In Season: Spring Onions
Even though you get them throughout the year, Spring Onions are in season now there is something special about using vegetables in their right season. Spring onions so often get treated as just a garnish or a passing addition to ‘Chinese’ dishes, it’s a little sad. Especially when they can play such a great starring role.
Here are some dishes in which they absolutely shine:
Patte Wale Pyaz ki Sabzi
Also called Hare Pyaz ki Sabzi, it couldn’t be simpler or more flexible. You could use ginger and garlic or skip them, you could add potatoes too if you like. In it’s simplest version, chop up a bunch or two of spring onions, green and white parts as well (or skip the white parts for a variation). Heat some oil in a pan, add a tsp of Cumin seeds and let them crackle and pop. If adding ginger and garlic, add them at this stage and fry till fragrant. Add salt to taste, 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp of chili powder, and a pinch of garam masala (optional). If parboiled potatoes, add them at this point, cover and cook for a 3-4 minutes. Add the spring onions, stir and cook covered for 3- 4 minutes or until the spring onions wilt.
Asian style Spring Onion Pancakes
Very similar to a paratha, served with soy or other dipping sauces. Golden, crisp and perfect for breakfast or a snack. Add grated cheese along with the spring onions for an extra indulgent treat.
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 cup warm Water
Salt to taste
1 bunch Spring Onions, chopped, green parts only
Soy Sauce, sweet chili sauce or any sauce for dipping
Mix the flour with cup water until it forms a dough and keep kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Coat the dough lightly with oil and leave it to rest in a bowl with a damp cloth over it for 15 – 30 mins.
Divide the dough into 8 – 10 equal parts. Lightly oil the surface you will use to roll the dough out. Roll out one of the dough balls until quite thin. Sprinkle some of the spring onions and some salt on the surface of the dough and then use your fingers to start rolling the dough into a tube with the onions inside. Roll the tube into a spiral, flatten slightly and roll it out into a roti sized disk.
Heat a tava or a frying pan and lightly oil it. Place the pancake disk on the hot pan and cook for about 2 mins on each side or until golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Use a pizza cutter or scissors to cut the pancake into wedges and serve with dipping sauces.