The Shallot (Allium ascalonicum) is a perennial plant that seldom produces seeds and therefore must be increased by division of its compound bulbs, which is made up of several bulblets or cloves held together at the base.
A sheath as in garlic does not encase the bulbs. The bulblets are planted in the same manner and at the same season, as are onion sets, each set developing into a compound set. The mature bulbs are harvested, cured and stored in the same manner as onions. In suitable storage, the bulbs keep from one season to next.
The flavor of shallots is somewhat milder than that of onion. The chief use is for flavoring curries; both leaves and cloves are used. Leaves are also consumed as green vegetable. Like their cousin`s onion and garlic this is also considered as non-vegetarian food in India. Most of the crop is produced for sale in the green state, but some dry bulbs are also used. They are also used for pickling.