Onions are a staple in almost every kitchen across the globe. Besides those who avoid onions by choice, it is impossible to imagine a meal without this kitchen staple. Onions add taste, texture, and aroma to a variety of recipes. Whether you are preparing spicy gravy, sautéing vegetables, or making piquant chutney, onions help add a layer of flavour to it. Onions have long been known for their health benefits too. According to the book 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing, they are packed with "dozens of medicinal chemical compounds that have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action in the body." These nutrients further help promote immunity and a healthy gut and keep you cool during scorching summers.
Considering all the positives that onions have, we bring you a guide that will help you select, buy, and store this vegetable properly. Read on.
How To Select Onions?
Did you know that there are at least six to seven types of onions available in the market? Most grocers store more than two varieties, depending on the weather, climate, and availability. Each of these varieties has its unique taste, texture, and usage. So, it is always suggested to select onions wisely to add the desired flavour to your dish. Here are some of the most common varieties available in the market:
1. Red onion:
The most common variety available across the globe, red onions come in different sizes. Red onions have a spicy note, which can be best enjoyed when eaten raw or grilled.
2. White onion:
White onions are generally big in size and have a sweeter note. When cooked, they help add a caramelized texture and flavour to your meal.
Shallots, also known as sambhar onions in India, are smaller in size and grow in clusters. They are generally added to dal, soup, and stir-fried recipes. You can also use them raw as a garnish for salads, pasta, and more.
4. Green onion:
Also referred to as scallion (or spring onion), green onions are young onions harvested when underdeveloped. They come with green leaves, which are widely used as a garnish for several recipes.
Also Read: Why You Shouldn't Store Peeled Onions?
5 Tips To Remember While Buying Onions:
There are times we cut open an onion just to find it rotten. What do you do then? Of course, we discard it immediately. Hence, to avoid such experiences, it is always better to check the vegetable properly before buying. Wondering how to do that? Here we have some smart hacks for your help.
1. Press it by the stem:
It is possibly the easiest way to identify a good onion. Always check if the stem is firm. If you find it getting easily pressed, then the onion may turn out rotten.
2. Always buy an intact onion:
You will often find onions with lumps or some that easily get divided into two parts. These onions have the tendency of getting rotten easily. So, next time when you go shopping, pick onions that are intact in shape and size.
3. Buy onions with drier skin:
Always buy onions with the dry and flaky outer skin. It helps lock the moisture naturally, extending the shelf life. On the other hand, onions with moist skin get rotten in no time.
4. Never buy sprouted onions:
If you find an onion has started sprouting, then avoid buying it. This means the onion is old and has the possibility of getting spoiled in no time.
5. Buy in smaller quantity:
Never over-stash vegetables in your kitchen. Buy them in smaller batches to enjoy the freshness to the fullest.
How To Store Onions Properly?
Storing plays an equally important role in defining the shelf life of an onion. It is always recommended to keep the vegetable in a cool, dry place at regular room temperature. Never refrigerate onions to lock in moisture and extend their shelf life and freshness.
Now that you have the onion buying guide handy, we suggest you follow it by heart and avoid buying rotten onions.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.