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Baby Onions

I picked up a pack of small baby sized Onions over the weekend grocery errand. As I loaded the grocery bags in the car, I couldn’t amaze as how far I have traveled – in my head of course. From childhood, I have always been a picky eater. And being born and brought up in a household were onions never made to the biweekly grocery list, I couldn’t but marvel that I am more than willing to cook ‘onions only’ dish for lunch.

Places, people, surroundings, events have heavily influenced me over the last decade. Now married in a family where onion finds its way in everyday food, I think it is quite natural to adapt. And so my sudden decision to make Eerulli HuLi is probably born out of that subconscious acceptance. Having said that, I want to mention that there is nothing against the bulb that prevented me from cooking it in last few years but rather Onion wasn’t something I couldn’t do without in my daily meals. And now after having started using onions in small ways, I relish the flavor and aroma it adds to my dishes. It is rightly said – Innocence is a bliss but ignorance is a crime.

EeruLLi HuLi is my first HuLi post on Phulka. Unlike Saaru, HuLi is prepared using vegetable(s). EeruLLi is Kannada for Onions and pyaaj in hindi. I chose Onions as my vegetable for HuLi as onions have a sharp taste, remain as a whole in HuLi after cooking and tastes great with rice. It is simply an excellent dish that just needs a couple of whistles to be ready.

Rice and yellow Toor lentil

 Peeling baby onions to be cooked

Eerulli HuLi with mustard tempering

  • Preparation Time: None
  • Cooking Time: 10 – 15 min
  • Recipe Level:  Easy
  • Serves 4
  • Source: Amma
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • 2 medium cup of Toor daal or yellow lentils 
  • 1 bag of baby onions
  • 2 tbsp of HuLi pudi or sambhar powder 
  • 1 tbsp of tamarind concentrate
  • 1 tsp of mustard
  • 2 – 3 red dried chillies
  • 1 string of curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Soak toor daal in a bowl for 20 min or so.
  • Peel the baby onions and keep aside.
  • In a pressure cooker, add the soaked daal, peeled onions, 2 cups of water and cook until 3 – 4 whistles. Turn off heat.
  • After cooker calms down, add 1 cup of water, tamarind, HuLi pudi (or Sambhar powder), salt and mix.
  • Turn on the gas and let the HuLi mix boil for another 5 min.
  • Turn off the gas.
  • For tempering, heat oil in a laddle.
  • When oil is hot enough, add curry leaves, mustard and red chillies. 
  • Immediately add this tempering to HuLi.
  • Add cilantro for added flavor (optional)
  • Serve HuLi bisi bisi (hot) with rice. Chips, Chakli add the much needed crunchiness to the meal.
Serve Eerulli HuLi with rice

Mad Notes:
  • Add 2+ cups of water when boiling toor daal to ensure it completely dissolves
  • Instead of HuLi pudi you can use MTR Sambhar powder too
  • Add large spoons of pudi so as to get red brown dark color of HuLi
  • Boil HuLi long enough so that HuLi pudi in inseparable from the daal.