Onion, a prime ingredient to thicken gravies, enhance taste and sweeten dishes, can now be compared to silver (if not gold) in terms of price. In several states, where a kilogram of the produce costs around
Rs 200 these days, a layman can no longer afford to consume onion in their regular meals. Even in the case of delicacies, experts feel that dishes which exclude the ingredient can also do wonders during the ongoing season.
Sadab Qureshi of The Westin Gurgaon, a master chef, agrees and opines that dishes that refrain from the use of onion have existed in Indian gastronomy for centuries. And yet, these have gained enormous popularity among Indians. “It is just in our head that the onion is an integral part for certain dishes, especially on the non-vegetarian front. Whereas, in Lucknow there is Band Gosht, and in Bengal and Odisha there are numerous fish curries that are not only nationally but internationally acclaimed for their flavoursome taste and yet do not use onion in any manner.” He also suggests that if thickening the gravy is the concern, one can always go for boiled cabbage, which does the job efficiently.
AMRITSARI FRIED SOLE FISH
Ajwain 3 gms
Besan 50 gms
Coriander leaves 10 gms
Cornflour 20 gms
Garam masala one pinch
Salt and pepper as per taste
Green chilli 2 nos.
Mustard oil 20ml
Mango mayonnaise 50 gms
River sole fish 225 gms
Cut the fish into 2” by 2” slices. Marinate the pieces with ajwain, green coriander, degi mirch, garam masala, ginger, green chilli, lemon, mustard oil and salt. Let it marinate for 30 mins.
In the meantime, make a batter of besan, cornflour, red chilli powder and salt in a bowl
Deep fry the marinated fish pieces on medium to high heat
Serve hot with mango and mayonnaise dip
For Dip: Boil raw mangoes, take out the pulp and mix it with the mayonnaise
— Recipe by chef Ashish Singh, Café Delhi Heights and Dhansoo Café
Salad of tempura fried morning glory with minced chicken dip
Morning glory 120 gms
Tempura flour 30 gms
Ice cold water 40ml
Minced chicken 50 gms
Lime juice 10ml
Fish sauce 5ml
Sugar syrup 10ml
Mint leaves (chopped) 10 gms
Coriander (chopped) 10 gms
Thai chilli paste 5 gms
Coconut cream 45ml
Roasted ground peanut 10 gms
In a mixing bowl, add cold water to the tempura flour and mix well
Heat the oil to 180°C. Pat dry the morning glory and then dust it with cornflour on both sides. Dip the morning glory, one by one, in the tempura mixing bowl and then into hot oil. Fry until light golden-brown and take out from the oil
Reheat the oil, and fry the morning glory again
Make the mince chicken dipping sauce by steaming the chicken until cooked
In a mixing bowl, add the chicken, coriander, mint and dress with fish sauce, lime juice, sugar syrup, coconut cream and thai chilli paste. Mix well
Put the tempura fried morning glory on a plate and then top with minced chicken dipping sauce.
Garnish with sliced red chilli and sweet basil dip
— Recipe by Soy Soi
FALAFEL hummus and greek salad pockets
Dried chickpeas 225 gms
Parsley leaves 1 cup
Coriander/cilantro leaves 1 cup
Scallions/shallots 6 nos.
Garlic 2 cloves
Cumin 1 tsp
Coriander ½ tsp
Salt 1½ tsp
Baking powder ½ tsp
Flour 4 tsp
Water 5 tsp
Vegetable oil 500ml/2 cups
A small bowl of cucumber, lettuce, jalapenos with olive oil (mixed with salt)
Pita bread 2 nos.
Soak dried chickpeas overnight
Blitz with herbs, spices, garlic, flour and a touch of water
Form balls, refrigerate to firm up
Fry until deep golden brown and super crispy
Take a pita bread and cut it in half. Open the mouth of the pita bread and fill in broken pieces of falafel, add hummus and greek salad inside. Serve with hummus
— by chef Vinod Singh Rana, By The Bay
This season, let’s go onion-free
CHOLE PALAK CHAWAL WITHOUT ONION
Chole 1 cup
Spinach a bunch /500 gms
Oil 3 tbsp
Salt and pepper as per taste
Ginger garlic paste 1 tsp
Tomatoes 4 nos.
Green chillies 2 nos.
Chana powder 1 tsp
Palak paneer masala 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Medium bay leaves 2 nos.
Boiled rice 1 cup
Paneer 100 gms
— by chef Mukesh Singh, Andhadhun
Soak chana overnight in bowl full of water
Boil rice in water with 1 teaspoon oil and strain the excess water
Boil chana and palak seperately
Heat oil in pan and add cumin seeds and jeera with mashed tomatoes
Add salt, pepper, garlic ginger paste, cardamom together and make masala
Divide masala into two parts
Sauté one part of masala with chana on one flame
Grind the boiled spinach in mixer and add the puréed spinach in the second part of masala
Add paneer cubes to the palak gravy
All three ingredients — rice, palak paneer and chole are ready
Layer palak paneer in a glass followed by rice. Lastly, put in chole and top and garnish with aloo bhujia
Palak Patta Chaat
Spinach leaves 16-20 nos.
Coarse gram flour 1½ cups
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
Red chilli powder 1½ tsp
Carom seeds (ajwain) ½ tsp
Yogurt 1 cup
Oil to deep fry
Potatoes boiled, peeled and chopped medium
Sweet date and tamarind chutney 4 tbsp
Green chutney 4 tbsp
Roasted cumin powder 2 tsp
Black salt (kala namak) to taste
Sev ½ cup
Take coarse gram flour in a bowl. Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, carom seeds and sufficient water to get make a thin batter. Rest the batter for a while
Choose spinach leaves that are of medium size. Tie yogurt in muslin cloth and remove the excess water. Then squeeze out the yogurt into a bowl, add powdered sugar and whisk it and set it aside
Heat sufficient oil in a kadhai. Coat each spinach leaf with batter on both sides and deep fry in hot oil till golden brown and crisp. Drain on absorbent paper. To serve, cut two pakodas into two or three pieces and place on a serving plate
Place some potatoes over the pakodas and cover with two to three tablespoons of whisked yogurt. Drizzle some sweet date and tamarind chutney and green chutney
Sprinkle red chilli powder, cumin powder, black salt and salt. Cover liberally with sev. Cut one pakoda into two to three pieces and place right on top and serve immediately
— Recipe by Aman Puri, Food Director at Imly
NACHOS CORN CHAAT
Boiled Sweet Corns 1 cup
Tomato Salsa 2 tsp
Plain Mayonnaise 2 tsp
Tomato flavored Mayonnaise 2 tsp
Nacho Chips or Multigrain chips 1 cup
Lemon juice 4 tsp
Oregano seasoning 1/2 tsp
Red chilli flakes 1/2 tsp
Chaat masala 1/2 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp or to taste
To Boil Corns. Add corns into the pressure cooker.
Also add 1- 1/2 Cup of water.
Close the lid of the cooker and bring to boil on high flame. Wait for one whistle to come.
After 1 whistle, boiling is done. You can take them out from the cooker.
Take a bowl , add boiled corns, tomato salsa.
Add Mayonnaise. if you want, you can either use any one flavor or more then 2 flavor too as per you taste.
Crush 1/2 cup of nacho chips and add to corns mixture. Add all spices. Mix well.
Add lemon juice and mix well again. Nacho Corn Chaat is ready to serve. Add it to a serving bowl.
Garnish chaat with the remaining 1/2 cup of Nacho chips.
— Recipe by Aman Puri, Food Director at Imly...