Found in the snow-tipped mountains of the Himalayas, the Indian Black Salt, also known as Kala Namak, is a condiment that is endemic to the beautiful country of India. Brownish-pink to purplish-grey in colour, this salt is unlike the traditional white salt cooks use for seasoning around the world.
Health benefits of Himalayan Indian black salt
Practitioners of Ayurveda have for long used black salt as a therapeutic and medicinal ingredient. Here’s why:
- It may support reduction in gastritis
Kala namak soothes the stomach by controlling the amount of gas produced. It also acts as a laxative and helps clear the intestine, thereby reducing any gas-inducing substance in the body.
- It is beneficial for the skin
Black salt helps remove the dirt and oil from the skin and adds a glow to the face (when used with warm water). It may also heal the cracks on the heels and lips.
- It is excellent for hair
The essential minerals in the salt treat split ends, strengthen hair and give it a glossy finish.
- It may reduce arthritis-induced joint pain
Black salt reduces the stiffness in the bones when heated and applied on the skin. The minerals in the salt help strengthen the bone, reducing arthritic pain.
- It supports cardiovascular function
Kala Namak has the ability to disintegrate the fat in the body, thereby reducing all cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure and clogged arteries.
- It may help to lower weight
The lower amount of sodium in the salt prevents water retention and helps reduce weight
How to use Himalayan black salt
Black salt is used in many Ayurvedic therapies because it is rich in iron and has cooling properties. The mineral-rich salt is used for treating indigestion, constipation, bloating, flatulence and heartburn. Poor eyesight and goitre have also been treated with black salt.
Himalayan Indian black salt is a popular ingredient in vegan recipes. The distinctive taste and flavour of kala namak make it a popular ingredient in vegan cooking because it mimics the taste of eggs in dishes made with tofu. Scrambled tofu with kala namak on toast tastes very much like its non-vegan counterpart. Pickles, boiled vegetables, chaat masala and certain types of sour chutney also use black salt.
It’s best to add black salt to those items which don’t have a very strong taste. This will ensure the flavour of the salt comes through, without overshadowing the taste of the dish.
Our Himalayan black salt is derived from the pink rock salt we source in Pakistan. The salt is crushed, sealed in a large ceramic jar and heated for 24 hours on a charcoal flame. A mixture of ingredients including naturally-occurring harad seeds, amla seeds, bahera fruit and babul bark is added to the salt to give it a unique flavour.
The kala namak has a very unique, pungent smell and ‘kala’ colour which no other type of salt has, because of the presence of minerals like hydrogen sulphide, sodium bisulfide, sodium bisulphate, iron sulfide and sodium sulfide.
When it comes to imparting a nasal experience, the kala namak is renowned for its pungent aroma that smells like a rotten egg.
But thankfully, the taste is far removed from the smell. Our Himalayan black salt has a slight egg-yolk taste, which takes on the flavour of the food it is mixed into. So, when mixed into spices, it takes on the sharp, spicy taste of the spice (like in chaat masala). When added to food and cooked, the pungent smell of the salt disappears completely and leaves behind a delectable aftertaste that is a result of the strong black salt.