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All About Onions | Know Your Vegetable & Spice Pyaz (Allium cepa Linn)

All About Onions | Know Your Vegetable & Spice Pyaz (Allium cepa L)

All About Onions | Know Your Vegetable & Spice Pyaz (Allium cepa L)

All About Onions | Know Your Spice Pyaz (Allium cepa Linn.)

Onion or pyaz (Allium cepa Linn.) is also known as bulb onion or common onion.

All about onions | know your vegetable & spice pyaz (allium cepa l. )

Onion (Allium cepa Linn.) also known as the bulb onion or common onion, is a vegetable that is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium.

The shallot is a botanical variety of the onion whereas scallions are young onion with green leaves.

Onion is a border­line case between spices & vege­tables. While, it is used chiefly for flavour in some recipes, it plays the role of a vegetable in others to add nutri­ents & volume.

Onion seems to origi­nate from West or Central Asia, but it reached the Mediterranean, in the cultivated state, several millennia ago. In Europe, it is known since the Bronze Age.

It is available in fresh, frozen, canned, caramelised, pickled, and chopped forms.

The dehydrated product is available as kibbled, sliced, ring, minced, chopped, granulated, and powder forms.

What are the vernacular names for an onion?

The names of an onion or pyaz in Indian & International languages are given below.

Indian Languages International Languages
Hindi: Pyaz (प्याज़), Pyaj (प्याज), Ganda (प्याज)
Bengali: Pianj (পিঁয়াজ), Penyaj (পেঁয়াজ)
Gujarati:
Dungli (ડુંગળી)
Kannada: Irulli (ಈರುಳ್ಳಿ), Nirulle (ನೀರುಳ್ಳೆ),
Ulli (ಉಳ್ಳಿ)
Kashmiri:
Pran (پران), Ganda (گنڈہ)
Malayalam
: Chuvan-ulli (ചുവന്നുള്ളി),
Savala (സവാള), Ulli (ഉള്ളി)
Marathi: Kanda (कांडा)
Oriya: Piaja (ପିଆଜ)
Punjabi:
Piaj (ਪਿਆਜ), Piaz (ਪਿਆਜ਼)
Sanskrit:
Palandu (पलाण्डु)
Tamil:
Irulli (ஈருள்ளி),
Vengayam (வெங்காயம்)
Telugu:
Nirulli (నీరుల్లి), Vulligadda (వుల్లిగడ్డ), Yerravulli (యెర్రవుల్లి), Vellulli (వెల్లుల్లి)
Latin (Botanical): Allium cepa Linn.
Arabic: Basal (بَصَل)
Bulgarian: Kromid (Кромид), Luk (Лук) 
Chinese:
Chung tauh (蔥頭), Yeuhng chung (洋蔥)
Dutch:
Ui, Ajuin
Danish: Løg
French: Oignon
German: Zwiebel
Greek: Kremmidi (Κρεμμύδι)
Italian: Cipolla
Japanese: Tamanegi (たまねぎ), Wakegi (わけぎ)
Norwegian: Kepaløk
Portuguese: Cebola
Romanian: Arpagic, Ceapă
Swedish
: Lök, Rödlök

What exactly is an onion?

Get to know more about onions or pyaz (Allium cepa Linn.)

The onion plant has been grown and selectively bred in cultivation for at least 7,000 years.

It is most frequently a biennial or a perennial plant, but is usually treated as an annual and harvested in its first growing season.

It has a fan of hollow, bluish-green leaves and its bulb at the base of the plant begins to swell when a certain day-length is reached.

The bulbs are composed of shortened, compressed, underground stems surrounded by fleshy modified scale (leaves) that envelop a central bud at the tip of the stem.

When the foliage dies, the crop is harvested and dried and the onions are ready for use or storage. Some varieties of A. cepa, such as shallots and potato onions, produce multiple bulbs.

Onion seems to origi­nate from West or Central Asia, but now are cultivated and used around the world.

As a food item, they are usually served cooked, as a vegetable or part of a prepared savoury dish, but can also be eaten raw or used to make pickles or chutneys.

What is the nutritional value of Onion?

Find out about the nutritional value of onions or pyaz (Allium cepa Linn.)

High in Vitamin C, onions are a good source of dietary fibre, and folic acid. They also contain calcium, iron, and have a high protein quality.

Onions are low in sodium and contain no fat. Onions contain quercetin, a flavonoid (one category of antioxidant compounds).

Onions contain organosulfur compounds that may offer unique health benefits. Antioxidants are compounds that help delay or slow the oxidative damage to cells and tissue of the body.

Studies have indicated that quercetin helps to eliminate free radicals in the body, to inhibit low-density lipoprotein oxidation.

What is the chemical composition of onions or pyaz?

Know and understand about chemical composition of onions or pyaz (Allium cepa Linn.)

Onions are an important source of several phytonutrients as flavonoids, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), and thiosulfinates and other sulfur compounds.

In fact, onions contain high levels of phenolic compounds, which have antioxidant properties besides beneficial effects against different degenerative pathologies.

Flavonoids are the most abundant in onions, present as their glycosides, that is, quercetin and kaempferol, in higher concentration (280–400 mg/kg) than other vegetables.

Anthocyanins, belonging to anthocyanidins, are mainly present in red onions (250 mg/kg), besides having a composition rich in flavonoids as yellow onions .

FOS represent another source of phytochemicals in onions bulbs. They are mainly inulin, kestose, nystose, and fructofuranosylnystose.

What is the history of onions or pyaz?

Know more about the origins & the story behind onions or pyaz (Allium cepa Linn.)

Onions are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables in our history, originating in central Asia from where it spread across entire world.

It’s impossible to know exactly when they first popped up on the culinary scene; most historians agree that they have been domesticated and cultivated for at least 6000 years, possibly longer.

Onions were grown in Ancient Egypt 5,500 years ago, in India and China 5,000 years ago, in Sumeria 4,500 years ago.

It is probably a native of Asia comprising North West India, Balochistan and Afghanistan. It probably acquired its name from the city built by ONIA in 1703 B.C. near gulf of Suez.

In the oldest recorded history, onions were depicted as food in Egyption tombs as early as 3200 B.C. It is believed that Egyptians fed them to workers for strength to build pyramids.

The ancient Egyptians worshipped the onion, believing that its spherical shape and concentric ring symbolizes eternity.

Of all the vegetables the images created by Egyptian artists, only the onion was made out of gold.

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 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. Frequently, Egyptian priests are pictured holding onions in his hand or covering an altar with a bundle of their leaves or roots.

In Pompeii, remains of an onion basket were discovered in a brothel – apparently, back then they were thought to encourage “Carnal desire”.

Dioscorides, a Greek physician in first century A.D., noted several medicinal uses of onions.

The Greeks used onions to fortify athletes for Olympic games. Before competition athletes would consume pounds of onions, drink onion juice and rub onions on their bodies.

Additionally, the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates wrote in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. that a broad variety of onions were eaten regularly in Greece.

After Rome conquered Greece, the onion became a staple in the Roman diet. Onions have a long medicinal history.

Ancient Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder believed that they healed sores, vision problems, toothaches and dysentery.

Gladiators were massaged with onion juice before walking into the arena believing it promoted strength.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, Europe entered into Dark and Middle ages where main sources of food for entire population were beans, cabbage and onions.

During that time, onions was heavily used as both food and medicinal remedy and was often more valuable than money.

With the arrival of Renaissance and the New trade routes of the Golden Age of Sail, onions were carried to all four corners of the world.

This enabled European colonist and native people from new found continents to grow this incredible vegetable on countless soil types.

During the fourth century B.C. Alexander the Great transported onions from Egypt to Greece, where they spread to other parts of Europe following Alexander’s conquests.

For centuries thereafter, Europeans cultivated onions, which became especially popular in cooking in places such as present day Germany at the start of the Middle Ages.

By the fifteenth century, Europeans began introducing different cultivars to parts of the New World.

Christopher Columbus crews planted onions in Hispaniola as early as 1494 and the Vegetable was mentioned as cultivated in the present day United States as early as 1629.

By the nineteenth century, various types of onion were growing all across the USA. The first Pilgrims brought onions with them on the Mayflower.

However, they found that strains of wild onions already grew throughout North America. Native Indians used wild onions in a variety of ways, eating them raw or cooked as a seasoning or as a vegetable.

In India onion has been grown from ancient times as mentioned in a famous early medicine treatise charaka Samhita (6 B.C.).

In ancient India, there was a fair amount of revulsion to onions. Orthodox Brahmins, Buddhists and Jains regarded onions as forbidden vegetable because of their strong odor & stimulating action.

In 6th Century India, onions were deemed helpful for the heart, joints and indigestion.

Ancient Sumerians widely grew and cooked onions 4000 years ago, the plant has been discovered at the royal palace at Knossos in crete. References of onion as food are also found in Bible and Kuran.

The basic abilities of onion proved to be very useful to Egyptians, Babylonians, Hindu and ancient Chinese civilizations who had problems to create large sources of food.

Onions prevented thirst, were great source of energy, had very useful medicinal properties, and could be easily dried and preserved for times when other perishable sources of food were scarce.

What are the uses of onions or pyaz?

How are Onions or Pyaz (Allium cepa Linn.) used?

Onion has a lot of medicinal properties. It contains several sulphur compounds. It is not just an antiseptic, but is it also has stimulant, diuretic and expectorant properties

  • Onion is used as a vegetable as well as a spice.
  • The pink onion peel gives a fast colour to cotton, silk and woollen garments or fabrics.
  • Onion powder & juice are used in pickles, curries, sauces, medicines as a substitute of fresh onion.
  • Dehydrated onions, onion flakes, kibbled onion and onion powder are used for flavouring ketchups, sauces, even pickles.
  • Onion paste is reported to be effective for topical applications in case of insect bites.

What do onions taste like?

What is the taste of pyaz?

All are pungent to a degree. Some are very mild, some are extremely strong, some are hot, bitter, sweet, acidic, earthy, and , or salty.

After the initial bite there’s a bit of a burn. If the onion is pungent you’ll feel that burn in your nose a bit like with wasabi.

Different onions have different flavours. There are yellow onions, red onions, white onions and sweet yellow onions and not to forget green onions.

If you are going to eat onion raw – use sweet yellow or green onions – both are often served raw because they have a less pungent taste.

Sweet yellow onions are often chopped for hotdogs or to put in Macaroni or Potato salad dishes.

Green onions are often used as a garnish to side dish, such as rice, beans or baked potatoes.

Red onions are often used next raw and while they are very “onion” tasting – they are more on the  milder side and great served sliced for a hamburger or sandwich.

Red, Yellow and White onions are usually recommended for cooking only.

How much onion should I use?

What is the the recommended quantity of onions or pyaz for a day?

Onions are so naturally packed with vitamins and minerals, though, it would be best to infuse as much of them into your diet as you can.

You can dice them up to keep in the fridge to add to salads, omelets, or beans throughout the week.

You can take about four to five onions and caramelize them. Keep them in the fridge all week and add them to your rice, meat curries, biryani, pizzas, or casseroles.

What are the ayurvedic properties of onions or pyaz?

Information about ayurvedic details of onions or pyaz (Allium cepa Linn.).

Onions are Tamasic. But the benefits of onions outweigh its tamasic side effect. Onion has cooling energetics and make a great summer food.

They are sweet in taste and promote proper digestion and reduce the burning sensation by cooling the digestive tract.

Rasa (Taste): Madhura (Sweet), Katu (Pungent)
Guna (Qualities): Guru (Heavy), Snigdha (Unctuous, Oily), Teekshna (Strong, Piercing)
Veerya (Potency): Anushna (Not very hot in potency)
Vipaka (Taste conversion after digestion): Madhura (Sweet)
Karma (Actions): It balances Vata, because of its oily, sweet and hot potency. Has a neutral effect on Pitta and slightly increases Kapha.

What can I use onions for?

Learn how to use onions or pyaz (Allium cepa Linn.) in your food & beverages.

Onion is considered as a flavouring spice particularly to hide certain repulsive odour.

  • Mild onions are used for cooking or as salad.
  • Pungent varieties are used as condiment for flavouring a number of food items.
  • Pearl onion or small onions are used in pickles, including vinegar pickles.
  • For dehydration purposes and for manufacture of onion powder, white onions of desired quality are preferred.
  • Onion salt is prepared by mixing 19 to 20% onion powder with 78% free flowing pulverized refined table salt
  • Both dehydrated onion and onion powder is extensively used in pickles, curries, sauces, medicines and so on in place of fresh onion.

How do I prepare onions for food?

Learn how to prepare onions or pyaz (Allium cepa Linn.) for your food & beverages.

To eat onion raw – use sweet yellow, red or green onions – both are often served raw because they have a less pungent taste.

Sweet yellow onions are often chopped for hotdogs or to put in macaroni or potato salad dishes.

Green onions are often used as a garnish to side dish, such as rice, beans or baked potatoes.

Red onions are often used next raw. While they are very “onion” tasting or pungent – they are more on the  milder side and great served sliced for a hamburger or sandwich.

Red, Yellow and White onions are usually recommended for cooking only.

Yоu саn remove some оf their astringent flаvоur by ѕоаkіng thеm in соld wаtеr, bеfоrе adding to thе dish. A curry also gets better if you boil and add onions to it.

Can I use all parts of onions?

What parts of onions or pyaz (Allium cepa Linn.) plant are used for food & beverages.

Yes! All parts of the onion are edible, including the bulb, except the dried outer skin and roots. Roots and skin are boiled in stocks or soup & could be eaten, but the both are fibrous and not very palatable.

How long do onions last?

Learn about how long do onions or pyaz (Allium cepa Linn.) last in storage.

  • Fresh onions last for a month or so.
  • Peeled onions can be stored in the fridge for 10–14 days
  • Sliced or cut onions can be refrigerated for 7–10 days.
  • Freezing onions – To keep them even longer, freeze them in a resealable bag or airtight container.
  • Cooked onions can be stored for three to five days in your fridge or up to three months in your freezer.
  • Caramelized onions will last up to 10 days in your refrigerator or up to 4 months if frozen.

How do I store onions?

Learn about how to store onions or pyaz (Allium cepa Linn.).

Fresh onions are best stored in a cool, dry, dark and well-ventilated room, such as a pantry or cellar.

It is important to ensure proper ventilation to prevent molding and rotting. An open basket, bamboo steamer, mesh bag, netted bag will do for storage.

However, once an onion is peeled, it should be stored in the fridge to avoid bacterial contamination. To store peeled, diced, sliced or cut onions simply wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or keep them in a resealable bag.

To store cooked onions, simply place them in an airtight container or resealable bag within a few hours of cooking. If left outside for a long period, they may incubate bacteria.

Why avoid storing whole onions in a fridge?

Storing whole onions in the fridge exposes them to cold, humid conditions. Since they absorb moisture very easily, they may become mushy and spoil faster.

Pickled onions

Is there a substitute for onions?

Learn how to use a substitute for onions or pyaz (Allium cepa Linn.) if unavailable

If the recipe you want to make calls for an onion but you don’t have any, don’t worry. Here are the substitutes for an onion or pyaz.

  1. You can actually skip the onion. If you’re cooking a dish or a masala with a lot of other flavours, you probably won’t notice the lack of the background notes onion normally brings.
  2. Substitute with onion chives. Adding a handful of chopped chives at the end of cooking works really well for adding complex flavour without onions.
  3. Substitute with celery. Celery is an aromatic vegetables which add background flavours to soups, stews, slow cooked dishes & stocks. Substitute onions with celery in the same quantity.
  4. Use scallions. These have a midler, fresher flavour than regular onions & work surprisingly well anywhere you’d normally soften an onion in oil at the beginning of a dish.

Where do I buy onions?

Where to locate onions or pyaz (Allium cepa Linn.) in a grocery store?

Fresh onions will always be available in the vegetable produce section. You usually find baby onions  or sambar onions and whole onions alongside

Check the spice aisle for onion powder and even dehydrated fried onions. However, it may be better and cheaper to fry the onions or use them fresh for Indian recipes.

Buy an onion or pyaz products on Amazon: India | USA

What are the health benefits of an onion?

Learn more about health benefits of an onion or pyaz (Allium cepa Linn.)

Onions are extremely flavourful come with several impressive health benefits.

These nutrient-dense vegetables contain properties that can help to improve heart health, increase antibacterial properties and regulate blood sugars.

Adding more onions to your diet is a great way to benefit your overall health.

Read on to find out about the health benefits of an onion or health benefits of pyaz:

  1. Health benefits of an onion as an anticancer agent – Researchers have found that the risk of colorectal cancer was 79% lower in those who regularly consumed allium vegetables, such as onions. It seems that onions inhibit tumor growth and cell mutation.
  2. Health benefits of pyaz for skin & hair – As a good source of vitamin C, onions may support the building and maintenance of collagen. Collagen provides structure to skin and hair. Many Ayurvedic hair products use onion juice for hair growth.
  3. Health benefits of an onion for heart’s health – Onions are a rich source of flavonoids and thiosulfinates. The flavonoids in onion help in reducing bad cholesterol in your body and thiosulfinates are known to keep the consistency of the blood right.
  4. Health benefits of pyaz for bone health – According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), just one onion contains 25.3 mg of calcium. Calcium equals strong bones, so adding onions to your salad can build you build better bone health.
  5. Health benefits of an onion for immunity – According to a study published in the journal of Mediators of Inflammation, onion’s chemical composition is so strong that it helps in immune enhancement.
  6. Health benefits of pyaz for breathing – Onion is an anti-allergen & eating it has a relaxing effect on the muscles of the isolated trachea which helps the patients of asthma breathe easily.
  7. Health benefits of an onion for menopause – Consuming raw onion helps in easing postmenopausal symptoms due to the presence of calcium.
  8. Health benefits of pyaz for heart health – Onions increases circulation and improves tissue repair, which may be especially helpful for regenerating heart tissue in order to help fight heart attacks, heart disease and stroke.
  9. Health benefits of an onion as an antioxidant – Onions are an excellent source of antioxidants. In fact, they contain over 25 different varieties of flavonoid antioxidants. These antioxidants inhibit oxidation, a process that leads to cellular damage and contributes to diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
  10. Health benefits of pyaz against diabetes – Eating onions may help control blood sugar, which is especially significant for people with diabetes or prediabetes. Specific compounds found in onions, such as quercetin and sulfur compounds, possess anti-diabetic effects.
  11. Health benefits of an onion for digestive health – Onions are a rich source of fibre and prebiotics, which are necessary for optimal gut health. Onions are rich in the prebiotics inulin and fructooligosaccharides. These help increase the number of friendly bacteria in your gut and improve immune function.
  12. Health benefits of pyaz for for antimicrobial properties – For centuries, onions have been used to fight off dangerous bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). Quercetin, the flavonoid antioxidant found in onions, is responsible for this bacteria-fighting benefit.
  13. Health benefits of an onion for blood pressure – Onions contain anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce the onset of high blood pressure.
All About Onions | Know Your Vegetable & Spice Pyaz (Allium cepa L)
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Onion Powder Recipe | Homemade Onion Powder Recipe

Easy onion powder recipe that is totally homemade. Make onion powder at home so that you never fall short. A basic and simple dehydrated spice powder made by sun-drying the onion.
Course Condiment, Spice Powders
Cuisine World
Diet Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Homemade onion powder recipe, Make onion powder at home, Onion Powder, onion powder recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Drying Time 4 days
Total Time 4 days 5 minutes
Servings 10 Servings
Calories 10kcal
Author Sumit Malhotra

Ingredients

  • 1 kg Red onion
  • Sunshine vitamin

Instructions

  • Peel the skin off the onion and slice it thin.
  • Spread the sliced onions on a large plate or a cloth.
  • Keep it in the Sun to dry for 4 days or until it turns crisp. You can also place the fresh onion in an oven at 70 degree celsius to dry it faster.
  • Transfer the dried onions into a blender. Blend to a fine powder doing the blending twice.
  • Easy & simply homemade onion powder is ready to use.

Notes

  • Slice the onion as thin as possible. Thin onion slices get dried faster.
  • This onion powder will easily stay good for up to 6 months.
  • Store onion powder made with this homemade onion powder recipe in an airtight container in a dry area. Any moisture or humidity will lead to onion powder to clump.

Crispy fried onions recipe or beresta

What are the side effects of an onion or pyaz?

What are the risks associated with an onion or pyaz?

For some people with sensitive digestive tracts, onions may cause bloating, cramping, and gas.

Onion side effects can also include increased incidences of heartburn, in which stomach acid rises up into the esophagus.

FINALLY, TO SUM IT UP

All About Onions or Pyaz | Uses & Benefits of Pyaz

All about onions | know your vegetable & spice pyaz (allium cepa l. )

Onion (Allium cepa Linn.) also known as the bulb onion or common onion, is a vegetable that is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium.

The shallot is a botanical variety of the onion whereas scallions are young onion with green leaves.

Onion is a border­line case between spices & vege­tables. While they are used chiefly for flavour in some recipes, they play rather the role of a vegetable in others to add nutri­ents & volume.

Onion seems to origi­nate from West or Central Asia, but it reached the Mediterranean, in the cultivated state, several millennia ago. In Europe, it is known since the Bronze Age.

Onions are available in fresh, frozen, canned, caramelised, pickled, and chopped forms.

The dehydrated product is available as kibbled, sliced, ring, minced, chopped, granulated, and powder forms.

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