Onions come in so many sizes,colours and shapes…they can be crunchy,spicy,sweet,intense or mellow depending on how they are prepared or what variety you choose.This vegetable lends itself quite easily to all cooking techniques and adds a unique flavour to most cuisines from all parts of the world ! There are onion fans who can eat them in any form and there are people who tolerate them and of course the ones who wonder why such a veggie exists…I actually feel sorry that the onion haters miss out on the amazing flavours these add to a dish
Pickled,fried,pureed,sauteed,roasted or eaten raw,it can be as delicate or as robust as you want it to be ! The kind of acrid burn that a raw onion imparts is so very different from the almost sweet jammy flavour they give when cooked in a pan with a little oil and salt ! They also pair very well with all sorts of herbs coriander,thyme,rosemary,curry leaves etc…onion pachadi is a favourite accompaniment to a biryani in Southern India…an acquired taste for many visitors from other parts !
An onion chutney on the other hand is almost like a sweet and spicy onion marmalade…made with pearl onions (shallots) and red (Spanish)onions,they make a great side dish for an Indian breakfast of dosai or idli (Indian rice cakes/pancakes)…they keep well refrigerated for about a week…it’s very good with bread as well,I’m told…so it’s definitely something for children in boarding school or university to keep in storage ! I was told by my grand mum that back in her youth,this chutney was made entirely with the tiny pearl onions for a family of 10 or more…my goodness,the number of onions they would’ve needed to peel to get a sizable amount of chutney….!!!! I do think the large onions don’t really diminish the flavour of the chutney in any way…it is made with a whole lot of love after all…and since it is cooked down until soft and golden,it can be eaten for breakfast and you don’t have to worry about it being too strong for the palette in the morning…just toss in a mint after,if you must 😉