Cooking With Different Salts
While cooking, no ingredient is as pivotal and as indispensable as salt! Salt brings out all the distinct and delectable flavours and makes the food taste good! When you visit a gourmet store, you will find a whole host of diverse kinds of salts - finely ground, coarse, and huge irregular chunks; they may be white, pink or sea grey. Let's explore the various types of salts and what they're best used for.
How to cook with different salts
- Table salt: The commonest variety, table salt is refined and ground into fine particles; impurities and trace minerals are eliminated during the manufacturing process. Table salt is iodized to ward off iodine deficiency. An anti-caking agent is also added to prevent clumping of the articles. In general, table salt is used for daily cooking.
- Kosher salt: Kosher salt is similar to regular table salt, but has big grains. Most kosher salt does not contain any added iodine or anti-caking agents. By and large, it is used in the koshering process, when surface fluids need to be sluiced off from meat. It is ideal for sprinkling on top of meat and is used in cocktails too!
- Himalayan salt: Himalayan salt is considered a form of salt that is harvested by hand from the Himalayas. It has a light pink colour. A type of rock salt, it derives its hue from the various minerals present in it. The minerals also impart a somewat different, rather bolder flavour to the salt. The Himalayan salt is usually used to garnish a dish, so that you can savour its subtlety.
- Kala namak: Black Salt (kala namak) is considered to be a cooling spice in Ayurvedic medicine. It is recommended for many health issues such as constipation, heartburn, flatulence, poor eyesight and hysteria. Rich in Potassium, Calcium, Iron and Sulphur, black salt is considered an excellent remedy for indigestion. It has the goodness of various natural ingredients that give it its special colour and distinct smell. It is purple/pinkish-grey in colour and once crushed, it turns pink. It enhances the taste of foods by adding a tangy flavour to it. Its uses are in salads, juices and nimbu pani.
- Sea salt: Sea salt is obtained from evaporated sea water; it is generally unrefined and has big, coarse grains. Sea salt possesses a few minerals from where it was harvested - zinc, potassium and iron. These pass on a complex flavour profile to the salt. More often than not, sea salt is used for most seafood cuisine as well as in cakes or cookies.
When it comes to choosing a particular salt, you are invariably faced with a horde of virtually indistinguishable options at the gourmet store; and it's not very evident how one is different from another. What’s more, even the recipes aren't helpful. Food experts and chefs principally select their salt based on taste, colour, texture and convenience. Purity of salt is also extremely important to ensure that it adds the perfect taste. The Tata Salt range offers a variety which comes with the assurance of quality and purity. Feel free to try out and pick the salt that’s right for you and your health needs.
This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s). Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author(s).