So tasty and simple to caramelize the onion. We do it a little differently in Iran than in the western world. Be a little curious and find out how!
It is one thing to follow recipes, but in Persian cuisine, the tips from the family are essential. An example of this is when my mother told me how they used to fry onions in Iran before refrigerators. Our household in Iran was enormous, and we constantly had many diners – they bought sacks of onions. Peeled, shredded, and put everything on clean cloths under the sun; when the onion began to dry a little, they fried it and put it again on fabrics so that excess oil would drain off. Then they poured everything into large vessels, which were then stored in the coldest place in the house, so they had access to ready-fried onions during winter. Our household here in Sweden is not as big, and we have access to a fridge and freezer. Still, I have adopted just this by letting the onion dry before I fry it and store it in the refrigerator; in the absence of a lot of sunlight, I use the oven to dry the onion. It saves time, and less oil is needed for frying.
Onions are an ingredient in most Persian food recipes, so it is convenient to make many fried onions and have them available. It is much faster to fry the onion, and it caramelizes faster. Portion them and freeze, very convenient to take out one or two when a recipe calls for fried onion.
- Peel and cut the onion to the desired size
- Place it on a tray
- Let it air dry for a day or two at room temperature.
- Set the oven at 123° (F) and let the onion dry in the oven for about 1 hour.
- Pour some oil in a pan and when the oil reaches 248° (F), add the onion and fry them, constantly stirring for 5 – 10 minutes depending on how dark you want your onions.
- Pick up the onion and spread it on trays lined with a kitchen towel.
- Let it cool completely, portion, and store in refrigerator or the freezer.
90% of onion consists of water, and the remaining 10% is full of nutrients that are good for health. Have you wondered why we get tears in our eyes when we peel and cut onions? There are essential oils in the onion that cause it. (here you can also read more about the onion properties)