As Indians, it’s amazing the amount of Onions we consume, in cooking or on the side as salad with our meals. No meal is complete without thinly sliced round onions (lachha pyaaz, as we call it), lemon wedges and fresh green chillies (specially for me)! Here’s a photo that I filched from Google Images just for reference…
Going out for an Indian meal invariably involves being served Sirke Vaalla Pyaaz on the side. They’re crunchy, sour, pretty pink and an overall delight with almost any Indian meal!
They’re a bit tedious to do at home because I HATE peeling onions, specially SO many tiny ones. And if I know anything at all about onions, the Indian varieties are a far more pungent than others! I become a regular waterworks when I have to peel and slice them 🙁
But last week, I steeled myself to go through with a big batch of these. They’re so incredibly simple…
Here’s what you need:
12 small red onions (often called pickling onions – predictably used for onion pickles!)
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
(A small piece of beetroot if you want an extra red colour but I never use it. It’s helpful if you don’t have access to red onions and want to add some colour. These onions don’t look pretty until they’re a nice pink!!)
(I actually went and bought a huge bag of these onions and ended up with about 60 onions… So I simply multiplied the quantities by 5.)
Here’s how to make them:
Firstly, peel, wash and wipe the onions. Then slice partly into each as if you were to quarter them. Don’t slice all the way. Each onion should be whole/ joined at the base. Then sprinkle the salt on the onions and toss to coat. Keep these aside.
Then place all the other ingredients in a pan and set on high heat until just about to boil. Turn off the heat and dunk the prepared onions into this. Stir it around for a minute and leave to cool.
When the whole thing cools to room temperature, transfer to a clean glass bottle(s) with a screw top and store in the fridge! These last for over a month in the fridge, unless you consume them all before of course!