The Uses and Health Benefits of Black Salt
Black…salt? Yup, you read that right. Black salt is a thing. A wonderful, flavourful, healthy thing. Gone are the days where every pantry contained super-salty iodized table salt. We are officially in an era of rainbow salts, from pink to grey, to blue, to—you guessed it—black!
Benefits of black salt
Black salt, also known as kaala namak, bire noon, or Himalayan black salt, among other names, is a volcanic rock salt commonly used in South Asian cuisine (not to be confused with black lava salt, which is Hawaiian in origin). Made from Himalayan pink salt mixed with herbs and spices heated to high temperatures and aged inside charcoal containers, black salt becomes a very dark brown to violet colour due to the reaction with iron and other minerals. Once ground down, it takes on a lovely rich pink hue and has a unique pungent, savory, umami smell and taste that imparts a complex flavour profile.
Black salt has been used and celebrated in Ayurvedic medicine for millennia. It is considered a cooling spice and is often relied on as a digestive aid and remedy for gastric disturbances, particularly bloating, wind, and heartburn. In some parts of India, it is even used to help with thyroid issues. Black salt has a lower sodium content than table salt, making it an excellent choice for those reducing their intake for health reasons. Black salt is reported to have a positive alkalinizing effect on the body, and can help support healthy muscle function and contraction, thus lessening cramps and spasms thanks to its high potassium content.
Using black salt in recipes
Black salt is one of the key ingredients in chaat masala, an Indian spice blend of hot and tangy flavours often used as a garnish or finishing spice, and it is often added to chutneys, salads, and other savoury dishes. Black salt’s unique and subtly sulfuric umami essence makes it a popular condiment amongst vegans and vegetarians to suggest the flavour of eggs. You can season tofu, avocado, or chickpeas with black salt to make delicious, eggless “eggy” dishes, such as “egg” salad, scrambled “egg” breakfast wraps, or tofu “egg” scramble. It can even be added to summer beverages like lemonade or iced tea for a unique flavour twist, or used as a tasty topping for popcorn or kale chips. You could even try using a dash of black salt in our smoked paprika hummus.
This is not your run-of-the-mill salt! Experiment and have fun!
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