What the ?.
A few years back when writing my Cookbook ‘Himalayan Salt Cooking’ I embarked on an exciting journey into the world of, arguably the MOST important culinary ingredient found on every table, SALT. Not just plain salt, oh no.... salt comes in many shades, many forms, many taste spectrums and with endless uses.
So today we decided to tackle the warehouse to make some space when I came across some Kala Namak. I told Lizzie to blindly taste and smell some suspicious looking black substance.
“What am I eating ? Is this a boiled egg?”.
Indeed, it is what is often referred to the ‘alternative egg spice’ and when sprinkled over scrambled tofu, can produce a very deceiving eggy taste and smell. Last week I started playing around with egg alternatives for our Himalayan Salt Cooking items on our Cafe Menu ( to cater for our Vegan clientele 🌱) THIS will soon be revealed.
Kala namak is a kiln-fired Himalayan Rock Salt with a strong sulphorous smell. Some refer to it as ‘Black Salt’ due to its dark grey colour although it ranges from light pinkish grey when ground to a fine powder to a dark shade of purple grey in its coarse form.
When firing up the raw salt in a kiln or furnace for 24 hours, while sealed in a ceramic jar, along with charcoal, the salt gets transformed. The fired salt melts, a chemical reaction occurs, and the salt is then cooled, stored, and aged. Some traditional ingredients are used during the process such as Harad tree seeds, Amla ( Indian Gooseberry) Bahera, Babul tree bark (Thorny Acacia) or baking soda. Wow! It sounds like quite the process. Kala namak has been praised in Ayurveda and used for its perceived medical qualities.
I’m not sure about you, but ingredients like these get me all crazy excited, almost like having a little bottle of magic potion in my pantry cupboard right beside the saffron and dried cinnamon pods.
if you have not crossed over to the dark side of our salt options before, get your hands on some Kala Namak soonest possible. Both forms, of this Himalayan black salt can be found online www.saltysistas.co.za and at our physical Salty Sistas shop, located at Shop 47, Eden on the Bay Mall, in Blouberg.
Come check out our Salt Room, complete with Himalayan Salt floors after you sample some Himalayan Salt cooking on our menu...
See you soon.