Vysya's Delicious Recipes -Dosa Corner


Friday, July 27, 2012


    Origin of Onion
Onions grew in Chinese gardens as early as 5000 years ago and they are referenced in some of the oldest Vedic writings from India. In Egypt, onions can be traced back to 3500 B.C. There is evidence that the Sumerians were growing onions as early as 2500 B.C. One Sumerian text dated to about 2500 B.C. tells of someone plowing over the city governor's onion patch.

Onions in Egypt

In Egypt, onions were actually an object of worship. The onion symbolized eternity to the Egyptians who buried onions along with their Pharaohs. The Egyptians saw eternal life in the anatomy of the onion because of its circle-within-a-circle structure. Paintings of onions appear on the inner walls of the pyramids and in the tombs of both the Old Kingdom and the New Kingdom. The onion is mentioned as a funeral offering and onions are depicted on the banquet tables of the great feasts - both large, peeled onions and slender, immature ones. They were shown upon the altars of the gods.

National cancer Institute

  onions continue to be an important part of our diet. The National Cancer Institute has reported that onions contain antioxidants that help block cancer and appear to lower cholesterol.

Onion Varieties
Onions come in three distinct colors: white, yellow and red. The varieties can be classed into three important groupings: short day, intermediate day and long day varieties. These groupings refer to the number of hours of sunlight required to get the onion to bulb. Short Day onions require 10-12 hours of sunlight and are used in the South for winter production. Because Short Day onions have a higher concentration of water as opposed to solid fiber content, they do not store well and should be eaten fresh. Intermediate Day onions require 12-14 hours of sunlight and are ideal for almost all growing areas in the United States. Long Day onions require 14-16 hours of sunlight and grow better in northern states where there are extended hours of daylight during the summer months. Long Day varieties typically have more pungent flavor and store better than other varieties.

How to Store

Whole dry bulb onions should be kept in a cool, dry, dark place with plenty of air movement. Do not store onions in plastic! Lack of ventilation will reduce their storage life. Refrigeration is only necessary when trying to extend the shelf life of sweet or mild onion varieties with high water content, but be sure to use a low humidity setting, they must be kept dry.
  1. Whole peeled onions should be refrigerated after purchasing.
  2. Cut onions can be stored in a sealed container for up to 7 days.
  3. If you buy pre-cut onions, always keep refrigerated and use before the expiration date.

 Onion Facts  

* Native Americans ate wild onions and the Pilgrims brought onions with them on theMayflower. Onions were eaten at the first Thanksgiving dinner.

* After slicing onions, wash your hands in cold water, then rub them with salt or vinegar. The salt or vinegar will remove onion smells from your hands.

* If you need only half of an onion, use the top half. The root will stay fresh longer in the refrigerator.
*  Our word "onion” comes from the Latin "unio" meaning one or unity, because an onion grows as a single bulb.

Benefits of onion

1. Vitamins

Onions are good sources of several vitamins, and in particular vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. All three of these vitamins are necessary for standard bodily processes, and vitamin C in particular can help to boost your immune system. This is one of the many reasons why onions have been used in medical procedures and to promote general good health for thousands of years.

2. Folic Acid

Folic acid is helpful in regulating certain other systems in your body. It is typically found in different types of fruits, but onions are unique in that they contain a hefty amount of folic acid and they are a vegetable. In order to mix up your intake of produce but still get your recommended dosage of this nutrient, consider using onions.

3. Anti-Bacterial Properties

Onions and garlic are both pungent in odor and flavor. This makes them preferable for many people and also makes other people choose to avoid them. However, linked in with this pungency is the fact that both of these vegetables are excellent natural antibacterial agents. By eating a diet that is heavy in onions, and particularly one that is heavy in onions that have not been cooked through thoroughly, you can boost your body’s natural protection system against bacteria. This will mean that you’ll be less likely to experience a variety of different types of infections.

4. Iron

Many types of onions are high in iron. Red onions in particular have the highest concentrations of iron. This can be helpful for a number of reasons. Iron helps to keep your blood the proper consistency and thickness. Onions can prevent anemia, or a general thinning of the blood. They can also boost the health and strength of your blood cells in a number of other ways as a result of the iron that they contain.
For more information about onions and how they can best be prepared to deliver their full benefits to you, consult with a nutritionist.
Largest Producer of onion
Amongst the onion producing countries in the world India ranks second in area and production, the first being China. The highest productivity of onion in world is of Korea Rep (67.25 MT/ha) followed by USA (53.91 MT/ha), Spain (52.06 MT/ha) and Japan (47.55 MT/ha). India being a second major onion producing country in the world has a productivity of 10.16 MT/ha only.
Onion Festival