The soaring prices of onions in India have led to crimes, protests and debates across the country. The per kg cost of onions continues to retail above Rs 100 and with no sign of depreciation, there's a sense of anxiety in common people who rely on the staple kitchen ingredient for their daily preparations.

Cooking without onions, especially in Indian cuisine, is facing as if facing a nightmare. Preparations without onions not only lack taste and flavour but also to add volume and bulk to specific dishes like gravy. But the skyrocketing prices of onions in India is forcing people to look for substitutes that can save up on expenses.

Onion price in India is retailing between Rs 100 and Rs 200.

It is a proven fact that no substitute can ever place the original, but in most cases, alternatives do come close to the real deal if done right. In the case of onions, it is extremely hard to replace the staple food ingredient, but the rising prices of the vegetable aren't favouring many kitchens in India. Here are a few kitchen hacks that can help you replace onions in your daily preparations.

Onion alternatives for youPixabay

Cheaper alternatives to onions


Fresh chives belong to the onion and garlic family, which can serve as a suitable alternative to add flavour to your dishes. Although chives won't taste exactly like onions, they have a mild flavour. They cannot be used in your dishes the way onions can be, but chives need to be added towards the end of the preparations to avoid destroying the flavour.


Another substitute to onions with a mild taste matching that of its expensive alternate are leeks. The white base and stem of leeks can be consumed and it can be used for baking and braising. Leeks are mostly used in preparations of soups and salads.

LeeksImage by congerdesign from Pixabay


Instead of using alternative veggies to replace onions, a few kitchen hacks can come in handy. For instance, adding besan to your gravy can do the function of onions to increase volume and thickness. But one must make sure the gram flour is prepared while cooking without allowing besan to form lumps. Besan has an indistinctive taste that can add flavour to your food preparations.

Ginger Garlic paste

While it's hard to replace the taste and aroma of onions, using ginger garlic paste can add be used to substitute onions in most of your preparations. Everything from gravy to chutney can be accentuated with the use of ginger garlic paste, which is readily available in stores. Comparatively, ginger garlic paste can be a cheaper alternative to onions.

Ginger garlic paste can replace onions in many ways
Ginger garlic paste can replace onions in many waysImage by Shutterbug75 from Pixabay


Curd has its own distinctive taste, which can be used in gravy preparations to give a tangy taste and thick base. Curd is commonly used in some preparations, but with the soaring prices of onions, it might save you some expenses.


Freshly prepared cream can do wonders to your dishes, especially gravy. It adds volume and has a strong aroma to lift your senses. Match it with the right palette of spices and you'd be able to avoid onions.