"QUINTESSENTIAL LAYERS OF TASTE"FOOD BYTES MONISH GUJRAL THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS

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The quintessential layers of taste
By MONISH GUJRAL
21st July 2012 02:24 PM

Tandoori roti, white butter, mango pickle, and raw onion with extra lemon and salt is all I need to complete my meal, sometimes. Of course, complemented with a big glass of home made salted lassi. Onion is the only item in the aforementioned list, which has no substitute for me as it has to be in every meal of mine. Being a true Punjabi I can’t seem to do without my onions. May be that is why my favourite soup is French Onion Soup, about which I wrote in one of my previous columns.
This column is dedicated to my love for onions. I love pungent red onions, common onions are usually available in three colours: yellow, red, and white. Yellow onions are full-flavoured, which are a reliable standby for cooking almost anything. Yellow onions are used if you desire a rich, dark brown result and to give French onion soup its tangy sweet flavour. The red onion is a good choice for fresh uses or in grilling and char-broiling. White onions are the traditional onion used in classic Mexican cuisine or European cuisine. They have a golden colour and sweet flavour when sautéed.
Bulbs from the onion family are thought to have been used as a food source for millennia. In Bronze Age settlements, traces of onion remains were found alongside date stones and fig remains that date back to 5000 BC. Onions may be bred and grown to mature at smaller sizes. Depending on the mature size and the purpose for which the onion is used, these may be referred to as pearl, boiler, or pickler onions.
Not only onion as a vegetable but it’s seed (Nigella) as condiment and onion powder as a spice can be used for cooking purposes. Onion seed may be “sprouted”, and the resulting sprouts used in salads, sandwiches, and other dishes. Onions are available in fresh, frozen, canned, caramelized, pickled, powdered, chopped, and dehydrated forms.
Onion powder is a spice used for seasoning in cooking. It is made from finely ground, dehydrated onions, mainly the pungent varieties of bulb onions, which causes the powder to have a very strong odour.
Although I like to have my onions raw, in my salad with salt lemon and red chili flakes, but last night I was invited for dinner by my equally enthusiastic culinary friend who educated me on yet another way to cook and eat onions. So get ready for the mouth watering recipe.
I had often heard of caramelized onions but would never cough up courage to eat or cook caramelized onion dish. Nevertheless I overcame this inhibition , and cooked a hearty meal the very next day in my very own kitchen .



[button color="green" link="http://monishgujral.com/caramelised-onion-lavash-pizza/" target=""] Click for CARAMELISED ONION LAVASH PIZZA Recipe [/button]

First chef from India to be invited to Le cordon Bleu to demonstrate in Paris. Monish is credited with the trailblazing turn-around of Moti Mahal, from being a small but iconic presence in Delhi, to becoming a multi-national corporation that is well on its way to defining how the world eats Indian food. A traditionalist, Monish has remained true to the signature dishes that made Moti Mahal a legend, while reinventing the dining experience into one that is exciting and avant garde to suit modern sensibilities.

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