The sudden rise in onion prices in the city this week has irked the residents, who have been forced to cut down on consumption of the staple ingredient of a majority of dishes as prices have shot from `60 per kg to Rs. 80 per kg.
Malti Devi, a labourer who supports a family of six, said, "Every day, I cook food using only one onion. I use half for lunch and half for dinner."
The price hike has led to an increase in the rates of tiffin services and street foods.
Tiffin service provider Nikhil Batra said, "We had to increase rates from Rs. 40 per meal to Rs. 50 to cope with the rising prices of onions. Most of our customers are students, so we have increased the rates only marginally."
Street food vendors rued that they could not increase prices as most of their customers were labourers who could not shell out extra money.
Local vegetable hawkers' business too has been affected, with most deciding not to sell onions. However, according to shopkeeper Raju, only the local hawkers had to suffer.
Rita Rani, housewife, said she had cut her usual purchase of onions by 50%, adding that until prices came down, she would buy only one kg instead of the usual two, and use more tomatoes instead.
"Since the prices have gone up, we really need to think about what to eat and what not to eat," rickshaw-puller Jai Chandar said. "It is a real problem for us to meet ends. We now use only 250g over three days" he claimed.
However, while many residents expressed concern over the disruption of household budgets due to rising prices, some have taken to sowing onions in their backyards.
Plantsmen Seeds nursery storekeeper Harry Singh said, "The sale of onion seeds has increased by 60% as people have started sowing onions in their gardens due to steep hike in prices."