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No more tears! Onion-free recipes to your rescue

Last updated on: August 22, 2013 07:50 IST

Image: Mutton Fry
Photographs: Renee S Suen/Creative Commons Mabel Thomas

With the pungent veggie's prices touching the sky, we bring you some interesting culinary preparations that don't use onion.

If you'd rather do without the pricy onion in your food, take a look at these recipes that we've handpicked specially for you.

Quick Mutton Fry


  • 1 kg mutton, chopped to small curry pieces
  • 4 tsp coriander or dhaniya powder
  • 4 tbsp Everest meat masala powder
  • 3 tsp chilly powder or red chillies
  • 2 tsp turmeric or haldi powder
  • 5 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • Wash the mutton well. Marinate mutton with the dhaniya powder, Everest meat masala powder, lal mirchi, haldi, salt, garlic paste, ginger paste and black pepper.
  • Set aside for a few hours.
  • Put the marinated mutton in a pressure cooker with 4-5 tbsp oil.
  • Pressure cook on low fire for 10 whistles. Turn off heat.
  • Allow it to sit for 20 minutes closed. Open and heat so the excess water dries up.
  • Serve hot with rice or roti.

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Tandoori Chicken

Image: Tandoori Chicken
Photographs: Alpha/Creative Commons Coomi Selod


  • 1 kg whole chicken, skinned, cleaned and washed out thoroughly
  • 1 cup curd
  • 1/2 tsp jalebi food colour or beetroot juice

To be ground together for masala:

  • 3 green chillies
  • 1" piece ginger
  • 1/2 pod of garlic
  • 25 gm raw papaya
  • 1 clove (laung)
  • 1/4" stick cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 2 cardamom pods (elaichi)
  • 1 tsp dhaniya seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 lemons
  • Butter or ghee


  • Beat curd and mix in the ground masala, food color, salt, raw papaya and spices.
  • Remove the skin, gizzard etc from the chicken.
  • With a 2" fork prick well into the flesh, all over.
  • Marinate the chicken in th curd masala for at least 3-4 hours.
  • Pre-heat oven at 450 degrees F.
  • Place chicken in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. It should be almost dry and almost cooked.
  • Brush with ghee or butter.
  • Replace in oven and heat slowly till just before serving hot.
  • Remove papaya strips.
  • Serve hot with lemon wedges and mint leaves.

Banana Kofta Fry

Image: Banana Kofta Fry
Photographs: Rads Lancer/Creative Commons Coomi Selod


  • 6 raw bananas
  • 1-2-tbsp haldi powder
  • 1/2-tbsp garam masala powder
  • 3 tbsp green chilli paste
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 cups fresh coriander leaves, washed
  • Salt to taste

For the filling:

  • 100 gm cheese, grated
  • 7-8 almonds, powdered
  • 3-4 cardamom pods, powdered
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, powdered

For the chutney, to be ground together:

  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 50 gm peanuts
  • 4-5 green chillies
  • 1 cup coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, roasted
  • 2 tsp roasted peanuts
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

For the gravy:

  • 500 gm dry peas
  • 1-tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 pinch soda
  • 1/2 cup tomato pulp
  • Salt to taste


For kofta:

  • Wash, clean the bananas and boil them in a pressure cooker.
  • Peel the skin and mash them.
  • Add haldi powder, garam masala, green chilli paste, salt and corn flour. Make 20-22 equal sized balls. Set aside.
  • Mix the cheese, nutmeg powder, almond powder and cardamom powder. Make smaller balls of this filling.
  • Wet your palms. Press a banana ball in your palm and place a filling ball into the flattened banana ball and round it up.
  • Deep-fry the round balls in oil.

For curry:

  • Cook the peas by adding a pinch of soda in the water. Cook till very soft.
  • Grind in the mixer.
  • Melt butter in a pot. Add cumin seeds.
  • Pour in tomato pulp.
  • Mix crushed peas, salt and boil. Add ground paste.
  • Cook for five more minutes and add more water if needed.
  • Just a few minutes before serving, add the koftas.
  • Sprinkle the remaining coriander on top.
  • Serve warm.

Corn Poha

Image: Corn Poha
Photographs: ampersandyslexia/Wikimedia Commons Coomi Selod


  • 1 kg cobs of corn
  • 100 gm poha
  • 50 gm peas
  • 3-4 green chilies
  • 3 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut
  • 1 1/2 cup coriander leaves
  • Sugar
  • Salt to taste


  • Boil the corn cobs in a pressure cooker. Remove the corn seeds.
  • Soak poha in water. Boil the peas.
  • Drain and squeeze out water from poha.
  • Warm the oil in a frying pan make baghar with cumin seeds, add a pinch of asafetida.
  • Add boiled corn, poha, salt, sugar, lemon juice and coriander leaves.
  • Mix well for 10 minutes.
  • Garnish with boiled peas and grated coconut.

Grilled Meatballs

Image: Grilled Meatballs
Photographs: Joshua Bousel/Creative Commons Coomi Selod


  • 1/2 kg minced meat
  • 2 small boiled potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp haldi
  • 1/2 tsp dhana jeera powder
  • 1/4 tsp red chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

Grind together:

  • 1/2 bunch coriander leaves
  • 5 green chillies
  • 5-6 mint leaves
  • 6 pods garlic
  • 2" piece of ginger


  • Mince together meat and potatoes.
  • Add all the ground masala and spices and mix well. Marinate for at least four hours.
  • Mix in the egg and form the mixture into balls.
  • Brush over with ghee.
  • Either grill or skewer and broil over charcoal fire.
  • Serve very hot with mint leaves or tomato ketchup.
Tags: Marinate

Matar Paneer

Image: Matar Paneer
Photographs: Ken Ta/Creative Commons


  • 4 potatoes
  • 200 gm paneer and peas
  • 2-3 tbsp refined oil
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 litre water
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 tsp coriander powder


  • Wash the potatoes, peas and tomatoes with water.
  • Prepare tomato puree from four tomatoes.
  • Put 2-3 tablespoons of oil in the pan.
  • After about 5 minutes, when the oil is heated add a pinch of asafoetida and 1 teaspoon of jeera.
  • Add diced potatoes in the pan.
  • After the potatoes have been fried, add tomato puree to the pan.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and 1 teaspoon of coriander powder. Add salt and chopped chillies according to taste.
  • Add about 200 grams of matar (peas) and paneer. Mix the ingredients properly.
  • Add about 1/2 litre of water in the pan.
  • Cover the pan and cook till potatoes become tender.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.
Tags: 1

Aloo Gobi

Image: Aloo Gobi
Photographs: Rediff Archives


  • 500 gm cauliflower
  • 4 potatoes
  • 2-3 tbsp refined oil
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 1 tsp jeera
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 500 ml water


  • Wash the cauliflower and potatoes carefully.
  • Pour at least 2-3 tablespoons of refined oil to the pan.
  • Wait for about 5 minutes for the oil to heat.
  • Add a pinch of asafoetida and jeera.
  • Wait for the jeera to turn brown.
  • Add diced potatoes to the pan.
  • After about five minutes, add neatly sliced cauliflower.
  • Add salt and sliced chillies, according to taste.
  • Add turmeric and coriander powder.
  • Mix the ingredients properly and place a cover on top of the pan.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.
Tags: Aloo Gobi

Aloo Tikki

Image: Aloo Tikki
Photographs: Raveesh Vyas/Creative Commons Ramanunni Nair


For the tikki:

  • 1/2 kg potato boiled and grated
  • 250 gm green peas, crushed
  • 4-5 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 25 gm ginger, finely chopped
  • 150 gm roasted channa powder
  • 2 nutmeg grated
  • 5 gm cumin seeds
  • 100 ml ghee
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • A pinch of asafoetida

For tamarind chutney:

  • 100 gm tamarind
  • 4-5 red chillies
  • 50 gm coriander seeds
  • A pinch of black salt
  • Ginger
  • 50 gm dates
  • Salt to taste

For the green chutney:

  • 1 cup coriander leaves
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste


For the tikki:

  • Take 100 gm ghee in a frying pan.
  • Add cumin seeds and roast them. Add finely chopped green chillies and ginger.
  • Add crushed green peas and saute.
  • Add turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt to taste. Fry for 10 minutes on slow fire and allow it to cool.
  • Take grated potato in a separate bowl.
  • Strain the roasted channa powder and sprinkle it over the potato.
  • Add nutmeg and salt to taste.
  • Mix them well. Make small balls and stuff the green peas (prepared earlier) into them.
  • Take 2 tbsp ghee in a frying pan and fry the tikki, flipping both slides until they turn golden brown.

For tamarind chutney:

  • In a vessel, take 150 ml water.
  • Add tamarind, red chillies, coriander seeds, black salt, ginger and dates.
  • Boil for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the mixture to drain off extra water.
  • Heat it again and keep stirring till it reaches the right consistency.
  • Cool before you serve.

For green chutney:

  • In a grinding jar, add coriander leaves, mint leaves, pomegranate seeds, green chillies, ginger, yoghurt.
  • Grind it well, adding 1-2 ice cubes.
  • Add roasted cumin powder, lemon juice and salt to taste.
Tags: 1

Hara Bhara Kabab

Image: Hara Bhara Kabab
Photographs: Courtesy Spicy Affair Indian Cuisine Ramanunni Nair


  • 1 carrot
  • 50 gm beans
  • 50 gm cauliflower
  • 250 gm potatoes, boiled and grated
  • 50 gm coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 50 gm mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp chaat masala
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 cup thick spinach puree
  • 250 gm bread crumbs
  • 100 gm corn flour
  • Salt to taste


  • Pour a glass of water in a vessel and add all vegetables except potatoes in it.
  • Boil for 5-10 minutes and drain the water.
  • Finely chop the vegetables and keep them aside.
  • In a separate bowl, take the grated potato and add finely chopped coriander, mint leaves, chaat masala, garam masala and salt to taste. Mix it well.
  • Add spinach puree and mix it well.
  • Add bread crumbs and corn flour.
  • Make small balls and stuff them with the vegetable mixture prepared earlier.
  • Flatten them.
  • Heat 100 gm ghee in a frying pan.
  • Fry the tikkis by flipping both sides until golden brown.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with tamarind or green chutney.

Jain Chivda

Image: Jain Chivda
Photographs: Courtesy Jain Rasoi Parool Dedhia


  • 2 cups pressed rice
  • 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • Pinch of dry mango powder
  • 3 green chillies, finely chopped
  • A few curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup roasted puffed split gram (dalia)
  • 1/4 cup roasted cashews
  • 1/4 cup soaked, drained and fried channa dal
  • 1 tbsp dry coconut slices, roasted
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • Oil for deep-frying (optional)
  • 2 tsp oil to saute


  • Roast the poha on a low flame until crunchy in texture. Keep aside after adding chilly powder, turmeric powder and dry mango powder. Mix well.
  • Take a broad pan and heat two tablespoons of oil.
  • Add asafoetida, green chillies and curry leaves and saute for a minute.
  • Minimise the flame and add peanuts, split gram, cashews, channa dal, coconut slices, raisins and mix well.
  • Add this mixture to poha and mix well.
  • Add salt and sugar to taste, mix well and when cool fill it in an airtight container.

Jain Malai Kofta

Image: Jain Malai Kofta
Photographs: Howard Walfish/Creative Commons Parool Dedhia


For the koftas:

  • 4 raw bananas, boiled and mashed
  • 1 tsp green chilli paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 tsp dry ginger powder
  • Salt to taste

For the filling:

  • 1 cup grated paneer
  • 1/4 cup boiled American corn
  • 1/2 capsicum
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp cashew nuts and raisins (optional)
  • 1 tsp green chilly paste
  • 1tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt to taste

For the gravy:

  • 500 gms tomatoes, boiled
  • 1/2 cup boiled bottlegourd
  • 1/2 cup boiled cabbage
  • 1 tsp dry ginger powder
  • 1 tsp chilly and mint paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup malai
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil

To be ground together for the masala paste:

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp cashew nuts
  • 2 pieces cinnamon, cloves and cardamom
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh coconut
  • 2 tbsp red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar


  • For koftas, add all the listed ingredients and mix well.
  • For the filling, add all the ingredients and mix well.
  • Take small portions of the kofta mixture and stuff the filling inside.
  • Make small oval shaped koftas and keep aside.
  • For the gravy, mix tomatoes, bottle gourd and cabbage and blend well with one cup water.
  • Pass it through a sieve and then add all the other ingredients and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the masala paste and saute it.
  • Add the gravy and allow it to cook for five to seven minutes.
  • Arrange the koftas in a serving dish and pour the hot gravy on just before you serve.

Pineapple and Prawn Fried Rice

Image: Pineapple and Prawn Fried Rice
Photographs: Courtesy Elson Sequeira


  • 1 cup pre-cooked rice
  • 100 gm fresh pineapple, cut into 1" cubes
  • 50 gm fresh prawns
  • 2-3 Thai red chillies
  • 4-5 French beans, cut into bite-size bits
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves
  • 50 ml fresh pineapple juice
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste


  • Using a mortar and pestle, roughly pound the chillies and garlic to a rough paste.
  • In a large pan or wok, heat oil and fry the basil leaves till they are crisp. Remove and keep aside.
  • To the same oil, add the chilly-garlic paste and fry till the garlic is brown (but not burnt).
  • Add the pineapple and stir-fry till the pineapple have a slight brown coating.
  • Add the prawns and cook for about minute. Add the french beans and cook.
  • Combine the pineapple juice, fish sauce and soya sauce in a bowl and stir well to combine.
  • Add rice to the wok and and some of the mixture of the sauces and pineapple juice. Mix well to combine.
  • Repeat this process for the remainder of the rice and the juice mixture.
  • Now add the fried basil leaves and give it a final mix.
  • Serve hot.

Elson Sequeira runs the food blog