Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions

Dips & Condiments


You know that moment when you are just in dire need of something sweet, salty, spicy and sour at the same time? And then you end up basically putting a little bit of everything and coming out of the kitchen with a stomach ache and an unsatisfied craving that still remains.

Here I have my own concoction for onions that just about satisfy that salty and sweet craving you need together. And it started with this innocent yet exotic bottle of pineapple and kaffir leaf jam I picked up from Bali on my honeymoon. Although it isn’t my favourite on toast, I couldn’t let go off it. It sat there in my fridge staring at me for weeks, urging me to make use of it somehow. Last week, I had another one of my cravings of this amazing sandwich I ate at a small little joint in Boston, which was more famed for its desserts. I ordered a caramelized onion jam, apple and gorgonzola on slices of rye. The outcome was a deliciously creamy, pungent and sweet taste that lingered on my mouth far longer than necessary. I left the cafe without indulging on any of its famous desserts.

So, I had to recreate this magical moment. And this pineapple jam called out to me.

There are countless of recipes for caramelized onions, each one bringing out it’s own uniqueness; but the basic formula is onions + sweetener + spice + tang!

I used onions, olive oil, a pat of butter, a few tablespoons of the jam, a hint of Dijon mustard and a splash of balsamic vinegar, followed by pepper and rosemary. Et voila! As you sauté these together, a wonderful sweet and spicy aroma should fill your kitchen.

I served this in mini tarts with some blue cheese and it made for an absolutely divine appetizer. It gave the perfect balance to the taste buds. You can also serve it on mini crackers, toast, or pair in sandwiches with cheeses, fruit or meat. And with the leftovers, I added in crushed pecans (you can use walnuts too), a few spoons of cream cheese and sour cream (or hung curd) and you get yourself a smashing new dip to serve at game night!

You can substitute the pineapple jam with any other flavoured jam, or simply a few spoons of sugar (white or brown), and you can also use any herbs you like, although my best bet is either rosemary or thyme.

The Recipe


  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 2-3 large tablespoons of jam
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of rosemary or thyme
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • salt + pepper to taste


  • Saute the onions in olive oil and butter until translucent.
  • Then add the jam, mustard and balsamic vinegar with the herbs and cover for 7 to 8 minutes.
  • Stir occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and add pepper generously.
  • Let cool before using.
  • To make as a dip:
  • Add a few tablespoons of cream cheese and a cup of sour cream or hung curd.
  • Sprinkle chopped walnuts or pecans and mix.
  • Serve cold with lavash, chips or crudités.

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The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.