There are no onions in your favorite snacks.
“This place of kebab that frequents now has replaced onions with cabbage in salads. And the saddest thing is that my favorite panipuri vendor has stopped asking customers if they want onions while delivering bowls lately.
- Sudhanshu Ramteke, comedian of the city.
“An Indian restaurant recently served us cabbage and carrot julienne instead of the normal onion and nimboo dish. How weird!
- Chinmayi Bhambure, content creator, Pune
“So this restaurant served us marinated vinegar mooli. There were no signs of onion in the place. Too!
- Chetan Gusani, photographer, Mumbai
Most likely, you have already had a similar experience. While the price of onion, which had risen recently, has fallen a bit, vegetables and restaurant owners are replacing the vegetable with not-so-pleasant ingredients and the absence of it is leaving everyone with watery eyes. While diners complain about getting lost kanda in its bhajjis and salads; Restaurants and roadside joints are finding ways to save their money, either by stopping to sell items that need onions or simply replacing them with another ingredient.
My staff ordered bhajjis for our evening snack, and when I took the first bite of it, I thought something was off. I could only feel the taste of besan mixed with masalas like red chilli and coriander in my mouth. So I asked him what type of bhajji he had ordered. And he said, ‘Kanda bhajji.’ ‘But there’s no onion in this bhajji,’ I asked. To which he answered, ‘Kya Pata? Bahut mehenga hai karke nahin dala lagta hai.’ I am not having onion bhajjis until the prices are normal again," Urvi Bheda, an entrepreneur from Pune.
Gajendra Patil, an owner of a tea stall and bhajji centre in Aundh, says selling khanda bhajji after the prices went higher, was literally burning a hole in his pocket. Therefore, he decided to serve other snacks instead. “Kanda bajji banana abhi band kiya hai. Pyaaz kaafi mehenga ho gaya hai. For the last two weeks I have been serving vada pav and bread pakora as these dishes do not need onion in their preparation. We have been selling kanda bhajji for over 5 years now and people really enjoyed our bhajji with tea, but now we cannot afford to buy onions. Customers won’t pay us if we increased the price, which means that we would suffer loses. Hence, we are giving kanda bhajji a skip for a while,” says Gajendra. And, those ‘claiming’ be to still selling the snack are receiving a lot of flak from their customers. “Yes, we have cut down on the amount of onion we used in the bhajjis because of the price hike, but customers are being difficult. When they take a bite or two, they go like, ‘Yeh toh sirf besan hai, isme pyaaz kahan hain?’ We try to convince them that we have added onions, but they don’t listen to us,” says a concerned Vaibhav Bhalerao, a street vendor from FC Road.
Another option that these street vendors are opting for is to make cabbage pakoras instead of onion pakoras as cabbage is cheaper than the onion. “But who eats cabbage pakoras ? I am simply hating this version. They better start making what they made earlier, else nobody will come to their stall,” says Rachna Gandhi, an HR professional from Pimpri.
Students and young office goers who frequent to these eateries in Koregaon Park for their regular dose of egg bhurji and kanda pohe are disappointed that their favorite egg bhurji spots are making the bhurji without onion or adding cabbage leaves to it. To add to their woes, the generous garnishing of chopped onion on top is missing from their pohe. “What’s an egg bhurji without onions! It tastes incomplete, but the owner of the stall is adamant that he won’t use onions for the time being. After many arguments, although I have agreed to add onions, he is stern that he would charge extra for the ‘special’ egg bhurji. This is not fair. It sounds like ‘Itne paise mein itna hi milega!” Exclaims Sania Nalawade, student. Harish Sharma, who owns the eatery defends, “Buying onions in large quantities is getting tougher for us by the day. We have to curtain the use of onion in the snacks we serve. Customers should either understand or be willing to pay extra, ”he asserts. In fact, a pohe center in the area is now charging Rs 5 extra if you ask for pohe with an onion garnishing.
Many restaurants and restaurants buy onions in a wholesale market at a wholesale price, but currently, the market has a shortage of onions, therefore, a great shortage of supply and rising prices. This is forcing restaurant and restaurant owners to increase the price of dishes or, worse still, stop serving free onions.
“I am a regular customer at this hotel and, as a rule, they always served a plate full of chaat masala, sliced onion with lemon and the main course. When I visited the place last Monday, I was very surprised when the server gave me a plate full of radishes and thinly sliced lemons. When asked, he replied dryly: We have stopped giving customers free onions. My mood spoiled, says Deepak Rawat, an engineer who visits this restaurant in the camp area. When we talk to Veeral Dhumman, the restaurant owner to dig more, he says: “We have been serving our customers onions as free snacks for a long time, but we are no longer in a position to do so. . Around 300 people visit us every day, which means 300 onion dishes! I do not apologize for not serving you free onions. Clients get upset, but it's time for everyone to start thinking logically. ” Dhumman soon plans to post a notice at the entrance of his hotel that says: ‘There is no free WiFi. There are no free onions.
Rohini Apte and her friend Sailee Sane love to eat their panipuri with chopped onions with which the panipuri wallas would happily fill their bowls. But things are different now: they have not only stopped offering it, but they even refuse to give it even when requested. “We were waiting for the panipuri walla to give us the onions, but surprisingly it started first with the panipuri. We thought he could have forgotten it, but no, he did it on purpose. He informed us that he will not serve chopped onions until the prices of onions are normal. We insist but he refused. In fact, then we checked with some other vendors too, and they all really stopped giving onions for free. It breaks my heart, ”says Rohini.