Some eateries take onion dishes off the menu


The rising cost of onions — the kitchen staple is retailing at anywhere between ₹115 and ₹135 per kg — is already making its impact felt across households and commercial establishments. Several hotels said it was becoming a stress point in the industry, with some choosing to cut down on their usage or pulling out items such as onion dosas from the menu.

Chandrashekhar Hebbar, president, Karnataka Regional Hotels and Restaurants’ Association, said that this time around, the industry was feeling it all the more given the general economic slowdown. “We cannot afford to raise the prices of items on the menu as business is already tough. Most hotels have a standard recipe and the cooks are often not comfortable deviating from it. This has hit our profit margins,” he said.

Some hotels are taking to drastic measures like dropping items from the menu altogether. “Dishes that rely heavily on onions are no longer viable,” Mr. Hebbar added. Shubha Rao, a homemaker from Bengaluru, said onions were a staple at her house and no day goes without using it. “I used to buy three kg every week. Now, it has come down to one kg. I may be forced to stop using it completely,” she said.

Owners of small businesses, not just in Bengaluru but across Karnataka, are especially hard hit. Rani, who runs a paying guest for students in Hassan, purchases bulk vegetables at the weekly market. “I may have to stop using onions for some time. I can’t afford to buy them,” she said.

Chaat and street food vendors are also in a similar position. Chaat vendor Bhavesh, who has been operating in Bengaluru for over two decades, said: “Onions are an integral part of all items we sell and we cannot do without it. For now, we have increased the quantity of carrots in the mix.”

Indira Canteens affected

The quantity of onions used in food prepared for Indira Canteens has come down. “We cannot stop using them completely, as it is a primary ingredient. We have reduced the quantity of onions. What’s worse is that the quality of the produce is not good and a lot goes to waste as we can only use two to three layers,” said Indira Canteen food caterers.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 6:53:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/some-eateries-take-onion-dishes-off-the-menu/article30100429.ece

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