onions

What are Onions, Kanda? Glossary | Uses, Benefits, Recipes with Onions, Kanda, Pyaaz Viewed 124457 times

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Kanda, Pyaaz

What are Onions, Kanda, Pyaz?

Onions may bring a tear to your eye, and pungency to your breath, but they will most certainly bring delight to your taste buds. The onion, known scientifically as Allium cepa, is, on the surface, a humble brown, white or red, paper-thin skinned bulb; yet, despite its plain looks, has an intense flavor and is a beloved part of the cuisine of almost every region of the world. The word onion comes from the Latin word unio for "single," or "one," because the onion plant produces a single bulb, unlike its cousin, the garlic, that produces many small bulbs. The name also describes the onion bulb when cut down the middle; it is a union of many separate, concentrically arranged layers.

Onions range in size, color and taste depending upon their variety. There are generally two types of large, globe-shaped onions, classified as spring/summer or storage onions. The former class includes those that are grown in warm weather climates and have characteristic mild or sweet tastes. Storage onions are grown in colder weather climates and, after harvesting, are dried out for a period of several months, attaining dry, crisp skins. They generally have a more pungent flavor and are usually named by their color: white, yellow or red.

Onions, being versatile in use can be - chopped, sliced, fried, cubed, grated etc. and used accordingly.

Chopped onions
Select a sharp knife. Before you begin, peel off as many layers of papery skin as you can. Pull off any hairy roots, too. Place the onion on its side on a chopping board. Hold your knife comfortably, with your forefinger running down one side of the blade and your thumb pressed against the opposite side. With one fell swoop, slide the knife down and away from you, slicing off the top half inch of the onion. Turn the onion so it rests on the newly cut flat surface. Starting at the centre of the root end, slice the onion in half. Now, make thin/ thick slices from each halve lengthwise. Holding all the slices together, chop at regular intervals breadthwise approximately 1/2 inch in diameter, although the chopped food doesn't need to be exactly the same size. If the recipe calls for finely chopped, then make smaller pieces.
Fried onions
Sliced onions can be fried in oil or ghee medium. It can be shallow fried or deep fried, as the recipe calls for. For shallow frying, sauté the onions on a medium flame and keep stirring till it turns light brown in colour and becomes transparent. Deep frying basically, involves frying onions till brown. Care should be taken to avoid burning or blackening of onions. Fried onions add great taste as a base or are good for garnishing on savoury dishes.
Grated onions
Select a sharp knife. Before you begin, peel off as many layers of papery skin as you can. Cut off the root ends and pull off any hairy roots, too. Place the peeled onion on the thick / thin holes of the grater and rub the onion against the grater in downward direction. Grate it thickly of thinly as per the recipe requirement.
Onion cubes
Select a sharp knife. Before you begin, peel off as many layers of papery skin as you can. Pull off any hairy roots, too. Place the onion on its side on a chopping board. Hold your knife comfortably, with your forefinger running down one side of the blade and your thumb pressed against the opposite side. With one fell swoop, slide the knife down and away from you, slicing off the top half inch of the onion. Turn the onion so it rests on the newly cut flat surface. Starting at the centre of the root end, slice the onion in half. Now, make thick slices from each halve lengthwise. Holding all the slices together, chop at regular intervals breadthwise approximately 1 inch in diameter.
Onion powder
Onion powder is made from dehydrated onions. Dice and dehydrate an onion, grind it, and store it in an airtight glass container. It can be used in any recipe that requires fresh onion and is excellent when added as a dry rub or in a marinade. Onion powder is a terrific complement to many foods - Include a dash in gravies and sauces or add to breads. Sprinkle over salads or stir into soups and chowders.
Onion slices
Select a sharp knife. Before you begin, peel off as many layers of papery skin as you can. Cut off the root ends and pull off any hairy roots, too. Place the onion on its side on a chopping board. Hold your knife comfortably, with your forefinger running down one side of the blade and your thumb pressed against the opposite side. With one fell swoop, slide the knife down and away from you, slicing off the top half inch of the onion. Continue slicing using the knife across the chopping board to get round onion slices. You can make thick or thin onion slices as per the recipe requirement.
Onion wedges

Select a sharp chef's knife. Before you begin, peel off as many layers of papery skin as you can, the better to make your first cut without your knife glancing off the surface. Pull off any hairy roots, too. Place the onion on its side on a chopping board. Hold your knife comfortably, with your forefinger running down one side of the blade and your thumb pressed against the opposite side, chop it triangular in cross section.
Sliced onions
Select a sharp knife. Before you begin, peel off as many layers of papery skin as you can. Pull off any hairy roots, too. Place the onion on its side on a chopping board. With one fell swoop, slide the knife down and away from you, slicing off the top half inch of the onion. Turn the onion on the chopping board so it rests on the newly cut flat surface and cut into 2 halves vertically. Place the cut side of one halve down and make long vertical cuts at regular intervals using a sharp knife. Slice thin or thick as per the recipe requirement.


How to select onions, pyaz, pyaaz, kanda


Choose onions with tightly closed necks that are absolutely dry, avoiding those with a thick, woody center in the neck. The skin should be bright and shiny. If you notice dark, powdery patches under the skin, pass it up as this is an indication of a common mold which will eventually spoil the flesh.

Avoid those that are sprouting or have signs of mold. In addition, onions of inferior quality often have soft spots, moisture at their neck, and dark patches, which may all be indications of decay. Onions are available in fresh, frozen, canned, pickled, and dehydrated forms.


Culinary uses of Onions, Kanda, Pyaz in Indian cooking

Onions, kanda used in Indian salads

1. Onion Tomato Koshimbir is another essential accompaniment for a Maharashtrian thali. The sweet and sour flavour is refreshing and enhances the taste of the meal.

2. Laccha Onions are onion rings marinated in lemon juice/vinegar. It is the most common accompaniment with kebab platters and other appetizers. Make sure you toss in the masalas just before serving to avoid onions to lose out all the flavour.

Pyaz used in Indian chaats 

1. homemade pav bhaji | how to make pav bhaji at home | mumbai pav bhaji made at home | with 25 amazing images. 

There is nothing healthier than making your homemade pav bhaji versus opting for pav bhajifrom the street. While i do love mumbai roadside pav bhaji, i still think you should make your pav bhaji at home and serve it with loads of onions. 

2. aloo chaat recipe | Indian aloo chaat | aloo chaat using baby potatoes | quick and easy aloo chaat | with 13 amazing images. 

Looking for something to kill your evening hunger pang? here we have a very scrumptious recipe that is loved by all the generations made with baby potatoes that is Aloo chaat. Every Indian household has its own way of making aloo chaat.

Popular sabzis using lots of pyaz, onions

1. chole bhature | Punjabi chole bhature | with 29 amazing images

My earliest memories of Chole Bhature is of the one I ate at a popular eatery in Mumbai Known as "Cream Centre". On enquiring, I was told that the chick peas and spices were simmered together for hours resulting in a dish that a large number of Mumbaites relish even today!  

2. kadai paneer recipe | popular restaurant style kadai paneer | dhaba stye karahi paneer | with 32 amazing images. 

kadai paneer is a quick dish of paneer cubes combined with a spicy kadhai gravy! The aroma of spices cooking in simmering tomatoes is an unmistakeable signature of this kadai paneer recipe!

snacks with onions, payaz

1. onion rings recipe | Indian style onion rings | crispy fried onion rings | how to make perfect onion rings |

onion rings are a perfect starter for any party. Learn how to make perfect onion rings . 



· A kitchen is incomplete without the distinctively pungent smell and taste of onions filling out the flavors of almost every type of cuisine imaginable.
· If cutting onions irritates your eyes, there are a few tricks that you can employ. Chill the onions for an hour or so before cutting or soak in water after peeling the skin. Use a very sharp knife and always cut the onions while standing; that way your eyes will be as far away as possible. If cutting onions really makes you cry, consider wearing glasses or goggles.
· Combine chopped onions, tomatoes, avocado and jalapeno for an all-in-one spicy salsa dip. They are also a wonderful addition to soups and adds fiery taste when seasoned.
· Coated with gram flour and fried, the Onion Bhajiya makes an excellent snack.
· Sautéed chopped onions are so versatile that they can be added to most any vegetable dish.
· Enjoy classic Italian salad-sliced onions, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese drizzled with olive oil.
· 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.
· Onions pickled in vinegar are eaten as a snack.
· Onions are a staple food in India, and are therefore fundamental to Indian cooking. They are commonly used as a base for curries, or made into a paste and eaten as a main course or as a side dish.

How to Store Onions, Kanda, Pyaz
Onions should be stored in a cool, dark, dry location and spread out for optimum air circulation. To do this, either place them in a wire hanging basket or a perforated bowl with a raised base so that air can circulate underneath. All onions should be stored away from potatoes, as they will absorb their moisture and ethylene gas, causing them to spoil more readily.
Cut, raw onion leftovers should be tightly wrapped tightly in plastic bag or sealed in a container and refrigerated to be used within a few days.

Health Benefits of Onions, Kanda, Pyaz
· Onions are a very good source of vitamin C, chromium and dietary fiber. They are also a good source of manganese, molybdenum, vitamin B6, and folate, potassium, phosphorous and copper.
· If tears come to your eyes whenever you slice an onion, you'll be glad to know that your tears are not shed in vain. The very compounds that give onions their pungency, taste and smell have been identified as substances that may fight cancer.
· Onion is said to possess expectorant properties. It has been used as a food remedy for centuries in cold, cough, bronchitis and influenza. Equal amount of onion juice and honey is beneficial.
· Onions are very much valuable for people having high cholesterol levels or suffering from heart disorders.

Nutritive Information for Onions (kanda, pyaz):
½ Cup of chopped onions is about 132 grams
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.

Energy - 66 calories
Protein – 1.5 g
Carbohydrate – 14.6 g
Fat – 0.1 g
Fiber – 0.8 g

Vitamins:
0.1 mg of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) = 6.2% of RDA ( (about 1.2 to 1.6 mg for men)
0.01 mg of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) = 0.5% of RDA (about 1.4 to 1.9 mg for men)
0.5 mg of Vitamin B3 = 4.1 % of RDA (about 12 mg)
7.9 mcg of Folate (Vitamin B9) = 7.9% of RDA (about 100 mcg)
14.5 mg Vitamin C = 36.3% of RDA (about 40 mg)

Minerals:
61.9 mg of Calcium = 6.19% of RDA (about 1000 mg)
0.8 mg of Iron = 4% of RDA (about 20 mg)
21.1 mg of Magnesium = 6% of RDA (about 350 mg)
66 mg of Phosphorus = 11% of RDA (about 600 mg)
167.6 mg of Potassium = 3.6% of RDA (about 4700 g)