Best Indian Onion Relish Recipe (Vegan)

Updated on December 23, 2019
kgala0405 profile image

Kevin has many interests, including electronics, photography, the idea of personalities (he's an INTJ), fragrances, and cooking.

Indian Onion Relish
Indian Onion Relish

Onion Relish

This is a recipe that many may look at and wonder how it could ever taste good. The lemon juice in this relish counters the onion flavor beautifully to create a very delicious dish. This relish is perfect for any curry night with friends and family. You will want to have naan bread or popadums available for your guests to dip into this, or you could simply add it to your meal as a condiment.

This is a very basic dish that is a great appetizer prior to your main meal. Its tart spiciness pairs well with a tangy raita with cucumber. These two simple dishes can be combined to make for an excellent appetizer.

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: 1 cup of relish


  • 1 red onion
  • 1 lemon
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika


  1. Dice your red onion into small pieces. If you would rather, you can slice into thin pieces. It is important that your onion pieces are very small or very thin. (See note below on how to cut the onion without crying.)
  2. As an optional step, you can soak the onion or squeeze the onion as mentioned below to reduce its potency.
  3. Place onion in a bowl and squeeze the juice of one lemon over the onion.
  4. Mix the lemon juice into the onion. Make sure all of the onion has been coated in the juice. I find my fingers work best for this part.
  5. Now add your paprika and cayenne pepper. Mix again.
  6. If you would like, you can garnish with a lemon wedge. Once done, this relish should be served right away.

Step-by-Step Visual Guide

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Ingredients: red onion, lemon juice, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Dice your onion and place into a bowl.Squeeze the juice from one lemon over the onion.Add the paprika and cayenne pepper.The completed Indian onion relish.
Ingredients: red onion, lemon juice, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
Ingredients: red onion, lemon juice, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
Dice your onion and place into a bowl.
Dice your onion and place into a bowl.
Squeeze the juice from one lemon over the onion.
Squeeze the juice from one lemon over the onion.
Add the paprika and cayenne pepper.
Add the paprika and cayenne pepper.
The completed Indian onion relish.
The completed Indian onion relish.

Indian Onion Relish

3.7 stars from 35 ratings of Onion Relish
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 Cup
Calories 16
Calories from Fat0
% Daily Value *
Carbohydrates 4 g1%
Sugar 1 g
Fiber 2 g8%
Protein 1 g2%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

How to Chop Onions Without Crying

When you cut an onion, a gas is released from the vegetable that causes many people to cry. Here are a few quick and easy ways to avoid crying when you cut an onion.

  • Cut the onion under water.
  • Place the onion in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to cutting.
  • Use a very sharp knife. A clean slice prevents the onion from getting crushed.
  • Light a candle nearby. The flame will draw in the gas.

Calming a Potent Onion

Soaking in Cold Water

If you find that the onions are just too strong and you want to take some of the spicy bite out of them, simply soak the onions in cold water for about 15 minutes. This will make your onions taste milder. This recipe calls for a red onion, which is generally more sweet and mild, so you may not need to do this.

Pressing and Squeezing

If you don't want to soak your onions, you can also press your onions between two paper towels and try to squeeze some of the juice from them. I find this to be more troublesome, and it takes the crunch out of the onion as well.

Soaking in Saltwater

If you would rather have very mild onions that are sweeter, you can soak the onions in saltwater. Try using about 1/4 teaspoon of salt for every cup of water. This method will make your onions sweet, and they won't leave a lasting flavor in your mouth. This is the best method if you are planning to serve this dish at a party, since many people will feel uncomfortable or feel worried about having onion breath.

Lemon Juice Will Help!

Lemon juice also minimizes the onion's intensity. The lemon juice cuts the spicy bite from the onion very well. I encourage you to try this recipe without using the above methods to reduce the potency of the onion; you may be pleasantly surprised by how well the lemon accompanies the raw onion flavor.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Jaya Sanghita profile image

      Sanghita Chatterjee 

      6 years ago from Kolkata

      Thank you for sharing this recipe! Its simple and the tips are very useful too!!!

    • rebeccamillar profile image

      Rebecca Millar 

      6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      I am definitely going to try this the next time I make a curry, thanks for sharing

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      6 years ago from Beautiful South

      This looks delicious. I'll try it because it is simple and I'm always looking for new ways to use onion. My late mother-in-law once said that she was surprised that I didn't put onions in my vanilla pudding. Voted up.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      7 years ago from the beautiful south

      I can't wait to try this. I love red onion and it seems there are no options of fixing it but you have given us one. Thanks you!

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 

      8 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      I will try this sound very tasty!

    • theclevercat profile image

      Rachel Vega 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Is that it? Every time I go to the Indian restaurant I eat this, and I always thought they was more to it. Thanks and voted useful!

    • BlondHairBlueEyes profile image


      8 years ago from Aventura, Florida

      Always looking for new recipes. This sounds fun to make, can't wait to try it!

    • Teresa Coppens profile image

      Teresa Coppens 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Kevin, your relish looks delicious. Thanks for the tip for reducing tears when cutting onions. There are times when cutting white onions I can barely finish the job for all the tears I'm wiping away!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)