I can’t stop laughing at all the onion jokes that have been going on lately. Onion jokes became a rage on twitter just a few hours after the news of onion prices rising broke out. Here are a few really funny tweets I read.
We are not a Banana Republic. We are an #Onion Democracy
Axe has invented a new #Onion fragrance…girls are running to get the rich guy using this.
There was also a hasty exchange of Whatsapp Jokes, MMSes and pictures shared. Well, there is a plus side. Thanks to the Onion ‘Katautee’, we will come across far less bad breath and stinky hands after lunch hour. Although if you do get stinky hands after touching onion, dipping your fingers in lemon juice for a few minutes or rubbing orange peel on your hands really helps.
I first felt the pain of the restaurant owners when I ordered a curry from a small restaurant close by. Every time I ordered from there, there was a nice lachha onion salad delivered with the curry but this time there was just an old slice of onion delivered. Stating clearly, ‘Pyaz khaana hai, toh khareed ke ghar par khao’. (if you want to eat onion, buy it out of your own pocket).
When I was training in the Mumbai Marriott kitchen, during off-season three kitchens in the hotel – Indian, Banquets and Coffee Shop would consume 200kgs onion approximately, in a day. It is scary to think what small restaurant owners might be doing to cut the onion cost. Since ours is an Onion Democracy, every dish has onion in some form or the other. Here are some ways to cut down, minimize and completely eliminate onions from some of your favourite curries. For those who missed my tweets @foodmantra or need it for reference later. You can easily apply these tactics at home and make delicious curry, onion-free!
Cut the Onions in Curry:
For Brown Masala Curry
Vegetarians wanting to make brown #onionfreecurry can use dried coconut, grated n roasted along with lightly browned garlic, roasted cashewnuts, chilies, whole spices and vegetable stock. Reduce the sauce to thicken. You can also add tomatoes or roasted refined flour mixed in water to thicken the curry.
For chicken/mutton Masala – brown roast chicken or mutton bones,add some browned flour & reduce to thicken.
Add in Whole garam masala + chopped garlic + chilies + grated dried coconut roasted (optional) into the thickened thickened brown masala sauce that was made with browned bones.
For Green Gravy
Simple green #onionfreecurry can be made using sauteed spinach puree with garlic, garam masala, chilies and cream mixed with blanched nut paste.
Green pea puree sautéed with jeera, ginger or mint and ghee can be used to make a good curry base without onion.
Mustard Greens with dill (Soya/Shepu) can be sauted and added to tomatoes, garlic and whole spices and pureed for a saag-based curry.
Makhni Style Curry
Regular Makhni Gravy
Pureed Tomatoes + pureed cashewnut paste + cardamom + cinnamon + garlic + red chili + packaged cream mixed with cornstarch and flavoured with roasted Kasoori-Methi powder.
Contemporary Style Makhni Red Sauce
Smoked, roasted tomatoes + garlic greens + blanched cashew puree + red pepper puree + cardamom n cinnamon, cream with cornstarch for makhani style #onionfreecurry
Cream Based Curry
Mughlai, creamy rich #onionfreecurry with blanched almond & melon seeds paste + hung curd + ghee + green chili paste + whole spices tied in muslin cloth for flavor.
For Korma style #onionfreecurry use khoya + cashewnut or almond paste + saffron strands steeped in warm milk with cream, cardamom, yellow chilies cooked with veggies or pasanda.
#Howtomake pasandas? Remove white membranes from lean mutton from leg, cut into half inch strips & 2inch squares, flatten with a round spoon.
Make chicken pasandas – use the inner side, thin strip of the chicken breast called supreme, cut into 2inch squares and flatten with the back of a round spoon.
Chhole or Rajma
To get the light flavour of #onion without having to add the body, I use scallion/ spring onion greens or chives. Chives go brilliantly with cream cheese or any cheese for that matter.
I’ve tried the dehydrated onion powder and fried, browned onion packs but the flavour is not really up to the mark and it is not cheap anymore, given that the onion prices have gone up.
Onion is the unsung hero of the Indian kitchen and we only realize that now that it has made itself so pricey. I remember using pressurized-water machines for peeling around 180kg onions. It is like perfume all day. Now, I need a shower to Onion-Free myself, meanwhile you try some of the #OnionFreeCurry and share your ideas and thoughts with me.