Deccan Chronicle

No onion, no garlic food gets a thumb up

Deccan Chronicle.| Nivi Shrivastava

Published on: October 13, 2023 | Updated on: October 13, 2023
We check with chefs and food experts to find out what's making sattvic food a popular trend.(Photo: Pexels)

We check with chefs and food experts to find out what's making sattvic food a popular trend.(Photo: Pexels)

Popularly, known as the ‘Sattvic’ or ‘Yogic’ diet (meals without allium vegetables such as garlic, onions, shallots, leeks, and chives) these dietary changes are considered helpful for the body to transition and prepare for seasonal change.
We check with chefs and food experts to find out what’s making sattvic food a popular trend.


As the popularity of veganism and paleo diets have already been a rage among
youngsters, a new addition to it is the signature dining experience with Sattvic food.

By not consuming onion and garlic food it is easy to curb acid reflux, ulcers, colitis, heartburn, and intestinal inflammation, which results in better gut health. Keeping in mind the demand for such food, at the popular ‘Dakshin’ restaurant chain of ITC Hotels, Chef Praveen Anand has introduced a special segment on the ‘Saivam’ meals without no onion or garlic.

Chef Anand says, "We have covered some healthy and tasty dishes from all
Southern states in the Saivam signature experience, for example – Pappu from Andhra Pradesh,

Eleanor Payasam is influenced from Tamil Nadu and Thoran from Kerala.
Some of our widely praised dishes at the Dakshin at ITC Grand Central Parel are Kara Kozhambu (seasonal vegetable simmered in a spiced tomato and tamarind
curry), Bagala Bhath (curd and rice tempered with mustard, red chilies, and curry leaves) and the Badam Halwa (a dense sweet confection made from
almond paste.) The Saivam dishes are prepared in pure ghee from scratch and
in separate vessels keeping in mind particular communities like Jain, strict vegetarians, or health enthusiasts. We have a thoughtfully curated menu for
vegetarians, and it has gained a lot of momentum among foodies in a short period."


Although onion and garlic are known for enhancing flavours in food, the lack of
them shouldn’t be the reason for bland food. From using ethically sourced pure
and high-quality farm fresh ingredients to substituting the flavour enhancers
with ginger, turmeric, and asafetida, chefs are using creative ways to attract guests during festive dining out.

According to Ritesh Negi, Group Culinary Director at The Claridges, New
Delhi, "The exclusion of onion and garlic during sacred rituals serves to
uphold ritual purity, rooted in the belief that these ingredients may incite
anger and aggression. This practice also aligns with the notion that their avoidance can promote better defense against ailments like ulcers, heartburn, and skin rashes. For this season, we have added a ‘Navratri Thali’ to the
menu that includes Chatpati Arbi (a flavorful taro root dish), Rajgira Poori crafted from nutrient-rich amaranth flour, and Malaidar Paneer. It also features healthy delights such as Meva Seekh (a blend of ground nuts and dried fruits on skewers), refreshing Thandai (a traditional concoction of nuts, seeds, and spices), and Gud ka Rasgulla."


While following the sattvic diet, one can make minor modifications for best
results and improved immunity without compromising on taste. Since onion and
garlic are key indigents in Indian cuisine, it is hard to avoid them for long. Gita
Ramesh, Jt MD, Kairali Ayurvedic Group, and author of two Ayurvedic food books, begs to differ with the concept of ‘no onion or garlic’ diet restriction, and says, "We do not have a "no onion no garlic" concept in Ayurveda, and it has proven that eating anything in moderation is beneficial to the body. The concept is followed only in some parts of India for a religious aspect."

 However, for those who are following such diet restrictions, the food expert suggests an easy DIY recipe that will keep your health in check. Gita says, "One can try some signature dishes that are healthy, easily digestible, beneficial to the body, and easy to prepare. Vegetables like ridge gourd can be cooked with one chopped green chilli and a dash of coconut milk, and topped with curry leaves and a small teaspoon of coconut oil. Similarly, we could use ripe pumpkin and various other gourds in this recipe, and it can be eaten with any millets or sabudana etc."


These days, most people who dine out too often are very conscious of what they eat. For desserts, many eggless and vegan sweets are served at buffets and alacarte menus to keep the sweet tooth satiated for healthy eaters. A huge hit with millennial consumers, Chef Abhishek Gupta, Executive Chef at Leela Ambience Gurugram Hotel & Residences, mentions the rise in requests for desserts that come with nutritional benefits. He says, "I think the idea for vegan desserts gaining popularity is because guests want to be healthier, want to contribute to the environment at large and they wish to be amongst the list of people eating most popular desserts. Remember food is fashion too; and, we use coconut oil in place of butter, ground seeds to replace starch, dairy-free cream, dark vegan chocolate, and lots of more playful ingredients to create desserts. Our signature desserts include vegan Dark Chocolate Mousse with caramelised pears, vegan Dark Chocolate Cremux, vegan Brownie, vegan Berry Triffle, and Mango Sago Pudding.

At our newly launched patisserie, Le Reve, we serve desserts like the Fresh
Fruit Cake and Callebaut Chocolate Truffle Cake in the eggless options."

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