Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Onion Chutney

I have not been able to update since a long time.Well better late than never... I thought of doing a series on the vegetables, which we use in our everyday lives.We know their common names but not their binomial or medicinal properties (other than nutritional value )of the vegetable as well. With election fever going on in India. thought I might as well get some poll opinion if I should continue this series. Please do vote in the poll created.
First of the series...Allium cepa

Allium Cepa... when I say this I guess half the people will keep wondering what this alien vegetable might be... Well this is the Binomial name of our very own .. ONION.. which makes me CRY when I have it ( the or i don't have!!!!!!!!!!!!!!( I cant cook many dishes without onions)Onions, one of the oldest vegetables known to humankind, are found in a large number of recipes and preparations spanning almost the totality of the world's cultures. They are nowadays available in fresh, frozen, canned, pickled, powdered, chopped, and dehydrated forms. Onions can be used, usually chopped or sliced, in almost every type of food including cooked foods and fresh salads and as a spicy garnish. They are rarely eaten on their own but usually act as accompaniment to the main course. Depending on the variety, an onion can be sharp, spicy, tangy and pungent or mild and sweet says wikipedia.
Medicinal uses of the onion can be found here
Other uses:
Onion can be a sting soother... just cut it in half and rub on sting. Helps a lot.
Mosquitoes do not like the taste of onion... if you have enough place in the window sill place a few onion plants and see that mosquitoes will not be around your house...
Onion cleans the tawa very well right after the masala dosa... the oil gets cleared and smears to the onion.. chop the onion to half and stick it to the end of a fork and use happily.

Onion Chutney:
Today visited my aunt L's place.Amazing cook that she is... today she served me with fantastic fresh onion chutney, had not had anything like that in a long time,recipe will follow before that it was amazing to see the amount of fresh onions....she got them from a friend who said this particular variety tasted better raw than cooked.I was transported back to Galati (Romania).Again I was where I saw onions arranged like plaits and hung to a nail or hook.Every kitchen has a bunch of well stacked onion and garlic bunches. Lovely sight they made.Today when i saw so many we sat together to make a bunch of our own and wow it looked great....here is the picture . This way the onions have a longer life. They need to be away from water and kept in a place with air circulation.

Onion chutney:
this is very simple chutney and can be a excellent accompaniment for bh
akri/ jowar rotis. It tastes as good with chaptis ,rotis / rice.
4/5 small onions

2/3spoons of fried gram dal (phutana)
salt and red chilli powder to taste
very little tamarind
and 3 spoons of freshly scraped coconut (optional).
Chop the onions .Grind all the above ingredients together to a coarse paste. yummy chutney is ready in a jiffy.
If you feel the onions are very pungent saute them a little in the oil before grinding. Coconut is optional. It is to our taste.

This has to be consumed fast or refrigerated.stays for two to three days. If you want it to last longer the just heat two spoons of oil in the Kadai. Add one spoon of mustard and a pinch of hing. Saute the above chutney for some time till the raw smell vanishes. Now , the chutney is ready to be bottled for a week or two.
The other raw onion chutney I make is great for fried items like samosas,pav bhaji and pakodas. A great accompaniment along with mint chutney.


3 onions, chopped
1 tbsp lime juice(freshly squeezed)
2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
Mix the red chilli powder and salt with the lime juice.Add this to the chopped onions and mix well.This chutney does not keep well for long. It's best when eaten fresh.

TRIVIA:we cry when we slice an onion isn't it.. . due to some chemical action of the enzymes which escape when the onion is chopped... , amino acid sulfoxides form sulfenic acids which quickly turns into volatile gas.

The gas reaches your eyes and reacts with the water that keeps them moist. This changes the chemical's form again, producing, among other things, a mild sulfuric acid, which irritates the eyes. The brain reacts quickly to dilute and the lachrymal glands are activated producing tears..
Oddly enough, this volatile compound is also responsible for a lot of the great taste in onions, as well as the pleasant aroma when you cook the vegetable.

Ciao,, will wait for the poll results to continue the series.Yugadi festival is round the corner.. Can have some good recipes with Mango then.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Ciorba de Legume.. Veg clear soup for this Martisor.

March 1st is here again .Spring officially begins in most of Europe. For me it is the time to remember all my good friends back in Romania and to try out one more easy and tasty Romanian dish for this day. To know more about martisor visit this link ..MARTISOR AND MAMMALIGA...
This time over it is simple ciorba.. pronounced shorba. It is very filling simple soup. Made usually with meat But I learnt it from my dearest Jenica that it can be as tasty with only vegetables. It is the favourite soup of mine till date. Simple to make , very filling and tasty soup.
here it is for you all .

For 10 portions of soup
2 lts of water
3 to 4 carrots
3 to 4 potatoes
1 turnip
a bunch of parsley
one big capsicum
a cup of peas
a cup of boiled beans
1/4 kg of cabbage
4 to 5 tomatoes
Any other vegetable to your taste (celery, spring onions , turnips etc)
2 spoons of fresh cream (optional)
4 to 5 grams of lemon salt.
oil two spoons
salt to taste
corn flour - 1 spoon
aji no moto for taste.


Method of preparation:
Chop all the vegetables in cubes,cut the greens very fine. Boil french beans with some salt and drain the water and wash through a jet of cold water through a colander and keep aside.wash the tomatoes and cut into smaller cubes. Take a thick bottom vessel and get the 2 lts water to boil. Add the oil and let it boil for 15 minutes. Now add all the vegetables to the boiling water and greens (except beans and tomato) Continue boiling till the vegetables are almost cooked then add tomatoes and green beans. Now beat the fresh cream with the corn flour and add it for added taste continue boiling for another 5-10 minutes.
Turn the heat off and add salt and lemon salt to suit your taste.
Enjoy with freshly baked Buns.