In India, in recent days tomatoes have become increasingly expensive, making it difficult to purchase them at a consistent price. Despite their importance in traditional Indian cuisine, there are alternative recipes available from Bengal that do not rely on the use of tomatoes. Check out these tomato-free recipes (Bengali Dishes that can be made without Tomatoes).
- Debjani's Note on the use of Tomato as part of Bengali cuisine and the alternatives
- Jhuri Aloo Bhaja
- Aloo Posto
- Kolai-er Dal (also known as Biulir Dal)
- Lau Chingri
- Shutki Chingri Bhorta (Also known as Chingri Shutki Bata)
- Titar Dal (also known as Uchhe diye Dal)
- Aam Kasundi Murgi
- Kumror Chokka
- Narkel Doodh-e Ilish Maach
- Mulo diye Motor Dal
- Kalojira Bhorta (also known as Kalijira Bhorta)
- Pat Pataro Bora (also known as pat pata bhaja)
- Mochar Ghonto
- Tok Dal (also known as Kancha Aam diye Toker Dal)
- Kochu Shak-er Ghonto
- Doi Ilish
- Aam Shol (also known as Shol Macher Tawk)
- Masoor Dal Bhorta (also known as Dal Sukno)
- Posto diye Lau Shak Bhate (also known as Laushak bhorta)
- Ilish Panikhola (also known as Sada Ilish)
- Top tip
- FAQ - Tomato situation in India 2023
- Let's connect over Bengali Recipes that you can cook without Tomatoes
- Bengali Dishes that can be made without Tomatoes pin for you
Debjani's Note on the use of Tomato as part of Bengali cuisine and the alternatives
The tomato, a fruit that is widely used in Indian cuisine, has become an expensive commodity in recent times. Due to the shortage of supply, it has become increasingly difficult to procure tomatoes at a stable price, causing a significant impact on households and restaurants across India. Despite its importance in Indian cooking, there are still plenty of recipes available that do not require tomatoes.
In fact, the cuisine of Bengal offers a wide range of recipes that don't include tomatoes. The vibrant and diverse culinary traditions of Bengal are known for their unique use of spices and herbs, creating dishes that are rich in flavor and aroma. From the famous fish curry to the vegetarian delight of aloo posto, you can find an array of dishes that do not require tomatoes, yet are still delicious and satisfying.
Apart from these classic dishes, there are many other recipes from Bengal that do not require the use of tomatoes. From the spicy Kalojira Bhorta to the comforting Doi Maach, you can find a plethora of recipes that are easy to make and perfect for a quick meal. So, if you're looking to cook a delicious meal without using tomatoes, give these recipes a try and experience the rich and diverse flavors of Bengal cuisine. So on this line here is the list of Bengali Dishes that can be made without Tomatoes.
Bengali cuisine has a famous vegetable dish known as Shukto. This dish typically consists of a variety of vegetables. We usually serve Shukto as the first course of a traditional Bengali meal alongside rice. Locals affectionately refer to it as "shuktoni" and it's a beloved dish in the region. Interestingly enough, Tomatoes are not necessary to make Shukto!
Jhuri Aloo Bhaja
For Bengalis, Jhuri Aloo Bhaja is the epitome of comfort food that brings excitement just at the mention of its name. This dish involves frying thin slices of potato and needs no elaboration. It's worth noting that tomatoes are not a necessary ingredient in making a delicious Aloo Bhaja.
Aloo Posto is a popular dish from Bengal that is easy to prepare. It's a perfect meal for anyone looking for comfort food that's quick and easy to make. The recipe only requires potatoes, a paste made from poppy seeds, and a few other ingredients and not tomatoes.
Kolai-er Dal (also known as Biulir Dal)
Aloo Posto is a signature Bengali delicacy that we cook with potatoes, spices, and also poppyseed. If you want to make it a full meal, you can pair it with either Kolai-er Dal or Bengali Urad Dal. The traditional Bengali dish, Biulir Dal, doesn't require the addition of tomatoes during the cooking process. For a quick and effortless meal, you can try making Aloo Posto with Biulir Dal to relish a delectable and gratifying experience.
Lau Chingri is a delicious Bengali dish that we cook with bottle gourd and prawns. It's a delightful blend of prawns or shrimps and bottle gourd that will surely excite your palate.
The use of tomatoes is not necessary when making traditional Lau Chingri!
Shutki Chingri Bhorta (Also known as Chingri Shutki Bata)
Shutki Chingri Bhorta is a classic prawn paste recipe that originates from Bangladesh. We mostly enjoy chingri shutki as an entree with rice.
Titar Dal (also known as Uchhe diye Dal)
Titar Dal is a one-of-a-kind vegan and vegetarian Dal recipe that originates from Bengal. Bitter Gourd makes this dal special. This dish is a perfect choice for health enthusiasts looking to include nutritious ingredients in their diet.
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Aam Kasundi Murgi
This Aam Kasundi Murgi is a treat for those who love bold flavors. The Bengali-style chicken curry is prepared with a tangy green mango mustard sauce called Bengali Aam Kasundi, which gives it a unique taste. Enjoy it with some steamed rice for a meal you won't forget!
Kumror Chokka is a popular Bengali side dish that doesn't contain onion or garlic. We cook it with pumpkin, potato, and boiled black chickpeas and seasoned with "panch foron" and ghee for flavor. This dry pumpkin dish is a perfect complement to luchi, roti, or paratha and doesn't require tomatoes to prepare.
Narkel Doodh-e Ilish Maach
When we cook Hilsa fish with coconut milk, we create a distinct and delicious taste. This recipe calls for only five basic ingredients: mustard oil, green chili, turmeric powder, salt, and Nigella seed. Tomatoes are not necessary to make this Hilsa Curry. Check the recipe card for exact measurements. Try this dish and you'll see why it's so addictive!
Mulo diye Motor Dal
Bengali cuisine offers a unique and flavorful dish called Mulo diye Motor Dal. This is a thick lentil soup that we cook with yellow split peas and radishes. Interestingly, this dish doesn't require any tomatoes.
Kalojira Bhorta (also known as Kalijira Bhorta)
Kalojire Bhorta is a flavorful Bhorta aka Bata that comes from Bengali cuisine. Kalojira bhorta is also known as Kalijira Bata. We cook this bhorta with Kalonji (or Nigella Seed) as well as some selected spices.
A small amount of this Bhorta is enough to top off a plate of rice. It's a real treat that is sure to satisfy any appetite.
Pat Pataro Bora (also known as pat pata bhaja)
During the monsoon season in Bengal, a special delicacy known as Pat Pata Bhaja or Pat Patar Bora is enjoyed by the locals. We make this fritter with fresh jute leaves, a vegetable that is only available during the rainy months.
Mochar Ghonto is a signature Bengali delicacy. Mocha in Bengali stands for Banana blossom aka Banana flower. Niramish Mochar Ghonto is a Bengali-style mishmash that we cook with Banana flowers.
Tok Dal (also known as Kancha Aam diye Toker Dal)
Toker Dal, also known as Tok Dal or Kancha Aam diye Toker Dal, is a vegan lentil soup that is popular during the summer months in Bengal. We cook this with green mangoes and do not add onions or garlic.
Kochu Shak-er Ghonto
Kochu Saag er Ghonto is a Bengali delicacy made with Taro leaves and is traditionally prepared without onions, garlic, or tomatoes. It is a mishmash dish that is easy to make, and it is typically served with rice. To make this dish, the taro leaves are cooked with spices like cumin, turmeric, and red chili powder. The result is a delicious and healthy dish that is enjoyed by many Bengali households.
Doi Ilish is a popular Bengali dish made with fresh Hilsa fish chunks cooked in a creamy yogurt-based sauce. The sauce comprises a mix of basic spices that lends a unique flavor and aroma to the dish.
The result is a delicious and aromatic meal that is savored by locals and tourists alike. Its signature taste and simplicity make it a favorite dish among Bengalis, and it is often served with steaming hot rice.
Aam Shol (also known as Shol Macher Tawk)
Aam shol is a popular Bengali dish consisting of Snakehead murrel fish and Green Mangos cooked together in a comforting curry. We call this fish curry without tomatoes Shol Macher Tawk as well.
Due to the use of Green Mango, gives the dish a tangy flavor, although the overall taste is not overly sour. This dish is a favorite in the region and can be served with rice for a filling and hearty meal.
Masoor Dal Bhorta (also known as Dal Sukno)
Masoor Dal Bhorta is a vegetarian dish loved in Bangladesh and India. It is made with red lentils and various spices, sans tomatoes. The dish is often paired with Panta Bhat.
Posto diye Lau Shak Bhate (also known as Laushak bhorta)
Learn how to prepare a delicious Bengali delicacy called Posto diye Laushak Bhate with this recipe post. This simple mash is made with Bottle gourd leaves and poppyseed paste and doesn't require tomatoes. It's a great vegetarian option and perfect for those looking for a comforting and filling meal. Follow the step-by-step instructions and enjoy this traditional dish from Bengal.
Ilish Panikhola (also known as Sada Ilish)
Ilish Pani Khola, also known as Sada Ilish, is a mild curry that we cook with Ilish fish. It is prepared with minimal spices, with only salt and green chili used to enhance the flavor. The recipe is popular among Bengalis. We often serve it with steamed rice, making it a simple yet delicious meal option.
Although I have provided a list of Bengali Dishes that can be made without Tomatoes, there are countless Indian dishes that can be prepared without them. You can try using alternative ingredients like mango, yogurt, tamarind, vinegar, and lemon as well. Or you can try a combination of different ingredients to add the desired tanginess.
FAQ - Tomato situation in India 2023
The tomato industry has been hit hard this year due to heavy rains in some key growing areas and hotter-than-normal temperatures during the summer months. These adverse weather conditions have significantly impacted the output of the crop. It leads to a fivefold increase in prices that has left consumers feeling the pinch.
To compound the problem, July-August is typically a lean production period for tomatoes as it falls between yields. This has further exacerbated the supply shortage and driven up prices even higher. Many farmers have also shifted to other crops during this period. This has contributed to the shortage of tomatoes in the market.
The districts responsible for the mass supply of tomatoes have been particularly hard hit by these factors. This has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of tomatoes available for sale. This has led to a surge in prices. Consumers are now having to pay significantly more for this staple ingredient, which has put a strain on household budgets.
The tomato industry is a critical component of the agricultural sector. The current situation has highlighted the need for more resilient farming practices. Farmers will need to find ways to mitigate the impact of adverse weather conditions. They ensure a steady supply of tomatoes throughout the year.
In conclusion, the current shortage of tomatoes and the resulting price increase is a reflection of the challenges faced by the agricultural sector. While the situation is challenging, it also presents an opportunity for farmers to innovate and develop new ways of growing crops that are more resilient to changing weather patterns.
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