Indian Onions Three Ways

In India and Pakistan, onions are used as a base for curries, stews, relishes, and to top dishes as a garnish. Indian food wouldn’t be Indian food without onions. Onions in their many forms are easy to prepare and a must to try. Here are four easy recipes for onions to be used in all kinds of ways with a myriad of dishes.

India onions

Indian Onions Three Ways

These are easy recipes that demonstrate how versatile the onion is in Indian cooking and how adept they are with them.
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Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Colander
  • Large heavy-bottomed skillet


1. Raw Onion Relish

  • 3 Medium Red onions
  • 1 small Green chili pepper, sliced
  • ½ medium Lemon, juiced
  • 1 pinch Kosher salt

2. Roasted Onions

  • 1 large Red onion
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro, chopped

3. Crispy Fried Onions

  • 1 large Red onion
  • 4 tbsp Vegetable oil


1. Raw Onion Relish

  • Peel 3 red onions and cut them into thin slices. Separate the slices into shreds and wash them several times in a colander, squeezing out water gently after each rinse. Place them in a bowl, add sliced green chili (optional), juice of ½ lemon, and salt to taste. Serve with grilled meats and tandoori chicken.

2. Roasted Onions

  • Peel 1 large red onion. Cut it in half top-to-bottom and cut each half into ¼-inch thick slices. Separate slices into shreds.
    Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. When skillet gets very hot, add 1 tbsp vegetable oil and swirl to cover whole bottom. When oil begins to smoke, add onions without stirring for 30 seconds. Now stir and roast for the next 2 minutes, tossing and turning. The roasted onions should be crisp and sweet. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with 2 tbsp coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and serve with grilled kabobs and tandoori chicken.

3. Crispy Fried Onion

  • Thinly slice 1 large red onion. In a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat add 4 tbsp of vegetable oil. Add the onions while warming up and stir to coat them all. Stirring constantly, cook for 5 minutes to release their steam. Fry another 5 minutes to remove remaining moisture and turn limp and golden yellow. The oil should start separating, meaning they're ready to brown. Don't stop stirring. In another 5 minutes the onions will begin clumping together and turn a light brown. Keep stirring another 5 minutes until onions turn caramel brown and shriveled. Be sure to stir constantly, especially in the last 10 minutes so they don't burn and become unusable. When done cooking, stir in 1 tbsp cold water to stop the cooking. This recipe will make ½ cup of onions. Crispy fried onions are essential to Hyderabadi Biryani and many other dishes. They can be made in large batches and refrigerated or frozen in smaller portions.


Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.2mg

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