Hyderabad: Rising onion prices make consumers cry

Vegetable sold atRs 60-70 per kg in retail market.

Hyderabad: Restaurants and smaller eateries have stopped serving onions to customers as onion prices have shot up. The complimentary serving of onions with certain dishes is a thing of the past.

Ibrahim Khan of Madina Hotel confirmed that “all hotels have stopped serving onion salad as a complimentary item because the price has shot up to Rs 65-70 per kg and food businesses like ours mostly cater to the middle class.” But, he adds, “We notice that the warehouses are full, and the middlemen have dumped the stock to accelerate the price to make more profit.” Since onion prices often go up in the month of December, maybe stocks are being held back to sell when the demand is higher, he added.

Onion is one of the most important ingredients in almost all types of Indian cuisine. “We cannot avoid it or minimise its use when cooking commercially. We use a minimum of 400 kg of onions per month, and in the peak wedding season, the consumption will be double,” said Mr Vincent of Grace Caterers. “Since the last few weeks there is not much supply in the market. The traders are saying 'maal nahe hai', the stock is not available. As there was a sudden shooting up of prices, onion farmers harvested the crop before its time. Now that onion is oozing water in storage and rotting. We heard that around four loads of onion was dumped in the garbage in Malakpet market because it was rotten,” said the owner of Khinoor Wholesale Kirana store in Begum Bazaar.

The ordinary household is badly affected too. “This time onions are bringing real tears to the eyes of customers. If these high rates go on, we will need to discover new culinary skills - cooking without onions,” said Sheetal, a homemaker.

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