This post is a part of a series called #Blessed, an effort to recognize a blessing in every day.
I know, I KNOW. I’ve been the girl who complained about onions forever, and here I am recognizing onions as an actual blessing. A few months ago, I would’ve considered this a defeat. But onions, in all their smelly and tearjerking non-glory, should be given their due.
First, you must understand, I have a history of sorts with onions.
Any time I’d call in an order for a burger at a local restaurant on my way home from school, I’d say, “No onions, please.” The guy on the other line would say, “They’re grilled onions.” And I’m thinking, I don’t care. Onions and I do not mix. This exchange happened every time I ordered from this place, no exaggeration.
Burgers, my beloved papdi chaat, you name it—I didn’t want onions in it. If onions made their way into something I ordered, my entire mood would be thrown off and my appetite totally lost. Granted, I was being pretty stubborn, but that onion taste and smell lingers in your food and mouth man, and it’s simply not good. It’s one of the worst downers, you’re looking forward to eating that dish you specifically paid for to not have onions in it, and then you bite into a ring of that vegetable (if you failed to inspect it thoroughly upon receipt). Even the fact that onions played a role in one of my childhood favorite books, Holes, was a little bit of a downer.
So why recognize onions as a blessing? I’ve come to realize Desi food owes a lot of its awesome taste to onions. I secretly always knew this, but didn’t want to admit it. I would joke how I’d never use onions when I had to cook. My sister-in-law would laugh and give me this look like, Yeah okay…we’ll see.
Oh, how the turn tables…
Last week, I fried a bunch of onions for the SECOND time in my life. I wouldn’t be surprised if my carpet still boasts of the stench. Today, I used not one—but two—onions in the dinner I made. Yes, it was smelly, but you know what? The food tastes great, Alhamdulillah. (All of that credit goes to my mom, by the way, who gives impeccable instructions over the phone on how to cook stuff.)
While I still order my burgers without onions, I do understand now that onions are a blessing and a requirement for most of the other dishes I deem my favorites. Alhamdulillah, I came around somewhat. And if you wanna know a little secret: I’ve always loved to sprinkle lots of fried onions on my haleem growing up. Darn things…had me all along didn’t they?