The red onion is one of the many staple ingredients in every cuisine today. The scientific term for red onion is Allium Cepa. Red onions have a skin with a purple and red mixed colour. This skin, though not included when you’re cooking the onion, is being used by manufacturers as a dye for fabric productions. Unlike its relative varieties of yellow and white onions – the red onion is the kind that contains a powerful chemical agent that can irritate your tear ducts.
The red onion, though not directly related, is more similar to shallots. It is the essential ingredient that gives any dish a kick of spiciness. For salads, you can interchangeably use onion and shallots as they both taste sweet and spice, but only with different intensities.
A regular-sized red onion has an average weight of 180 grams, based on this weight, it contains:
- Calories: 66
- Protein: 2.2
- Carbohydrates: 14.2
- Fat: 0.4
- Fibre: 2.6
Red onion also contains:
Small amounts of Calcium, Iron, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium
Some antioxidants like Quercetin and Sulfur
A Red Onion a Day, Keeps the Doctor Away
Some health benefits of eating a red onion (especially when it’s raw) include:
- It can help improve your oral health – by cleaning the insides of your mouth by chewing it raw.
- It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory components that are scientifically proven. Some cultures believe that if someone is running a fever cut an onion in half and place it on the bedside. When the sun rises, you will see that the onion has gone completely dry and the colour will turn black as if it has absorbed the virus that is making that person sick.
- It has Vitamin C which promotes the production of collagen in your body which is good for your skin and hair.
- It contains folate which acts as an antidepressant and can boost your appetite.
- It can help stop nosebleeds by inhaling its scent.
- It has medicinal properties that when an onion juice (with honey to make it less overpowering) can cure fever, common cold, allergies, etc.
- It has chromium which helps regulate blood glucose levels.
- It is made up of more than a cup of water. The calories in onion are only at 40 for every 100-gram serving.
Red Onion for Indian Cuisine
Red onion is a prominent element in Indian cuisine. To support that, here is a simple Indian staple dish recipe for red onions.
INDIAN RED ONION BHAJI
- 2 red onions, finely chopped
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 8 grams of root ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of melted butter
- ½ teaspoon of red chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon of ground turmeric
- 2 pieces of curry leaves
- 6 tablespoons of gram flour
- 3 tablespoons of rice flour
- ¼ bunch of coriander, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon of fennel seeds
- 500ml of vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- Salt to taste
- Preheat the cooking oil in a deep-fryer at 180˚C. Do it before you start mixing your ingredients to save time.
- In a mixing bowl, combine several ingredients (sliced onions, green chilli, garlic, ginger, curry leaves, and melted butter) and mix them thoroughly.
- Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, gram flour, rice flour, chopped coriander, fennel seeds. Season with salt and sprinkle with water to make sure all the ingredients are well-integrated.
- Using a wooden stick, you can check the oil if it’s ready for frying. (As soon as you dip the wooden stick in, the oil should produce bubbles around it as if it is frying the stick. This means that your oil is ready.)
- Using a spoon (for better portions) drop a spoonful of bhaji mixture into the fryer. Continue the process until everything is transferred into the fryer.
- Strain the oil once the fried onion bhajis are cooked. Transfer to a plate.
- Serve and enjoy!