Are you a fan of onions? Or do you prefer crunchy, sweet shallots?
Onions are seen as a staple ingredient in several cuisines around the world, adding an array of textures and flavors to thousands of dishes. Of course, most people have had onion soup or have added onion to sauces, but what about trying onion as part of the true main course of a meal? Has that ever interested you?
If so, read on, as here, some of the top 5 unknown and delicious onion dishes from various cultures will be explored so you can see which one you may want to try before 2024.
Why Up Your Onion Intake?
First, though, it is important to assess why it may be worth upping your onion intake. After all, there is more to this humble vegetable than its flavor!
As mentioned before, dried chopped onion is a staple ingredient in several cuisines around the world, but you may be wondering why. Well, for one thing, onions are rich in antioxidants, particularly flavonoids that possess anti-inflammatory properties, as well as reducing the likelihood of cancer. There are sulfur compounds in onions that contribute to the cardiovascular system, particularly helping to lower blood pressure and minimizing the risk of
heart disease. Indeed, some studies have found that those who consume onions regularly are at a lower risk of developing arrhythmias, angina, and even heart attacks.
Most people have heard of probiotics, but what about prebiotics? Onions have prebiotic fibers that help to promote a healthy gut microbiome, which aids in the digestion and overall gut health of the person who is consuming onions. They also contain vitamins C and B6, which help to support the immune system as well as contribute to healthy skin and nerve function. They offer potential blood sugar regulation benefits, as they have a low glycemic index, making them an ideal food to add to your diet if you have diabetes or have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic. So, yeah, that’s a lot of benefits to adding a simple vegetable to your diet!
So, yeah, that’s a lot of benefits to adding a simple vegetable to your diet!
The Top 5 Dishes
With the health benefits of onions explored, here, those all-important and tasty five dishes
will be looked at so you can choose which one may be the best for you. Enjoy!
Parsi Caramelised Onion Tart
OK, so most people have consumed an onion tart at some point in their lives. However, most people have not heard of the Parsi caramelized onion tart or the Dhansak Tart. This tart originates from the Parsi community in India and is a delightful combination of sweet, crunchy caramelized onions and savory spices. The creation of this tart is fairly
simple and involves cooking the onions slowly, to perfection, and then baking them into a flaky crust alongside the traditional lentils and other spices that are associated with Indian cuisine. In some instances, this tart may even be served with minced meat. This creates a unique balance of sweet, tangy, and savory flavors, which makes it something you simply have to try if you want to have a tasty onion dish or if you are a fan of Indian cuisine!
Bun Rieu – Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup With Fried Shallots
Have you ever had noodle soup? If not, then Bun Rieu is a noodle soup for you to try. It features a broth that is made from crab paste and tomatoes, which is usually accompanied by rice and various other toppings. However, as you may have guessed by the title, a key ingredient that elevates the taste of the dish is the fried shallots, which are, in essence, small onions. They add a subtle sweetness and crispy texture that balances perfectly with the crab and creates an interesting umami-filled broth. You can get recipes for this noodle soup online, but many people prefer to eat it at a Vietnamese restaurant for a more authentic experience.
French Onion Tarte Tatin
Moving into Europe for this next dish, but that doesn’t mean it is bland!
Many people have heard of the Tarte Tatin, but here, the classic recipe replaces apples with sweet caramelized onions. These onions are slowly cooked until they reach a rich, sweet caramelization, which is then arranged into a pie crust that is then baked and emerges a harmonious blend of buttery and savory pastry with the sweet texture and flavor of the
caramelized onions. This dish is often served as a side dish with meats and cheeses, but it does perfectly well on its own and can make a great starter at a dinner party!
Into Egypt for the next dish. Koshari is an incredibly popular Egyptian street food that combines rice, pasta, lentils,
chickpeas, and crispy fried onions with spiced tomato sauce. The onions are fried and served as a crunchy and flavorful garnish, which helps to provide a contrast to the dishes’ soft and hearty base. In some instances, these onions are caramelized, and in others, they are simply fried, but one thing is for sure- they enhance the overall taste of this unique and tasty meal. This meal is, as you may have guessed, also very light and can be a refreshing snack on a hot day in Egypt.
Turkish Zeytinuagli Sogan Dolmasi (Stuffed Onions)
This is a traditional Turkish dish wherein the onions are hollowed out and stuffed with a rice mixture. Think of stuffed bell peppers, but a bit spicier!
The rice usually combines pine nuts, spices, and herbs together and is slowly cooked in olive oil. The end result is a crunchy and delectable combination of sweet and tender onion stuffed with a spicy and herby rice filling. It’s worth noting that based on where you are visiting in Turkey, there may be slight variations in the stuffing mixture. Some regions aim to mix mushrooms in with the rice, and others opt for brown rice as the base of the stuffing. So, if you are lucky enough to be vacationing in Turkey, why not try as many of these as you can for a more adequate comparison?