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Browning Onions in large batches

I've been prepping for a huge event at my daughter's school and honestly the most time consuming task is the browning of the onions. Indian food cannot taste authentic unless the onions are slowly and laboriously browned to that perfect point - the just before getting burnt stage.

Browning one or two onions takes about 15 minutes so not a big deal. But I'm talking about 100 onions. YES, you read right. 100 onions. If I actually decided brown 100 onions on the stove top, I may not have had time to sit down and write this post. But I have worked out a great method for browning onions in large batches and then freezing them. They freeze beautifully and in my opinion, taste even better after.

And this is where the magic of the slow cooker comes into action. I have a 3 step process:

1. Chop the onions

2. Slow cook the onions

3. Give the slow cooked onions a 10 minute stove top cook.

And that's it!! After this I can either use the onions right away or freeze them. The reason I cook the onions on the stove top after slow cooking them is to give them that reddish burnt look and also to evaporate all the water that gets released from the onions during slow cooking.

One other point - I only use red onions. I personally find them stronger and more flavorful and therefore perfect for all my Indian recipes. But please feel free to use any type of onion you prefer.

So here are the details:


8 large red onions (I use red onions but you could use any onion you prefer)

4-5 tbs oil (I use grape seed)

1 tsp salt


1. Chop the onions finely.

2. Place the onions in the slow cooker. Add in the oil and salt and mix thoroughly.

3. Slow cook the onions for 8 hours on High. Remove the cover for the last 2 hours.

4. Transfer the slow cooked onions to a large wok or pan and cook on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the water is evaporated and the onions are a shade darker.

5. Use immediately or freeze.

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