If you have ever dined at restaurants serving Oriental and other South-East Asian fare, chances are you would have savoured a bright, lush and crispy vegetable topping on noodles, salads and soups.
These finely cut green stalks are nothing but spring onions, sometimes also termed as green onions or scallions. A plant related to the allium species of garlic, onions and shallots, spring onions have a relatively milder taste, in addition to a refreshing aroma.
And what with the era of millennials officially taking over the kitchens from their parents and grandparents now, due to the extended lockdown, desi khana just got a whole lot more exciting.
Yes, spring onions are usually only utilised as a garnish or fry, to decorate Asian cuisine and give it a revitalizing fragrance. Nevertheless, the youth in India presently is getting rather creative and incorporating it into standard recipes, not only for its mesmerizing scent and delicious palate but also the immense nutritive values and health benefits it confers, for overall wellbeing.
Spring Onion Nutrition Facts:
Spring onions contain a wealth of dietary fibers, which regulate appetite, facilitate smooth digestion and accelerate weight loss. A treasure trove of essential nutrients, these verdant stems with pale-white bulbs comprise copious concentrations of vitamin A for optimal vision, vitamin C for antioxidant activity, aside from vitamin B6 for elevated nervous system operations. They are also instilled with the goodness of calcium, iron, potassium, manganese and copper. Also Read: Iron: Functions, Food Sources, Supplements, Deficiency and Toxicity
Lip-Smacking Spring Onion Recipes With A Desi Twist:
Want to whip up some wholesome food with spring onions but prefer a comforting, typical Indian meal any day? Well, look no further! We bring you a couple of irresistible spring onion recipes, based on time-tested delicacies from two diverse locales spread across the breadth of the nation - Maharashtra in the west and West Bengal in the east.
Don your chef’s hat and prep these delightfully spicy and nourishing dishes with spring onions, to boost the physical and mental health of you and your family!
Patichya Kandyachi Jhunka
A customary preparation in the Western Indian state of Maharashtra, “Jhunka”, also called “Zunka” or “Pithla” refers to a semi-solid paste made using besan or chickpea/gram flour, along with a blend of spices. Infused with “Patichya Kandyachi”, literally translating to green onion or spring onion in the local language of Marathi, this novel take on an age-old recipe will surely transport the taste buds on an appetizing gastronomical journey!
4 – 5 small spring onions, finely chopped
A bunch of curry leaves
1 cup gram flour i.e besan
½ cup of water
2 green chilli, slit vertically
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp hing
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt, as per taste
1 medium slice of lemon
In a pan, roast the chickpea flour on medium flame, until a mild, pleasant smell begins to develop.
In another vessel, sauté the mustard, cumin, hing and curry leave on high, in a bit of oil, for 2 minutes.
Put in the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, green chillies as well as some water and stir to obtain a uniform mix.
First, cook the white portion of the spring onions and once it turns translucent, add the green segments.
Pour some more water and allow this mixture to simmer for 5 minutes.
After most of the water evaporates, transfer the dry roasted besan, with some salt for taste and cook well, till all the flavours get absorbed.
Squeeze a little lemon juice and garnish with some fresh curry leaves.
Serve the mouth-watering Patichya Kandyachi Jhunka hot, as a side for rotis, chapatis, naans, phulkas or parathas.
Spring onions abound in vitamin C, for uplifting immunity, as well as enhancing skin wellness. They are also rich in dietary fibers, which aid in promoting digestion. Packed with the vital mineral iron, curry leaves improve red blood cell synthesis and remedy instances of anaemia. Besan, also called chickpea or gram flour, is a wonderful source of proteins, for strong muscles and ensuring growth, development. Also Read: Lockdown Essentials: 5 Flour Varieties To Stock In Kitchen To Meet Your Daily Requirements
“Peyajkoli” means green onion or spring onion in Bengali, the native tongue spoken widely in the Eastern Indian region of West Bengal. A zesty puree, “Posto” is prepared using poppy seeds in a mustard base, generally with potato/aloo or okra/bhindi. Trade these staple veggies for scallions instead, to get an interesting version of this much-loved traditional dish. Guaranteed, this invigorating dry curry will leave kids and adults asking for more!
7 small spring onions
3 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp fennel seeds
3 tbsp mustard oil
Salt, as required
A sprig of mint leaves
Allow the poppy seeds to soak completely in warm water for 15 minutes.
Drain the water and blend the poppy seeds into a fine paste, pouring in fresh liquid to ensure a homogenous preparation.
Slice the spring onions in the form of long stalks.
In a kadhai, heat mustard oil, sauté the fennel seeds until they sputter, then add the turmeric powder and ginger garlic paste.
Transfer the cut spring onions to the cooked spices with salt, fry until they turn soft and transparent, with golden-brown edges.
Finally, pour in the paste of poppy seeds, stir continuously on low flame, till all flavours are entirely immersed.
Switch off the stove, drizzle a bit of mustard oil and top it with fresh mint leaves.
Enjoy the tempting Peyajkoli Posto warm, with steamed rice, for a hearty meal at lunch.
Imbued with profuse amounts of calcium, spring onions contribute to fortified bones and joints. Moreover, they are high in vitamin B6, which enriches brain functions, mood and memory. Poppy seeds possess vast levels of magnesium and manganese, for easing muscle cramps, while mint leaves are blessed with generous quantities of vitamin A, for maintaining proper eyesight.