“Who moved my onion?,” “Onion may touch Rs.100/kg by Puja,” “Onion free with purchase of tyres,” “Amid LOC firing, India plans to buy onions from Pakistan,” “Soaring onion prices bring tears across India”- these are all the headlines the humble onion is making in newspapers across India!
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Get on to any social networking site and you’ll find hundreds of ‘original’ teary jokes and see ‘rings’ with the onion taking the pride of place instead of a diamond! So much brouhaha over the price of one of the most essential ingredients in most menus seems justified. Jokes apart, yes, they do make you cry when you have them and also when you don’t!!
I’m not a student of economics, but here’s a thought: if the demand for onions falls, won’t the rates too take a dive? What if we all use onions sparingly? Normally where you would need 2-3 onions per day, what if you can make do with just 1 onion in two days?
How? For starters, try making your regular dishes by reducing the amount of onions or even omitting the onion altogether or the next simple alternative: prepare dishes that don’t need onions!
Is that possible? Cooking Indian food without onions? Of course it is – there are many communities who make delicious food without onions or garlic. Even Ayurveda advocates the ‘Satvik diet’ in which pungent foods like onion, garlic, green chilli and others are not recommended.
I’m sure most people are already doing the same, for those at a loss here are a few dishes that you can try out for the next few days:
Dal tadka: A simple plain dal with just mustard, jeera, dry red chilies and karibevu/ curry leaf garnish (tadka). Serve with rice and a palya/sabzi.
Udupi Sambar: There are many other sambars that are made without onions, this is just an example. You can add different vegetables to this or make it plain and serve with rice, dosas or idli.
Pongal/ khichidi: A wonderful dish with a nice spicy chutney and/or sambar and a vegetable palya.
Vegetable palya/sabzi/porriyal: A simple stir-fried dish. Start with the basic tadka, add green chilies, the vegetable, salt, green chilies and stir-fry for a couple of minutes, then cover and cook till done.
Majjige huli/ Buttermilk curry: A traditional curry from Karnataka made with buttermilk and coconut and vegetables like southekai/cucumber, white pumpkin, snakegourd or even ladies finger. Kadhi is the North Indian version with besan which is made minus the coconut.
Tambli: A dish similar to Majjige huli, the only difference being that the buttermilk isn’t cooked.
Curd rice: The all-time favorite. Pair it with a palya and chutney and you have a simple but filling meal.
These are just a few dishes that are made without onion. There are lots of no-onion recipes to help you tide over the onion crisis. Those who are clueless, find the light at the end of the tunnel over internet search engines.
If you have any recommendations on dishes that can be made without onions, do share it with us here!