Onions in India

According to my MP brother Jo, an India buff and former FT Delhi man, we are continually underselling ourselves out here, mystifyingly failing to capitalise on the advantages of language, history and culture

It may have so far escaped your notice that there is an onion crisis in India, but this thing is serious. Onions are the fundament of every curry ever cooked. Before the meat or the tomatoes or the garam masala, onions sizzle in the pan of 1.2 billion hungry Indians – and when the price of onions goes up too high, governments come crashing down.
Indira Gandhi was swept to power in 1980 on a cheap onion ticket. In the last few weeks the government of Manmohan Singh has been driven to a desperate quantitative easing in the supply of the precious bulbs. They have banned exports of onions to Pakistan. They have been freighting them in – and still the price of this essential nutrient can only be described as eye-watering.
"It is crazy," says one Mumbai housewife. "They used to cost 5 rupees a kilo, and now it can be up to 80 rupees a kilo. The government must sort it out," she warns, "or else there will be trouble." Already the opposition BJP has been out on the streets, wearing onion hats and fanning the flames of outrage.
I hope my Indian friends and relations will forgive me for lingering, in a slightly gloating way, on the onion crisis. I do so because just about everything else on the Indian economic landscape is so awesome as to make us British positively jealous. It is a mind-blowing experience to come back to Mumbai after a gap of 12 years, and to see the reality of India's boom. You arrive at a new airport; you are conveyed over new ramparted expressways and long sea bridges past a forest of new skyscrapers, and all around you can see the signs of money cascading, or at least trickling, through society. Yes, you have no choice but to marvel at the rather beautiful new $2 billion house of the Ambani family, a vast vertical hamlet for plutocrats with a design that vaguely recalls a snazzy Bang and Olufsen hi-fi stack.
But the Ambanis are not the only ones to have prospered. I don't think it's just the result of some Potemkin-style clean-up that there are fewer beggars knocking on your window at the traffic lights, fewer limbless mendicants scooting on tea-trays, and fewer people sleeping on the streets. Of course there is still poverty and squalor of a kind we find shocking, but everywhere you go in Mumbai you can feel the momentum and excitement that goes with 9.5 per cent growth per annum.
I have met dozens of Indian businessmen, who supply everything from most of London's electric vehicles to the software for the congestion charge, and they are full of an intoxicating confidence. "We own your Jaguar cars, we own Land Rover, we own your steel – it's reverse colonisation!" says one man. If you were of a gloomy disposition, you might start to worry. Here is this great Indian bullock cart careering ahead – and here we are back in western Europe and America, still mired in the rancid politics of our recession. You will find plenty of British pundits who will argue that the fall of Lehman Bros in 2008 marked a decisive moment in post-Cold War history. It was the financial humiliation of the West, they say, and following the military humiliation of America in Iraq and Afghanistan there is now an irreversible transfer of wealth and power from west to east. China and India will continue to rise, they argue, while Europe is tortured on the Procrustean rack of the euro and the Americans turn inwards and against free trade. We are entering a zero-sum world, they say, in which people no longer believe that a rising tide will lift all boats, but that one nation can get rich at the expense of another. For 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the world was dominated by the logic of free trade and globalisation – and the sad truth about globalisation, say these gloomy pundits, is that it is now a bad word in the political lexicon. Well, these pundits may be right in their analysis of how people feel, but that doesn't mean the anti-globalisers are right. If the world turns its back on globalisation it will be an all-round disaster – and especially for a country like Britain. When you look at India, you see a middle class already numbering 400 million, and a further 700 million people in the process of acquiring goods and services that their parents could never dream of. Surely we can lasso that rampaging Indian bullock and get some more traction for Britain. It is a wretched indictment of Labour that Gordon Brown didn't come here for 10 years after he became Chancellor, and that Britain dropped in that period from India's fourth largest trading partner to number 18 – swapping places almost exactly with Germany. According to my MP brother Jo, an India buff and former FT Delhi man, we are continually underselling ourselves out here, mystifyingly failing to capitalise on the advantages of language, history and culture. We still have the world's leading financial services, accountants, PR folk and advertising gurus; and if Mumbai is going to build a Tube system, which it badly needs, then why the hell don't British contractors and consultants get on out here and pitch for it, with the mud of Crossrail still on their boots? The best hope for the world economy is the consumerist energy of places like India, and in this uneasy dawn of 2011 the best psychological boost for world trade would be completion of the Doha round of the World Trade Organisation. Why are onions so expensive in India? Because agriculture is the last unreformed part of the economy, creaking with middlemen and inefficiency. I leave you with this astonishing fact: a kilo of Tesco market brown onions is 59p in London, fully 40p cheaper than in Delhi during the recent inflation. It may not be practical to sell English onions to India (though I wouldn't rule it out); but with a world trade deal we would at least be able to sell the expertise in logistics that allows us to grow them so cheaply. We know banking, we know about universities, and we know our onions too.

33 thoughts on “Onions in India”

  1. Oh the strong smell of onions seems to be keeping readers away. This might be the reason why this room is empty for days.

    But, that’s because you might have over-used onions in your kitchen, folks. Use really big sized white onions for raw eating as they are mild, containing less off that powerful onion smell and have a sweeter taste. These big sized onions are good for cooking, too, if you prefer a mild flavour.

    Choose small sized onions for cooking as they have a stronger smell some of which will be lost in hot cooking. You use small sized onions in hot cooking so when the food is cooked it, still has some onion flavour in it.

    Boris’s idea of selling onions to India sounds like a joke at first. But it is no joke, folks. Really. If we try not to laugh and look at it this way:

    Over here, we can grow onions easily because of the ideal permanently moist soil in the fields which onions like. British farmers produce lots of onions but English people prefer bland food to spicy food. This calls for exporting onions and garlics to where they are much more appreciated and needed.

    Boris said India and Pakistan are running out of onions and garlics right now and the shortage has pushed their prices up over there. Oh dear, oh dear. Of course, this sounds like a Carry On film. But it is no joke, folks. If you just stop giggling for one minute and look at it this way:

    Surely, millions and millions of onion lovers over there must include the terrorists hiding underground and in the rugged mountains high above their cities. If these people know that those much needed and longed for. fat, shining golden onions were grown by hard working English farmers and have been shipped over from the UK, they might have a change of heart and repent?

    Talking about what some people don’t eat but are prized by others, folks. You don’t eat turkey’s parson’s noses, yes? But over in Hawaii, they are considered a delicacy. Actually, a stable diet. And England is one of the biggest exporters of frozen parson’s noses to Hawaii. Hurray!

    They remove 2 oil glands on the parson’s nose and discard. Fry the trimmed parson’s noses in some hot oil with finely chopped fresh lemongrass, chilli pepper, crushed garlic until lightly browned. Add soy sauce, chopped onions and some boiling water to just below meat surface, season with bit of salt and bit of sugar. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for half hour or so until the meat is really tender, nearly swelled up and golden brown.

    Oh the hot, steaming flavour coming out from the pot crammed with golden brown parson’s noses, half submerged in the bubbling, spicy stock, peppered with many colourful, little dots of red, red hot chilli and green, green lemongrass, chopped onions… really takes your breath away!

    You just want to take the lid off the pot of freshly cooked rice, grab a big fork and use it to dig up the hot boiled rice, loosen it until it is fluffy, then put some rice in a rice bowl and help yourself to the parson’s noses!

  2. @Edna:
    >Talking about what some people don’t eat but are prized by others, folks. You don’t eat turkey’s parson’s noses, yes? But over in Hawaii, they are considered a delicacy

    hahah!

  3. Mel, only here, in Borisland, could someone advocate eating turkey remnants with fluffy rice. Move along, Delia…step aside Nigella…and make way for Edna, the radical, evangelical, gourmand!

    Is this the new rock’n’roll? The new black, maybe?
    I guess only Tony Parsons knows.

  4. Oh Mel love,
    Laugh more, laugh more! We all need a good laugh in tough times, don’t we all, love?

    You know, parsons noses of chicken, duck, goose etc are all deciously edible, but are not commercially viable for their small sizes ( thumb sizes ). Whereas turkey’s parson’s noses are bigger ( 1/2 lime size ) and when butchers are told to chop them off the birds generously, then you have them about 1/2 lemon size.

    A delicate lady can eat 8 and feels full. Whereas a gentleman might demand 8 or 12 of them. Next time you have a whole roast chicken for lunch, love, just pull the tender, golden brown parson’s nose off with your fingers and scoff the whole thing, no need to trim the oil glands off, love, for they’re too small to taste that oily.

    These oil glands release body oil to keep the feathers water-proof. Now, if you cut an oil gland in half, you’ll see a small yellow ball containing mushy, yellowish custard-like stuff which is harmless and edible, too, but people tend to trim them off before cooking. Other than that, a parson’s nose has a rich, buttery taste like that of fried salmon’s skin.

    Do try it at home, love. Highly recommended.

    So, Boris has a big surplus of onions he can’t flog off? But has he tried eBay yet, if he doesn’t mind me asking? Or what about contacting Mr Sarkozy? I know French health spas do onion baths, where they just tip sackful of chopped onions into the hot bath and also onto the client who is dozing off in the bathtub. I mean, Mr Sarkozy might order a few truckloads for Carla?

    Anyway, Boris must do something about his surplus onions fast before they rot away. Oh, folks, if you have any recipes or remedies using onions, please them send in here. Here’s my humble recipe called Quick Pickled Onions. Here goes:

    A very big onion ( from Boris’s surplus onions stock ). Peel and slice thinly. Add some sugar to 2 tablespoons of vinegar and stir until it tastes sweet & sour. Then add just a bit of salt and stir until it tastes sweet & sour & saltish. Pour this onto onions. Sprinkle chopped fresh Mint & red hot chilli on top. A squeeze of lime juice. And that’s it! Eat straight away! ( or keep in fridge )

  5. All this talk of onions has sent me off to read up on this culinary staple – which I guess I never really thought about much until now. Of course, it makes sense that if something this central to a culture’s culinary scene becomes harder to get, problems will arise. One wonders what would happen if such a thing happened with tomatoes in Italy. On second thought – such a catastrophe doesn’t bear thinking about. Let’s think of something else.

    Like onion relish and onion and goat cheese pizza. Over on Fabulous Foodie – we love onions and when I shared this column with my co-author, both of us felt the onion-y muse upon us. Two onion-centric posts in one day? Unheard of! And yet – there you are:

    ‘A Dry-eyed Salute to the Onion’ ( http://blog.fabulousfoodie.com/a-dry-eyed-salute-to-the-onion/ ) with two recipes – one for onion relish and one for creamed onions. Also ‘No Sense Crying Over Onions’ ( http://blog.fabulousfoodie.com/no-sense-crying-over-onions ) with a slow-cooked onion and goat cheese pizza.

  6. Has any of you got any beauty treatments using onions, please? I work full time so am very busy. My problem is after a good night sleep, my face looks rather puffy in the morning in the office. Thank-you in advance, from Hilda.

  7. “Ultimate Onion Tart” — Mel

    A heading, I hope, rather than a signature …

    How nice to see a dialogue building up in this matter ;  for a while I thought the Mayor had found a subject of isolation.

    ΠΞ

  8. Cheap and easy, Onion Soup, from when I was a student and still great on cold days. Many onions, sliced thinly, cooked in butter and a tiny bit sugar; cooked gently until translucent and then gradually add a lot of beef stock; simmer for an hour, and serve with giant croutons. One essential (nearly) fancy-dan ingredient: gruyere cheese, grated and chucked on as the soup is served.

    Broke friends who turned up at my flat were easily persuaded that this was a meal in itself. And a French colleague expressed amazement that ‘..in Britain, they buy onion soup in tins?’

  9. I like raw onions on their own or in salads but find it boring sometimes. Any ideas to make raw onions more exciting to eat, please?

  10. Hilda – you seem to have a naturally puffy face, so count your blessing, love, why? because Gordon Ramsay just went to Beverley Hills and paid £££££ for a new puffy face. Read more, and look at pictures of Gordon in red shirt near end of article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1344936/Gordon-Ramsays-hair-transplant-shown-time-But-worth-it.html
    ——–

    Ed – I’ve heard of onion soup but didn’t realised it was cooked that simply, will try to make it sometime, thanks love, hope you will try to make that Sweet& Sour& Saltish Vinegar. Once you’ve mastered that, you can use it as a basic salad dressing, for it’s healthy and contains no oils or mayonnaise.

    Maman said doesn’t matter how poor you are, give yourself a treat sometimes, because life’s too short. In that spirit, I’ll write down this delicious family recipe Maman sometimes cooked for Papa, called Beef Salad, which Papa would enjoy it with his draught beer. Here goes:

    On a big plate, arrange fresh salad: watercress, lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers. Slice a medium onion, and stir-fry them in some hot oil until lightly browned, scatter this onto salad. Mix some Sweet& Sour& Saltish Vinegar, and pour this onto salad. Slice some beef steak thinly, and stir-fry it in some hot oil quickly so it’s still pink, season quickly with bit of salt and bit of sugar, then quickly scatter the seared meat onto salad. Sprinkle bit of ground black pepper. Eat straight away!

    Oh the pungent, peppery smell of torn fresh shiny,lushy green watercress really reminds you of those childhood marshlands, the fresh smells of sliced tomatoes and cucumber,the fragrances of fried onions and fried beef, the sharp smells of vinegar and hot ground black pepper… they all add up to make you feel hungry and panting!

    ( sweet/ sour/ saltish vinegar can be made in large quantity and kept in cold fridge for ages, so handy to use )

    Oh so many delicous simple recipes around here, and who said there’s a recession going on?!

  11. As a kid, I couldn’t wait until Sundays when I would be allowed to roam in the local marshland with other kids from our neighbourhood.

    We had to walk barefoot on the hot tarmac and scorched grounds to get there, and to us kids, it was really a long walk, but now looking back, I think the trip might not be that far, only we had short legs. And when we could feel the cool breezes blowing on our faces, we knew that we would only had to walk for a few more minutes, and behind some tall bushes our childhood heaven was waiting for us!

    The marsh water was not really deep, only reached just below our waist. Acres and acres of vast virgin, unpulated marshland were covered with wild waterchesnut plants whose straight, hallow, green leaves stood up in the water like giant knitting needles, swaying from side to side in the cool breezes like beautiful, live bammboo curtains. These wild waterchestnut plants don’t give you the sweet, juicy water chestnuts like the cultivated one. Their black corms are small, dry and smell grassy. Hardly worth eating.

    The ground underwater was hard and sandy, we could run around for hours and the water would still be clear as glass. Disturbed by our rampage, several fat, long, brown freshwater eels would slither away from us, trying to escape. Too late, we would swiftly strike them with a long bamboo cane to break their backs, and they just lay there motionless among the lushy, green marsh plants. We simply picked these slippery fat, brown eels up and tossed them into the bamboo baskets strapped on our backs. These fat, brown eels would make a good curry.

    Mum would pour boiling water over them to remove the slime off their bodies, gutted them and chopped them into bite sized pieces. She then fried them in very hot oil with garlic, finely chopped lemongrass and red hot chillies, then curry paste. Oh, if you could smell the curry flavours in the air! She added some water, salt and suger and simmer until the eel flesh was tender and curry-golden-yellowed. She then stirred in some coconut cream to thicken the curry juice. Oh my God, one sniff of this curry would make you feel hungry and panting for sure! We kids just tore off the fresh baguettes and dipped the bread into the hot, creamy curry juice and popped it into our hungry little mouths and chewed it to savour the flavours!

    We also looked for freshwater snails. You could say that the local marshland was our handy larder; all sorts of free, wild foods were there, we only needed to pick them and take them home for our kitchen! Now, where were we? Ah, if you tried to look through the wobbling, crystal clear marsh water, you could spot these water snails, as big as a lime fruit, clinging to the reeds and water chestnut leaves. Lots of them, everywhere. Their shiny greenish, yellowish shells glisten in the strong sunshine.

    Mum would boil them with lemongrass leaves or citrus leaves to make them smell nice. We would then pull their butter-yellow cooked flesh out with a long and sharp grapefruit thorn, and dip it in Mum’s sweet& sour& saltish vinegar with finely chopped red hot chilli and garlic. Oh, heaven! Those water snail were so delicious you could say they tasted like those spiky, spotted sea whelks – very nutty and meaty indeed!

    There were also lots of little silver fish living in the marsh water. They were really tame and slow swimmers. We would catch them with an old mosquito net. It was an easy job and after a few tries, we caught about a bowl of them. Dead or alive under the hot sunshine.

    Mum would then tip them all into a tin sieve, sprinkle some salt over them and gently rub them around to remove their tiny silver scales, no need to gut them as they were far too small for their guts to contain anything unpleasant. She then washed them clear with fresh water.

    She then made a savoury pancake patter with smooth, white rice flour, some curry powder, coconut cream, chopped spring onions, sliced onions, some salt and sugar. She then tipped all the fish into this spicy, creamy curry-yellow patter and stirred.

    She poured a ladle of this vavoury patter onto her red hot oily frying pan. Oh you could hear the red hot oil sizzle when the cold patter hit it. Mum then tilted her hot frying pan around to let the patter spread out more, making it thinner and thinner. You could see the thin edge of the fish pancake start to curve up and down in the hot oil, sending the exciting curry smell up into the air.

    Mum then flipped the fish pancale over to brown, making it crisper and crisper and crisper, then tipped it out onto a large banana frond. We kids just dived in! Fish pancakes with Mum’s red hot chilli sweet& sour vinegar! The smells of fried spring onions, slightly burnt-fried fish, the exotic smell of curry powder, the sweet and sharp taste of vinegar, the hot taste of red chillies and our hunger panting… oh heaven!

    You could also see wild waterlilies dotting the marshland, sending their beautiful, pale lilac flowers to the crystal clear water surface to be kissed by the sun. Make no mistake – these were wild waterlilies, very delicate and simple, not the bulky, stumpy cultivated varieties. Their pale lilac flowers were delicately scented and their flower stems were very long and tender, making them ideal for… cooking!

    Ah, yes! All waterlilies’ flower stems are deliciously edible. Even the leaf stems are edible. But the flower stems are preferred as they are more tender. And, as a rule of thumb, the stronger colours the flower are, the more slightly astringent they taste, but hardly poisonous. We kids just grab the long waterlily stems by their flower heads and yanked them off the plants, whole long stems, no breaking.

    Mum would then peel the thin skins off the waterlily flower stems with her two fingers quickly and snap them into short sticks. She sprinkled some salt over them, gently squeeze them to soften them and also to remove the salty excess water inside the stems. She then wash them in fresh water and squeeze them hard to get rid of all the water.

    Mum then placed these tender, juicy waterlily stems in a big bowl, pour her sweet & sour vinegar with finely chopped red hot chilli and garlic over them. A handful of chopped fresh Mint and Basil leaves. That’s it! Waterlily Salad!

    Oh the marshy smell of waterlily stems, the pungent smell of torn fresh Mint leaves, Basil leaves, the sharp smells of vinegar, chopped red hot chillies, the hony smell of sugar… they all add up to make you feel hungry!

    *Mum’s sweet & sour vinegar with red hot chilli: add some sugar to 2 tablespoons vinegar and stir, more vinegar and stir until it tastes sweet & sour. Add bit of salt and stir until it taste sweet & sour & saltish. Add finely chopped red hot chilli and garlic.

    *Mum’s sweet & sour vinegar with chilli sauce: Mix sweet & sour & saltish vinegar as above. Then add some sweet chilli sause in bottle, instead of fresh chilli and garlic.

    *(sweet) chilli sauce in bottle: 3 kinds

    -with minimum amount of chopped chillies, garlic in a transparent red chilli sauce (cooked corn starch) used as a ready to eat dipping sauce, not really hot.

    -with medium amount of chopped chillies, garlic. Sold in English supermarkets in small bottles, rather hot, used as a dipping sause, or to season other dipping sauces with.

    -with maximum amount of chopped chillies, garlic, rather solid, very hot, good for pickling, cooking and seasoning other dipping sauces. Anyway, once opened can be kept in cold fridge for ages, so handy to use.

  12. John A.

    Of course, you can sex-up your onions, love, no need to suffer in silence, dear. Very easy this family secret recipe of mine: Peel a very large onion ( mild flavour ), cut it into loose, small square pieces, thumb sized. Peel a big, fresh ( crunchiness ), long carrot, slice it into rather thick coins. Drop them all into boiling water ( no salt, for salt would make them limp ) for 1 minute only. Drain. Place in a big bowl, pour some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce over and stir until they are all nicely coated in chilli sauce. Cover and keep in fridge for one hour before eating.

    Oh they are so crunchy and snappy, perfect for lying on your old comfy settee and munching pickles while watching Downton Abbey on the telly, love!
    ——-

    Oh folks, some mistake in my above post, near the end:

    *Mum’s sweet & sour vinegar with red hot chilli: add some sugar to 2 tablespoons of vinegar and stir, add more SUGAR ( not more vinegar! ) and stir until it tastes sweet & sour. Then add bit of salt and stir until it tastes sweet & sour & saltish. Then add chopped fresh red hot chilli and garlic ( or some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce ).

    I must get this family secret recipe right, folks or Mum would turn in her grave. Thanks.

  13. John A.

    Of course, you can sex-up your onions, love, no need to suffer in silence, dear. Very easy this family secret recipe of mine: Peel a very large onion ( mild flavour ), cut it into loose, small square pieces, thumb sized. Peel a big, fresh ( crunchiness ), long carrot, slice it into rather thick coins. Drop them all into boiling water ( no salt, for salt would make them limp ) for 1 minute only. Drain. Place in a big bowl, pour some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce over and stir until they are all nicely coated in chilli sauce. Cover and keep in fridge for one hour before eating.

    Oh they are so crunchy and snappy, perfect for lying on your old comfy settee and munching pickles while watching Downton Abbey on the telly, love!
    ——-

    Oh folks, some mistake in my above post, near the end:

    *Mum’s sweet & sour vinegar with red hot chilli: add some sugar to 2 tablespoons of vinegar and stir, add more SUGAR ( not more vinegar! ) and stir until it tastes sweet & sour. Then add bit of salt and stir until it tastes sweet & sour & saltish. Then add chopped fresh red hot chilli and garlic ( or some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce ).

    I must get this family secret recipe right, folks or Mum would turn in her grave. Thanks.

  14. John A.

    Of course, you can sex-up your onions, love, no need to suffer in silence, dear. Very easy this family secret recipe of mine: Peel a very large onion ( mild flavour ), cut it into loose, small square pieces, thumb sized. Peel a big, fresh ( crunchiness ), long carrot, slice it into rather thick coins. Drop them all into boiling water ( no salt, for salt would make them limp ) for 1 minute only. Drain. Place in a big bowl, pour some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce over and stir until they are all nicely coated in chilli sauce. Cover and keep in fridge for one hour before eating.

    Oh they are so crunchy and snappy, perfect for lying on your old comfy settee and munching pickles while watching Downton Abbey on the telly, love!
    ——-

    Oh folks, some mistake in my above post, near the end:

    *Mum’s sweet & sour vinegar with red hot chilli: add some sugar to 2 tablespoons of vinegar and stir, add more SUGAR ( not more vinegar! ) and stir until it tastes sweet & sour. Then add bit of salt and stir until it tastes sweet & sour & saltish. Then add chopped fresh red hot chilli and garlic ( or some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce ).

    I must get this family secret recipe right, folks or Mum would turn in her grave. Thanks.

  15. John A.

    Of course, you can sex-up your onions, love, no need to suffer in silence, dear. Very easy this family secret recipe of mine: Peel a very large onion ( mild flavour ), cut it into loose, small square pieces, thumb sized. Peel a big, fresh ( crunchiness ), long carrot, slice it into rather thick coins. Drop them all into boiling water ( no salt, for salt would make them limp ) for 1 minute only. Drain. Place in a big bowl, pour some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce over and stir until they are all nicely coated in chilli sauce. Cover and keep in fridge for one hour before eating.

    Oh they are so crunchy and snappy, perfect for lying on your old comfy settee and munching pickles while watching Downton Abbey on the telly, love!
    ——-

    Oh folks, some mistake in my above post, near the end:

    *Mum’s sweet & sour vinegar with red hot chilli: add some sugar to 2 tablespoons of vinegar and stir, add more SUGAR ( not more vinegar! ) and stir until it tastes sweet & sour. Then add bit of salt and stir until it tastes sweet & sour & saltish. Then add chopped fresh red hot chilli and garlic ( or some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce ).

    I must get this family secret recipe right, folks or Mum would turn in her grave. Thanks.

  16. John A.

    Of course, you can sex-up your onions, love, no need to suffer in silence, dear. Very easy this family secret recipe of mine: Peel a very large onion ( mild flavour ), cut it into loose, small square pieces, thumb sized. Peel a big, fresh ( crunchiness ), long carrot, slice it into rather thick coins. Drop them all into boiling water ( no salt, for salt would make them limp ) for 1 minute only. Drain. Place in a big bowl, pour some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce over and stir until they are all nicely coated in chilli sauce. Cover and keep in fridge for one hour before eating.

    Oh they are so crunchy and snappy, perfect for lying on your old comfy settee and munching pickles while watching Downton Abbey on the telly, love!
    ——-

    Oh folks, some mistake in my above post, near the end:

    *Mum’s sweet & sour vinegar with red hot chilli: add some sugar to 2 tablespoons of vinegar and stir, add more SUGAR ( not more vinegar! ) and stir until it tastes sweet & sour. Then add bit of salt and stir until it tastes sweet & sour & saltish. Then add chopped fresh red hot chilli and garlic ( or some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce ).

    I must get this family secret recipe right, folks or Mum would turn in her grave. Thanks.

  17. John A.

    Of course, you can sex-up your onions, love, no need to suffer in silence, dear. Very easy this family secret recipe of mine: Peel a very large onion ( mild flavour ), cut it into loose, small square pieces, thumb sized. Peel a big, fresh ( crunchiness ), long carrot, slice it into rather thick coins. Drop them all into boiling water ( no salt, for salt would make them limp ) for 1 minute only. Drain. Place in a big bowl, pour some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce over and stir until they are all nicely coated in chilli sauce. Cover and keep in fridge for one hour before eating.

    Oh they are so crunchy and snappy, perfect for lying on your old comfy settee and munching pickles while watching Downton Abbey on the telly, love!
    ——-

    Oh folks, some mistake in my above post, near the end:

    *Mum’s sweet & sour vinegar with red hot chilli: add some sugar to 2 tablespoons of vinegar and stir, add more SUGAR ( not more vinegar! ) and stir until it tastes sweet & sour. Then add bit of salt and stir until it tastes sweet & sour & saltish. Then add chopped fresh red hot chilli and garlic ( or some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce ).

    I must get this family secret recipe right, folks or Mum would turn in her grave. Thanks.

  18. John A.

    Of course, you can sex-up your onions, love, no need to suffer in silence, dear. Very easy this family secret recipe of mine: Peel a very large onion ( mild flavour ), cut it into loose, small square pieces, thumb sized. Peel a big, fresh ( crunchiness ), long carrot, slice it into rather thick coins. Drop them all into boiling water ( no salt, for salt would make them limp ) for 1 minute only. Drain. Place in a big bowl, pour some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce over and stir until they are all nicely coated in chilli sauce. Cover and keep in fridge for one hour before eating.

    Oh they are so crunchy and snappy, perfect for lying on your old comfy settee and munching pickles while watching Downton Abbey on the telly, love!
    ——-

    Oh folks, some mistake in my above post, near the end:

    *Mum’s sweet & sour vinegar with red hot chilli: add some sugar to 2 tablespoons of vinegar and stir, add more SUGAR ( not more vinegar! ) and stir until it tastes sweet & sour. Then add bit of salt and stir until it tastes sweet & sour & saltish. Then add chopped fresh red hot chilli and garlic ( or some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce ).

    I must get this family secret recipe right, folks or Mum would turn in her grave. Thanks.

  19. John A.

    Of course, you can sex-up your onions, love, no need to suffer in silence, dear. Very easy this family secret recipe of mine: Peel a very large onion ( mild flavour ), cut it into loose, small square pieces, thumb sized. Peel a big, fresh ( crunchiness ), long carrot, slice it into rather thick coins. Drop them all into boiling water ( no salt, for salt would make them limp ) for 1 minute only. Drain. Place in a big bowl, pour some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce over and stir until they are all nicely coated in chilli sauce. Cover and keep in fridge for one hour before eating.

    Oh they are so crunchy and snappy, perfect for lying on your old comfy settee and munching pickles while watching Downton Abbey on the telly, love!
    ——-

    Oh folks, some mistake in my above post, near the end:

    *Mum’s sweet & sour vinegar with red hot chilli: add some sugar to 2 tablespoons of vinegar and stir, add more SUGAR ( not more vinegar! ) and stir until it tastes sweet & sour. Then add bit of salt and stir until it tastes sweet & sour & saltish. Then add chopped fresh red hot chilli and garlic ( or some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce ).

    I must get this family secret recipe right, folks or Mum would turn in her grave. Thanks.

  20. John A.

    Of course, you can sex-up your onions, love, no need to suffer in silence, dear. Very easy this family secret recipe of mine: Peel a very large onion ( mild flavour ), cut it into loose, small square pieces, thumb sized. Peel a big, fresh ( crunchiness ), long carrot, slice it into rather thick coins. Drop them all into boiling water ( no salt, for salt would make them limp ) for 1 minute only. Drain. Place in a big bowl, pour some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce over and stir until they are all nicely coated in chilli sauce. Cover and keep in fridge for one hour before eating.

    Oh they are so crunchy and snappy, perfect for lying on your old comfy settee and munching pickles while watching Downton Abbey on the telly, love!
    ——-

    Oh folks, some mistake in my above post, near the end:

    *Mum’s sweet & sour vinegar with red hot chilli: add some sugar to 2 tablespoons of vinegar and stir, add more SUGAR ( not more vinegar! ) and stir until it tastes sweet & sour. Then add bit of salt and stir until it tastes sweet & sour & saltish. Then add chopped fresh red hot chilli and garlic ( or some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce ).

    I must get this family secret recipe right, folks or Mum would turn in her grave. Thanks.

  21. John A.

    Of course, you can sex-up your onions, love, no need to suffer in silence, dear. Very easy this family secret recipe of mine: Peel a very large onion ( mild flavour ), cut it into loose, small square pieces, thumb sized. Peel a big, fresh ( crunchiness ), long carrot, slice it into rather thick coins. Drop them all into boiling water ( no salt, for salt would make them limp ) for 1 minute only. Drain. Place in a big bowl, pour some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce over and stir until they are all nicely coated in chilli sauce. Cover and keep in fridge for one hour before eating.

    Oh they are so crunchy and snappy, perfect for lying on your old comfy settee and munching pickles while watching Downton Abbey on the telly, love!
    ——-

    Oh folks, some mistake in my above post, near the end:

    *Mum’s sweet & sour vinegar with red hot chilli: add some sugar to 2 tablespoons of vinegar and stir, add more SUGAR ( not more vinegar! ) and stir until it tastes sweet & sour. Then add bit of salt and stir until it tastes sweet & sour & saltish. Then add chopped fresh red hot chilli and garlic ( or some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce ).

    I must get this family secret recipe right, folks or Mum would turn in her grave. Thanks.

  22. John A.

    Of course, you can sex-up your onions, love, no need to suffer in silence, dear. Very easy this family secret recipe of mine: Peel a very large onion ( mild flavour ), cut it into loose, small square pieces, thumb sized. Peel a big, fresh ( crunchiness ), long carrot, slice it into rather thick coins. Drop them all into boiling water ( no salt, for salt would make them limp ) for 1 minute only. Drain. Place in a big bowl, pour some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce over and stir until they are all nicely coated in chilli sauce. Cover and keep in fridge for one hour before eating.

    Oh they are so crunchy and snappy, perfect for lying on your old comfy settee and munching pickles while watching Downton Abbey on the telly, love!
    ——-

    Oh folks, some mistake in my above post, near the end:

    *Mum’s sweet & sour vinegar with red hot chilli: add some sugar to 2 tablespoons of vinegar and stir, add more SUGAR ( not more vinegar! ) and stir until it tastes sweet & sour. Then add bit of salt and stir until it tastes sweet & sour & saltish. Then add chopped fresh red hot chilli and garlic ( or some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce ).

    I must get this family secret recipe right, folks or Mum would turn in her grave. Thanks.

  23. John A.

    Of course, you can sex-up your onions, love, no need to suffer in silence, dear. Very easy this family secret recipe of mine: Peel a very large onion ( mild flavour ), cut it into loose, small square pieces, thumb sized. Peel a big, fresh ( crunchiness ), long carrot, slice it into rather thick coins. Drop them all into boiling water ( no salt, for salt would make them limp ) for 1 minute only. Drain. Place in a big bowl, pour some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce over and stir until they are all nicely coated in chilli sauce. Cover and keep in fridge for one hour before eating.

    Oh they are so crunchy and snappy, perfect for lying on your old comfy settee and munching pickles while watching Downton Abbey on the telly, love!
    ——-

    Oh folks, some mistake in my above post, near the end:

    *Mum’s sweet & sour vinegar with red hot chilli: add some sugar to 2 tablespoons of vinegar and stir, add more SUGAR ( not more vinegar! ) and stir until it tastes sweet & sour. Then add bit of salt and stir until it tastes sweet & sour & saltish. Then add chopped fresh red hot chilli and garlic ( or some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce ).

    I must get this family secret recipe right, folks or Mum would turn in her grave. Thanks.

  24. John A.

    Of course, you can sex-up your onions, love, no need to suffer in silence, dear. Very easy this family secret recipe of mine: Peel a very large onion ( mild flavour ), cut it into loose, small square pieces, thumb sized. Peel a big, fresh ( crunchiness ), long carrot, slice it into rather thick coins. Drop them all into boiling water ( no salt, for salt would make them limp ) for 1 minute only. Drain. Place in a big bowl, pour some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce over and stir until they are all nicely coated in chilli sauce. Cover and keep in fridge for one hour before eating.

    Oh they are so crunchy and snappy, perfect for lying on your old comfy settee and munching pickles while watching Downton Abbey on the telly, love!
    ——-

    Oh folks, some mistake in my above post, near the end:

    *Mum’s sweet & sour vinegar with red hot chilli: add some sugar to 2 tablespoons of vinegar and stir, add more SUGAR ( not more vinegar! ) and stir until it tastes sweet & sour. Then add bit of salt and stir until it tastes sweet & sour & saltish. Then add chopped fresh red hot chilli and garlic ( or some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce ).

    I must get this family secret recipe right, folks or Mum would turn in her grave. Thanks.

  25. John love, of course you can sex-up your onions dear, no need to suffer in silence. Very easy this family secret recipe of mine. Here goes:

    Peel a very large onion ( mild flavour ), cut into loose square pieces thumb sized. Peel a long, big, FRESH ( crunchiness ) carrot and slice into rather thick coins. Drop them all into boiling water ( no salt, for salt would make them limp ) for 1 minute only. Drain quickly. Place in a big bowl, add some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce and stir until they are all nicely coated in the red hot chilli sauce. Cover and keep in cold fridge for 1 hour before eating.

    Perfect for lying on your old comfy settee and munching pickles while watching Downton Abbey on the telly, love!
    ——–

    Oh folks, some mistake in my above post-

    *Mum’s sweet & sour vinegar with red hot chilli: Add some sugar to 2 tablespoons of vinegar and stir, add more SUGAR ( not more vinegar ) and stir until it tastes sweet & sour. Add bit of salt and stir until it tastes sweet & sour & saltish. Then add finely chopped red hot chilli and garlic ( or some shop-bought sweet chilli sauce ). That’s it!

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