3 ways with onions

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3 ways with onions

Battered and deep-fried. Pickled, with Cheddar cheese, in a jaffle. Baked in cream until fall-apart tender. The humble allium really is worth rhapsodising about. You might even shed a little tear.

Blooming spiced onion



  • Slice the heads off 4 large white or red onions, just enough to create a stable base for them to stand on. With the root facing upwards, make four incisions at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’ clock positions on the onion without cutting through the root. Make a further 3 incisions between the original ones. Turn over the onion and gently pull the petals apart.
  • Mix 250 g chickpea flour, 1 t ground turmeric, 1 t ground cumin, 2 t ground coriander, 2 t garam masala and 2 t salt. Slowly pour in 2 cups buttermilk while whisking, adding enough to form a thick, pancake- like batter.
  • Heat enough oil for deep-frying in a large saucepan. Dip an onion into the batter and spoon some over it, making sure the batter gets between each petal. Using a slotted spoon, place the onion in the oil and deep-fry for 5 minutes, or until the onion is cooked and the batter is crisp. Repeat with the remaining onions. Serve with spring onion and chive yoghurt dip.


Red onions baked in cream and gorgonzola


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place 750 g small red onions on a board, root side down. Cut a cross into each one, taking care not to cut all the way through.
  • Place the onions and 3 large washed and chopped leeks in an ovenproof dish, then add 150 g crumbled Gorgonzola, 4 grated garlic cloves, 2 sprigs thyme, 1⁄2 t nutmeg and 2 cups cream.
  • Season and bake for 35–45 minutes, or until the cream has reduced and the onions are cooked.


Pickled onion jaffles


  • To make the pickled onion, heat 1 cup red wine vinegar, 1 red chilli and 1 green chilli, sliced lengthways, 1 t mixed peppercorns and 3 cloves thinly sliced garlic in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once it comes to a gentle simmer, remove from the heat.
  • Add 1 red onion and 1 white onion, thinly sliced lengthways, and allow the liquid to cool slightly.
  • Grate 200 g Cheddar cheese and butter 8 slices white bread. Place four slices of the bread on a board, buttered side down. Top with the grated cheese and the pickled onions. Top with the remaining bread, buttered side up.
  • Place the sandwiches in a jaffle iron and toast over the braai or a medium flame on a gas stove for about 3 minutes on each side. Serve immediately.

Charred onion petals, that’s what, you ask? To achieve this, halve an onion through the root, place the halves cut-side down in an oiled, piping hot pan, then cook over a medium heat until the edges are blackened. Singe a bit more in a hot oven, then separate the petals and season.

Discover more sensational sides here.

TASTE Article by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

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