The first thing you may be asking yourself is what is black salt and what makes it different from regular, everyday table salt? Great question! Black salt, or Kala Namak, is a type of rock salt that is found in the salt mines of the Himalayan mountains. Salt manufacturers heat the salt in kilns with herbs, seeds, and charcoal to produce a chemical reaction that brings out the dark color. Black salt is most popular in South Asian cuisine and holds many benefits!
Black Salt contains traces of Sulphur compounds which will give dishes an egg-like taste and smell. This seasoning is usually used in chaats, curries, salads, chutneys, and raitas. Black salt is a staple for a lot of dishes, giving it a tangy taste and funky aroma. Many dishes that call for black salt would not be the same without it. It boldly enhances flavors in fried foods and pairs well with coriander seeds, mango powder, and turmeric.
There are a number of ways you can try black salt in your cuisine. If you like experimenting with vegan dishes, add black salt to a tofu scramble. Tofu scramble can look remarkably like scrambled eggs, and when you add in some black salt, it will also give you the egg taste that you are after. You can also try adding it to a vegan buddha bowl or vegan omelets to mimic the texture and flavor of eggs while giving your dish a unique taste. If you would like to try something fun and out of the box, black salt is often used in Jaljeera, which is a spicy and aromatic lemonade. This drink blends lemon or lime juice, cumin, black salt, black pepper, ginger, and mint and is a refreshing zing for your taste buds.
A great benefit to black salt is that it has antioxidant properties and surprisingly low sodium levels. It contains iron, calcium, and magnesium. This particular salt stimulates bile production in the liver and helps control heartburn and bloating. It also improves the body’s fat-soluble vitamin absorption in the small intestine. Black salt has been heavily used in Ayurvedic medicine and has been connected to easier digestion, heart health, and fewer complications with diabetes. It also acts as a natural blood thinner and can help regulate blood pressure.
Black salt actually has less sodium than the typical table salt. Some individuals may experience issues consuming too much sodium in their diet leading to high blood pressure and other problems. Black salt may be a great alternative to table salt for these individuals.
Unlike table salt, black salt is not ionized. So, if you consume black salt frequently, you will need iodine from other sources, like seafood and dairy products, or it can lead to health issues related to iodine deficiencies. Black salt also contains fluoride, which can cause dental fluorosis (changes in the appearance of tooth enamel) if too much is consumed. Regularly consuming black salt can also cause kidney stones which are very painful.
Another thing to consider with the use of black salt is that it still contains sodium and should be used carefully if you struggle with blood pressure. Doctors recommend using no more than 6 grams of black salt per day as it can raise your blood pressure.
Overall, black salt can be a great alternative to regular table salt and may be a creative addition to your dishes to give them a tangy, contemporary taste. If vegan dishes are your go-to, you can experiment with black salt to achieve that egg-like taste. Monitor how much salt you are using in your meals and consult with your doctor first to make sure salt, in general, is safe for your diet.