Kala Namak has been sought after for hundreds of years in the Asian countries surrounding the Himalayan Mountains. This salt was originally harvested from volcanic mines in Northern India or what is now Pakistan as well as from the salt lakes found in the Great Indian Desert. Those natural environments produced salt that was naturally sulphuric.
Today, this salt comes from the same areas but is halite ( a salt specific to northern India and Pakistan) that is kiln-dried with Indian gooseberry and other fruit wood which gives it a specific sulphuric flavor. When the salt comes out of the kilns, the outside of the salt is black. Hence, the name Himalayan Black Salt. The inside of the salt remains the pink associated with salt from that part of the world.
What does Kala Namak Taste Like?
Like any other salt, Kala Namak is mainly composed of sodium chloride. It also contains traces of iron sulfide, sulfur compounds, and acidic bisulfites.
- Sodium Chloride gives this salt its salty taste.
- Iron sulfide provides a distinct egg taste.
- Acid bisulfite adds a slightly sour taste to this salt.
Overall, Kala Namak is a bold and distinct salt that is used to add an extra layer of flavor.
Kala Namak Uses
Traditionally, Kala namak is used throughout Bangladesh, Napel, India, and Pakistan for chaats, chutneys, salads, raitas, as well as sprinkled on fruit. We suggest using it sparingly.
Kala Namak has recently become popular in western counties as an ingredient in vegan cooking. It can be added to tofu or other vegan ingredients to create an eggy flavor.
Kala Namak is also the main ingredient in the spice blend Chaat Masala, which is a spice blend in India used to flavor many different snacks, beverages, and condiments.
Use this salt to heighten other flavors in dishes rather than add a salty flavor.
Tips for Using Kala Namak
- Add to your barbecue sauce to enhance the sweet, sour, and spicy flavors
- Sprinkle on top of deviled eggs for an extra oomph of savory egg flavor
- A pinch of Kala Namak in your next pitcher of lemonade will enhance the sweetness and tart balance
- Do not use Kala Namak as a substitute for salt as it will not provide the salty flavor needed
The Story of Kala Namak
Toast cumin over low heat until it becomes fragrant.
Blend together until smooth and frothy.
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