28 November 2006

Onion Day!

Zorra of Kochtopf, the creator of the World Bread Day blogging event, came up with another fabulous blogging event when she declared yesterday as Onion Day.

"Onion Day?" you may ask.

Yes. Onion Day--to celebrate Berne's annual
Zibelemärit (onion market) that takes place on the fourth Friday of November. From Jessica's pictures and post, it looks amazingly fun and quite the event.

Onions, of course are part of the Allium genus, and have been cultivated and eaten since prehistoric times. The civilisation of Ur mentioned gardening onions and ancient Egyptians depicted the bulbous veg in tomb paintings and included them in inscriptions.

Ancient Egyptian attitudes towards onions were contradictory. On one hand they were appreciated and revered, but on the other they were the subject of taboos. The Romans introduced the veg to Britain and Columbus brought them to Haiti on his second voyage.

To me, onions are a kitchen staple. I can't imagine a savoury dish without them. Sweet, somewhat acrid or hot, onions are a favourite of mine.

So when Zorra sent out her invitation to celebrate this wonderful Allium, I knew I wanted to take part. Unfortunately, what I wanted to make (onion bhajia) and what I had time to make (instant coffee) were at odds.

And the more I thought of onion bhajia, the more I craved them. Sliced onions, dusted in spiced chickpea flour, balled together and deep fried.

Not too far from my office is a wonderful family-run South Indian restaurant. This is the place I go to when my parents are out of the country and I crave a taste of home cooking, but don't have the time or energy to get into the kitchen. My cravings got the better of me and I picked some up. George (the car) was filled with the slightly caramel scent of cooked onions, combined with hints of fennel and other spices. Thiru adds two dipping sauces -- a spicy yoghurt and a sweet and cool coriander-mint jelly.

Every once in a while, a plateful of deepfried numminess is the perfect supper.

Zorra -- thanks so much for organising this event!



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Anonymous said...

sometimes I think anything deep fried is delicious. these onions look wonderful!

Anonymous said...

I haven't had onions since August. :( The roomie is very sensitive to the smell, so I just haven't bothered to buy any. Come the 9th, when I'm back in Alberta, it'll be stir-fried onions galore!

Anonymous said...

Your supper sounds delicous.
Thank you, Jasmsine, for participating and telling us something about onion's history - very interesting.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I count on you to give me the facts and great food. This makes me wish I had a deep fryer and I guess my doctor is glad I don't.

jasmine said...

Hello all

Kat -- Yes...deep frying can be a wonderful thing.

Paige -- This is the third Allium/onion sensitivity I've heard of in about six months. I couldn't imagine my life without them!

Zorra -- Thanks so much for organizing!

Tanna -- You don't *have* to have a deep fryer...just a deep pot and some oil. Everything in moderation, my dear...including moderation :)


Anonymous said...

Hi J,
Just a week ago, I made OR. That is what I call for Onion Rings, which I posted at http://evimeinar.multiply.com/photos/album/106