Indian black salt, also called Kala Namak or Sanchal, is a type of Indian volcanic rock salt that is commonly found in dishes in India, Pakistan, and other Asian countries. The “black” salt is actually pinkish-gray due to the presence of iron and other minerals. Indian black salt has a very distinctive sulfur odor that is often compared to hard-boiled egg yolks. Its health benefits are numerous, according to Ayurvedic medicine, but the claims are largely anecdotal as no scientific research has been carried out on the Indian black salt to date. Consult a naturopath or Ayurveda practitioner about the potential health benefits of black salt.
Black salt – origin and use
Indian black salt is known by many names, including Himalayan black salt, Sulemani Namak, and Kala Loon. The original sodium chloride is heated to extremely high temperatures and mixed with Indian spices and herbs, including the seeds of the Harad fruit, which contains sulfur. It contains traces of sulfates, sulfides, iron and magnesium, all of which contribute to the color, smell and taste of the salt.
Indian black salt has been used as a spice in Asian countries around the Himalayan mountains for many centuries. It was originally extracted from either natural mines in northern India and Pakistan or the surrounding salt lakes of Sambhar or Didwana. Traditionally, the salt was processed using heat, charcoal, and plant matter, resulting in a dark crystal that was rich in sulfide. The traditionally produced salt is also rich in iron and many other minerals. Modern manufacturing processes can produce the salt synthetically, which is similar to the traditional form but has less mineral content.
Types of black salt
There are basically three types of black salt: black ritual salt, black lava salt, and black Indian salt. Black ritual salt, also called witch’s salt, is not there for eating. While kosher salt is used in cleaning, the locals use black salt to drive evil and negative energy out of their home. Black ritual salt is made by scraping charred herbs, ashes and iron from the bottom of the kettle mixed with salt.
Black lava salt is black in color, but is simply sea salt mixed with activated charcoal. It has an earthy taste and is usually from Hawaii or Cyprus. You can also use the term Hawaiian black salt. It is usually used for seasoning at the end of cooking.
Indian black salt is mainly made up of sodium chloride, which is the main ingredient in table salt. Other ingredients include sulfates, sulfides, iron, and magnesium. The sodium chloride provides the salty taste and the iron sulfide gives it its pink color, while the hydrogen sulfide gives it its characteristic odor. The latter is also one of the causes of the rotten egg smell.
Use Kala Namak healthily
The salt, which is already known and widespread worldwide, is considered a cooling spice in the Ayuverdian diet. Naturopaths recommend it for many health problems such as constipation, indigestion, heartburn, gas, goiter, poor eyesight and even psychosis. Black salt is also recommended for people who are low in salt due to high blood pressure. This is because the sodium content is lower compared to conventional table salt.
Of course, the composition of the salt varies quite a lot. This mainly depends on whether it comes to the final state through traditional or modern techniques. Synthetically produced black salt has a sodium content that is very close to normal table salt.
Indian black salt comes abundantly in Indian food, including chutneys, yogurts, salads, and all types of fruit salads. The vegans appreciate it because the black salt mimics the taste of eggs in tofu and other vegetarian dishes. It can also be used to flavor your cool drink during the hot summer months, which is a handy way to replace sodium lost through excessive sweating.
Indian black salt also has a characteristic taste due to the sulfur. The taste has been described as comparable to hard-boiled egg yolks. It has a hearty flavor and often comes in egg-free dishes to give them such a flavor. You can use the spice like nutritional yeast and sprinkle it on popcorn or kale chips for a unique, savory experience.
Now that you know a lot about the product, it may be time to try some for yourself. If you can’t find it in your local store, you can also buy or order kala namak online. Once you see, smell, and taste the difference it makes in your recipes, black salt is sure to be a part of your kitchen.