With the indigenous variety of onions becoming unaffordable for the common Indian,the Egyptian variety is now flooding the markets in the state.
While Indian onions are sold at Rs 70 – 80 a kg,the Egyptian variety is sold at Rs 50 – 60 per kg. Under such circumstances,restaurants and homes are forced to look for cheaper options. Earlier,a plate of onions came free with Indian dishes served at restaurants. Now that is replaced by shredded cabbage.
Maharashtra,which is a major producer of onions and is also a neighbouring state,used to export onions to Gujarat. But due to the extended monsoon and heavy downpour,many onion farmers had to face losses,with onions rotting in waterlogged fields. To combat the shortage and meet the demand,wholesalers at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee in Surat started importing the onions from Egypt. Given their larger size than their Maharashtrian counterparts,these onions serve the purpose for stall owners and restaurants.
Farzana Saiyed,who is a teacher by profession,is however unhappy to use them in her kitchen. The imported onions are juicy,but tasteless. Indian onions are spicy and sweet at the same time. We generally use two to three onions in a curry,but now,we have to use seven onions to bring the flavour.