Friday, July 17, 2009
Stuffed Onions. The moment I imagined how this would taste and smell, my mouth started watering. I love using onions in any dish- its part of the Indian holy trinity of cooking, of course. Isn't it simply ingenious, using the layers of an onion as casings?
I admit- I get confused when searching for recipes online. I don't know if its because I'm a perfectionist or because I've got some form of OCD..... there are so many variations of the same recipe and I want the most authentic one! Just when I zero in on one recipe, I'll find something else equally jaw dropping. Then I'll try to combine the two, or three, or ten thousand. Slowly, a fog descends around my head... and my mind starts questioning it all- should I add this? Or that? What if I don't? Will it still be this if I add that? What is life? Am I me?.......
But for this recipe, I found very few listed in English, .....anyways, the whole key to making this juicy dish is the meat, which I don't eat. So to make it as tasty as possible, I went ahead and Indianized the dish- slathering it with a mix of varied spices and coconut. Its amazing!
Place a pan of water on the stove and add a tbsp of vingear to it. Cut of a small bit of the bottom end of the onion and a larger bit off the top. Peel, wash and place the onions in the pan. There should be enough water to immerse the onions completely. Cook until tender- for me, this took 15 minutes on medium heat.
Fish out the onions and drop them immediately in a bowl of cold water. Allow it to cool.
Press your thumb into the bottom end of the onion and slowly but firmly coax out shell after shell. There might be a little tear, that's ok.
Prepare the filling-
1/2 cup rice
1/2 cup crumbled firm cottage cheese/ cooked minced meat for non-veggies
1 tsp chopped ginger
2 tbsp boiled peas, carrots (optional)
chopped coriander leaves, chilli powder, oregano, coriander powder and salt to taste.
Mix all of these together.
Gently stuff these into the onion shells and place on a plate.
Prepare the spicy rich base-
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 cardamom pod
1 bay leaf
1/2 a star anise
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 chopped onion
2 tbsp grated coconut
In a pan, add a dash of oil. Add all the spices listed up to the cumin seeds.When it begins to splutter, add the onions and cook till they start turning brown. Remove and cool. Blend these ingredients to a coarse paste and keep it aside. Blend the tomatoes and coconut together with a cup of water. Keep aside. In a vessel, add both the pastes. Add salt and chilli powder to taste. Place the filled onion shells in the base, cover and cook on low for 30 to 35 minutes.
Serve on a bed of yogurt or curd rice.