The shallot, also called "multiplier onion", is a variety of the onion, Allium cepa L. var. aggregatum. Formerly classified as the species A. ascalonicum, a name now considered a synonym of the correct name.
Food features:Like garlic, shallots are formed in clusters of offsets with a head composed of multiple cloves. Their skin color can vary from golden brown to gray to rose red, and their off-white flesh is usually tinged with green or magenta. Shallots are much favored by chefs because of their firm texture and sweet, aromatic, yet pungent, flavor.
Place of origin:Shallots probably originated in Central or South-East Asia, traveling from there to India and the eastern Mediterranean. The name "shallot" comes from Ashkelon, an Israeli city, where people in classical Greek times believed shallots originated.
Dietotherapy function:The shallot is widely used in the southern part of India. In the Kannada language it is known as 'Chikk-Eerulli' and used extensively in snacks, salads, curries and rice varieties. It is called 'Chuvannulli' in Malayalam and is used in Sambar (a tamarind-flavoured lentil soup) and different types of kuzhambu (curry).