Native of Central or Southwest Asia, the powerful flavonoid antioxidants in shallots ‘Chote pyaz’ contribute to most of the health benefits like weight management, controlling blood sugar, allergies, skin, inflammation and oxidative stress issues amongst other potential health benefits.
Shallots ‘Chote pyaz’ have become an integral part of the Indian Kitchen, notably because of the health benefits but also because it adds to the flavour of the food. Shallots are also known as ‘small onion’ and ‘Madras onion’ in India.
Shallots are small and elongated type of onions. Shallots grow in clusters and have thinner peels as compared to onions. Shallots too can make your eyes water. They have a mild pungent flavour. Chote pyaz contains less water and is a rich source of iron.
Nutritional facts of Shallots
As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, 100 gm of shallots contains 72 kcal, 2.5 gm of proteins, 16.8 gm of carbohydrates, 0.1 gm of fat, 12 mg of sodium, 334 mg of potassium, 34 mcg of folates, 8 mg of vitamin C, 37 mg of calcium, 1.2 mg of iron, 21 mg of magnesium, 60 mg of phosphorus, 1.2 mcg of selenium, and 0.4 mg of zinc.
Potential Health Benefits of Shallots ‘Chote pyaz’
1/5. Treats Allergies
1. The antibacterial and antiviral properties possessed by chote pyaz help in treating several allergies and infections.
2. The high quercetin content of shallots helps lower nose and eye symptoms associated with seasonal allergies. Quercetin prevents the release of histamine and reduces the severity of inflammatory and respiratory reactions such as bronchitis, seasonal allergies, and allergic asthma.
2/5. Controls Diabetes
1. The phytochemical compounds allium and allyl disulfide present in chote pyaz possess anti-diabetic properties. They help in regulating the levels of blood sugar.
2. Shallots help in stimulating insulin secretion and improving insulin resistance
3. Shallots block the breakdown of insulin in the liver thus, increasing insulin amount in the blood and reducing blood glucose levels.
3/5. Lowers Cancer risk
1. Shallots possess strong anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. They restrict the growth of cancer cells and reduce cancer risk.
2. The ethyl acetate extracts of chote pyaz are potent in reducing the growth of cancer cells.
4/5. Lowers Blood pressure
1. The presence of antioxidants such as allicin and quercetin in chote pyaz possesses antihypertensive properties which aid in stabilizing the blood pressure.
2. The combination of potassium and allicin acts as a vasodilator which promotes the release of nitric oxide in the body, impacting the reduction of blood pressure.
3. The potassium content of shallots also helps in relaxing the blood vessel walls and in promoting free blood flow.
5/5. Other possible Benefits
Apart from the benefits mentioned above, some of the other benefits produced by shallots are, lowers cholesterol, soothes nerves, aids detoxification, fights obesity, maintains vision health, boosts immunity, improves skin health, enhances abdominal health, keeps hair healthy, improves blood circulation, improves heart health, enhances brain function, and maintains bone density.
Though mild in taste and flavour compared to onions, shallots can have mild side effects on some people like heartburn and acidity etc. According to Ayurveda, Garlic and different type of Onions can over stimulate Pitta ‘Fire’ constitution in the body.
How to add Shallots into the Diet?
Shallots can be easily incorporated into the diet. They can be consumed fresh, sauté, or roasted. Some of the ways by which chote pyaz can be added into the diet are as follows…
- Make a salsa.
- Top salads.
- Add them to soups.
- Add them to pastas.
- Add sliced shallots to pizza.
How to prepare Caramelised Shallots?
Take 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter and melt it into a sauté pan.
Take 4-5 peeled and fresh shallots with the roots intact and add it with 3 tablespoons of sugar. Toss it to coat evenly. Cook it over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes. Shallots shall start turning brown.
Take 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper and add it to the shallots. Toss it well.
Place the sauté pan in the oven and roast it for approximately 20 minutes. The shallots should be tender.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley and serve it hot.