Select a sharp knife. Before you begin, peel off the layer of papery skin as you can. Pull off any hairy roots, too. Place the onion on a chopping board and cut into halve using a sharp knife. Place one Madras onion halve flat on the chopping board and make thin/ thick slices lengthwise. Holding all the slices together, chop at regular intervals horizontally (approximately 1/2 inch in diameter) to get chopped shallots. If the recipe calls for finely chopped, then make smaller pieces.
· They can be used the same way as brown skinned and pickling / baby onions, but, because they have a more subtle flavour, are preferred by those preparing French cuisine.
· Due to its high pungency a raw shallot has a more pronounced taste than an onion. When a shallot is sautéed, the sugars caramelize. This gives the shallots a sweeter taste than an onion.
· Finely sliced deep-fried shallots are used as a condiment in Asian cuisine.
How to store shallots, Madras onions
In general, shallots are easy to store with excellent storage properties. Shallots prefer a cool, dry place such as the vegetable drawer of the fridge, the cellar, a shed or utility room. Do not store shallots in a plastic bag; good air circulation is very important. If kept dark and dry, shallots can be stored for many weeks. Peeled, whole shallots can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to a week.
Health benefits of shallots, Madras onions
are a very valuable source of vitamin C
– the immune building vitamin. Along with other phytonutrients from onions, it helps to build WBC (white blood cells)
which serves as a line of defence against illness. Yes, it’s a source of many antioxidants
, the most important one amongst them being Quercetin. The quercetin in Onions promotes production of HDL (good cholesterol) and lowers total cholesterol
in the body. The sulphur in onions act as a blood thinner and prevents blood clotting too. This in turn would lower blood pressure
and good for heart
. Read the benefits of onions