We use lot of onions or shallots (we call them as Sambar onions) in our cooking but due to their short shelf life could not buy more than necessary for a week.
In this instructable I have explained how you can make spiced onion balls and sun-dry them for long time storage.
Step 1: Ingredients
- 250 grams of Onions. Here I have used shallots
- 3/4th cup of husked Black Gram Lentils
- 15 pieces of Garlic cloves
- 12 to 15 pieces of dried Red Chillies
- A bunch of Curry Leaves
- 2 teaspoons of Fenugreek seeds
- 2 teaspoons of Mustard seeds
- 3 teaspoons of Cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon of Asafoetida powder
- One tablespoon of cooking oil
Step 2: Soak and Grind Black Gram Lentils
- Soak the Black Gram lentils in water for about 30 minutes
- After soaking, drain out the water and make a rough paste using a mixer-grinder. Do not add any water while grinding
- Transfer the paste to a large bowl and keep aside
Step 3: Prepare Other Ingredients
- Remove dry skin from shallots. If you are using onions, then you can chop them into large pieces
- Shuck Garlic and remove stems from the bunch of curry leaves
Step 4: Rough-grind Other Ingredients
- Add dried Red Chillies, Fenugreek seeds, Cumin seeds, Mustard seeds, Asafoetida powder, curry leaves and Garlic cloves to the mixer-grinder and make a rough paste
Step 5: Make Onion Paste
- Add shallots or onions to the rough paste in the mixer jar and once again roughly grind so that the shallots are finely chopped
- Transfer the mix from grinder to the bowl where we have kept the grind black gram lentils
Step 6: Make Onion Balls
- Add cooking oil to the bowl and mix all ingredients together to form a uniform paste
- Take lemon sized mix in your hand, shape into a ball and keep in a metal plate
Step 7: Sun-dry the Onion Balls
- Keep the onion balls in the sun. In about 4 to 5 days, the onion balls will be fully dried.
- You can store the onion balls in an air-tight container for a very long time. Add few grains of sea salt to the container to keep the balls fresh
- Whenever you want to season a dish, just break a ball, fry it in oil and add to the dish.
Seasoning with dried onion balls tastes as good as freshly prepared ingredients and also saves lot of time while cooking