What is Persian shallot?
Persian shallot, a bulb producing plant from Alliaceae is an Asian species of onion native to central and southwestern Asia.
It is a wildly growing plant collected for its bulbs. Bulbs of Persian shallot, called “Mooseer” in Farsi, are oval, white skinned, usually of one and rarely of two main bulbs and are completely different from common shallot (Allium ascalonicum).
Uses of Persian shallot
- Bulbs of Allium stipitatum are eaten in Iran, where they are called mooseer or in English ‘Persian shallot’.
- Mooseer is a nutritive plant with special taste and its dried bulb slices are used as an additive to yogurt and also pickling mixtures. Its powder is used as a tasty additive or spice for foods in Iran.
- Buyers soak the shallots for a number of days then boil them to obtain a milder flavour. They are often crushed and mixed with yogurt. Iranians enjoy yogurt in this way, especially in restaurants and kebab-saras where just kebabs are served.
Medicinal Use of Persian shallot
Researchers believe the antibacterial properties extracted from the Persian shallot could increase the effects of existing antibiotic treatment.
Shallomin, the active antimicrobial constituent of Persian shallot, is effective in treatment of patients who developed cold sore within the previous 24 hours. 0.5% shallomin led to a clearance of the sores after five to six hours following hourly topical application with no significant side effects and with a minimal crust or scab formation.
It is cytotoxic toward human tumour cell lines, and highly active against fungi and Gram-negative bacteria. Pyrithione-containing plant extracts are used in herbal medicine for treatment of malaria.
Nutritional Value of Persian Shallot
In addition, it has crucial medicinal effects; The mean dry matter of Mooseer was higher (36.71%) than other alliums except garlic. Mooseer was rich in Cu as well as Zn and Mn elements. Also, its linolenic acid and linoleic acid were higher than common shallot and onion. As some of the edible vegetable alliums such as mooseer are indigenous (native and endemic) to Iran, and do not exist in other parts of the world, their conservation is become imperative.