in pumpkin gravy, anyone? How about
cooked without any onions? Well, this is what you are likely to be served the next time you eat out. Many eateries in Delhi are tweaking recipes to reduce losses owing to the skyrocketing prices of onion and tomato.
“Even our suppliers who have annual contracts with us have put pressure on us to pay more. To save costs, we have replaced onion gravy with curd, tomato puree and pumpkin puree,” says chef Mahendra Khairiya of Kothi Mem. “We are using grated pumpkin in some Indian recipes that lends the sweetness of onions to the dishes.
We have also stopped serving accompaniments, such as onion jams or vinegared onion. Also, while planning multi-course buffet menus, we are opting for Oriental and European courses since onions are an integral part of Indian cusine,” says chef Shibhu TP of Forgetful Elephant. “We are not using onion and tomato for garnishing,” says Karan Ahluwalia, manager, Double Decker Bar.
Some restaurants have increased their party order prices to make up for losses. Sumit Gulati, owner, Spice Market says, “We have not increased à la carte rates but party order rates have shot up by 10%.” Despite that, he says the profit margin has gone down by 6%.
Those who haven’t made any changes, say they are facing losses. “We face losses upto 15% because we don’t want to cut down on the use of these ingredients,” says Samir Chawla, owner, Blues Cafe. “In just a few months, wholesale onion rates jumped from Rs.8 to to Rs.50 per kg. Tomato that came for Rs.10 is now for Rs.30 per kg. As I am still using the same quantity of both the vegetables in my kitchen, my profits have dropped by nearly 15%,” says Ashfaque Ahmed, owner of Al Kausar.