I have a big mental block to cook without onion and garlic; I have ALWAYS used them in curries. Some of you might think, why avoid onion and garlic? Especially when garlic has so many health benefits. If you are a person inclined towards leading a Yogic life, you might have heard of Sattvic food. A yogic diet or Sattvic diet consists of fresh food which doesn't excite your senses.
Onions, garlic and the other alliaceous plants are classified as rajasic, which means that they increase passion and ignorance. It is mentioned in Ayurveda ''....As well as producing offensive breath and body odour, these (alliaceous) plants induce aggravation, agitation, anxiety and aggression. Thus they are harmful physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually''. ( Source: Kurma)
I have a counter argument that garlic is used as a medicine in Ayurveda for people whose internal fire is weak or whose Pitta Dosha is suppressed. I have been advised by my ayurvedic doctor to always have rice which is sauteed in ghee turmeric, garlic and shallots, so I have been using onion and garlic everywhere possible.
Now that my health has improved, I have been trying to cook without onion and garlic. It is easier for me to be Vegan than to be Sattvic. One morning I woke up and decided to stop eating all animal products and it has been easy so far. I just say no to everything that contains animal products. My mind hasn't revolted or craved for animal products (milk or eggs) yet, but to be Sattvic is a real challenge for my mind.
The best website for Sattvic recipes is Manjulas Kitchen. I made the Aloo Mutter Ki Subzi and we all liked it. It was pretty easy since there was no chopping and peeling of onion and garlic. It was quick as it didn't involve sauteing onions till golden brown which takes a lot of time and patience. :)
Recipe Source: Manjulas Kitchen
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Ingredients I used:
- 4 Potatoes
- 1cup Green peas
- 4 Small or medium Tomatoes
- 2tbsp Oil
- 1tsp Cumin seeds
- 1/8 tsp Asafoetida
- 1½inch Ginger
- 2 Green Chillies
- 2tbsp Coriander seeds
- 1tsp Fennel seeds
- ¼tsp Turmeric
- 1tsp Chilli powder
- ½tsp Amchoor Powder/ Dry Mango Powder
- ½ tsp Garam masala
- Salt to taste
- 2tbsp Coriander leaves/ Cilantro
1. Cook Potatoes. Microwave or pressure cook or just boil them. Peel and chop the cooked potatoes into cubes.
2. Powder the coriander seeds and fennel seeds. Grind the green chillies and ginger into a paste.
3. In a small bowl mix ginger- green chilli paste with coriander-fennel powder, turmeric and red chilli powder with ¼cup water.
4. Heat the oil in the pan. Add cumin seeds once the oil is warm, followed by asafoetida powder.
5. Now add the spice mix, keep stirring and cook till the oil separates.
6. Next add the green peas and half cup of water and cook until the peas are tender.
7. Add salt and potatoes. Mash a few potatoes to thicken the gravy. Add two cups of water and bring to boil. Lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes.
8. Add garam masala, amchur powder, chopped tomatoes and cilantro. Mix well and once it starts to boil, cover with a lid and turn of the heat, the tomatoes cook in the steam.
1. You can use tamarind paste instead of dry mango powder.
2. I used frozen peas but fresh peas are more nutritious and tastier than frozen peas.
Health and Nutrition:
- Peas are one of the most nutritious leguminous vegetable, rich in health benefiting phyto-nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. Peas are relatively low in calories when compared with beans, and cowpeas. 100 g of green peas provide only 81 calories, contain good amount of soluble and insoluble fibre. Peas contain phytosterols especially ß-sitosterol. Studies suggest that vegetables like legumes, fruits and cereals rich in plant sterols help lower cholesterol levels in the body.
- Potato is carbohydrate-rich food and a good source of some micronutrients and its protein content is very high in comparison with other roots and tubers. It is also a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese.
- Tomatoes are excellent sources of antioxidants, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Because of their all-round qualities, dieticians and nutritionists often recommend them to be included in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs. It is a good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium and Manganese.