Take It With A Pinch Of Salt
The uncrowned king of the kitchen – the humble salt can add glamour to your dishes in a jiffy. We delve into various varieties of salts…
In Hindi, the name literally translates to kala namak which is how this ingredient is locally known in India. A pungent-smelling variety of salt, the black salt has a potent flavour that lends beautifully to Indian sherbets, kachumbers, kebabs and other authentic regional dishes. Though it is available in other parts of the world as well, black salt is a common ingredient in an Indian ladder owing to its abundant production on local salt pans. The salt essentially gets its charred colour from the presence of impurities which are edible in nature. Sometimes black salt is also available in slightly pink tones but then it is known as pink Himalayan salt.
The ingredient obtained by evaporating sea water is known as sea salt. This variety is deemed to be a healthier alternative to table salt because of its high magnesium content and no processing. For chefs and gourmets, the main reason why sea salt works better is because it has a unique coarse texture that adds beautifully to salads, sauces, meats and grills. For those who despise it for the same reason, a good way to include sea salt in your diet is to add it to liquids such as stocks, soups, gravies where it is bound to dilute, leaving behind trails of perfect saltiness.
One of the most coveted categories of salt is fleur de sel. Translating to ‘flower of salt’ in English, this salt is called so because it is handpicked and therefore is crème de la crème of the salt world. Fleur de sel is quickly scrapped off from the top layer of salt heaps before it begins to sink at the bottom of the pan. This makes it high on flavour and superior in terms of texture. This is one savoury ingredient that works beautifully with sweet-tasting ingredients such as toffee, caramel and chocolate.
A coarse-grained salt that looks very similar to sea salt is known as kosher salt. The word ‘kosher’ basically refers to foods that are edible as per Jewish dietary laws. Therefore, this salt is essentially raked off following specific guidance approved by the Jewish faith. One characteristic of kosher salt is that it doesn’t dilute quickly as compared to ordinary salt. This makes it work well with grills and meats. Kosher salt is completely additive-free and therefore has a cleaner and lighter taste.
Our in-house spice station – Arqa, has a host of salts & salt blends introduced at our all-new Salt Bar. Head to your nearest Foodhall and speak with our spice specialist to find your ideal salt.