Most Asian kitchens aren’t quite complete if the ingredients at their disposal do not include onions. The most humble ingredient, onions add texture and flavour to a variety of foods, whether in a soup, a rice or noodle dish, or even in a meaty sizzler. Onions have a unique pungent taste if eaten raw in a salad, and they can be soft and sweet when caramelised and have turned a beautiful golden brown. But how about making onions the star of a dish? Here are two such recipes wherein onions are the main ingredient:
Sausage stuffed onions
6-8 medium sized red or white onions
250g chicken sausages – minced
2 tomatoes – minced
1 green chilli
1tsp minced garlic
1tsp minced ginger
¼tsp turmeric powder
½tsp red chilli powder
2-3tbsp grated cheese (any)
1 cup tomato sauce
Salt and pepper – to taste
Preheat oven to 180° C. Peet the onions and cut off a slice from the top of each onion; also, trim off a thinner slice from the bottom end so that they stand upright. Place the onions in a microwave-safe dish, add ½ cup water, cover and microwave on HIGH for 10 to 12 minutes – until onions are tender. Remove onions from dish, cool slightly and carefully remove inner layers of onions with paring knife, leaving about a half cm thick shell. Chop and reserve 1 cup of the scooped out onion. Set aside remaining onion for another use.
Spray a baking dish with cooking spray, place 1 cup tomato sauce in bottom of dish. Place the onion shells on the sauce and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, in a pan, heat oil, add minced ginger, garlic and green chilli, followed by the chopped onion. Add the turmeric, red chilli powder and mix well. Then add the minced tomatoes and minced sausages. Mix well and cook on medium flame for 5-6 minutes until all gravy dries up. Carefully spoon mixture into the onion shells. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top. Cover dish with aluminium foil and bake for 12-15 minutes. Serve hot garnished with more cheese.
1 large white onion, cut into half cm thick slices
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
¾ cup bread crumbs
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
Ketchup or any dip – to serve
Separate the onion rings from the slices. Now prepare the breading by combining the flour, baking powder, salt and paprika. Mix well and coat each onion ring with the mix before shaking to remove excess flour.
Next, in another bowl, combine the milk and the egg and beat until well combined. Dip the floured rings into the batter to coat, then place on a wire rack to drain until the batter stops dripping. The wire rack may be placed over a sheet of aluminium foil for easier clean up. Spread the bread crumbs out on a plate. Place rings one at a time into the crumbs and coat well on all sides. Repeat with all the rings and set aside.
In a wok, heat oil for deep frying and fry the rings, a few at a time, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove on paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt and serve with ketchup or any favourite dip.
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