes like Gujarati aaloo sabzi and bhindi masala are known for their special spices and they are cooked without onion and garlic. 

According to him, Indians are equipped with enough recipes to manage without using onion. “Even non-vegetarian items like fish and chicken can be cooked without onions, dishes like Bengali fish curry known as maacher jhol and bhaath, and tomato chicken curry can be cooked without onion. Other dishes like Moong Dal Kadhi, Methi dal and Dahi Paneer are heavenly to taste which are always cooked without onions,” says Tomar. 

He suggests cumin seeds as a substitute for onion and garlic. “Cumin has a distinctive taste that may work well in some Indian recipes. Leeks, scallions, and shallots are few other of the substitutes which can also be used,” says Tomar.  

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