This post is all about Kala Namak – Indian Black Salt. Kala Namak is a rock salt that goes by many names, including: Himalayan Black Salt, Sulemani Namak, Black Salt, Bit Lobon and Kala Noon. Apart from being black – more of a dark copper, really – Kala Namak is unique for its distinctive flavor that happens to taste like eggs. We were first turned on to this remarkable crystal by a good friend of mine while we were staying in Austin, TX earlier this year, and I’m glad we were because it is an essential ingredient for a vegan chef.
The reason black salt tastes like eggs is no mystery: it has a very high amount a sulphur in it, which really makes it smell eggs, and in turn makes just about anything you put it on taste like eggs. If you’ve ever tasted plain egg whites, then you know eggs are virtually flavorless. They have a pungent odor, but they taste utterly bland unless they’re salted, spiced, and seasoned. What this means is that simulating eggs is more about achieving a certain aroma and texture than it is about flavor, which is easy to accomplish with Kala Namak.
How to Use Kala Namak
Black Salt is a South Asian condiment that is used in many dishes, including chaats and chutneys, but if you want to use to create realistic vegan eggs, all you have to do is add it to any dish that would normally include eggs in place of common salt. For example, you could make a tofu scramble that tastes convincingly like real scrambled eggs, or a savory quiche.
Other Black Salts
There are two other types of black salts that should not be confused with Kala Namak: Black Lava Salt and Black Ritual Salt. Black Lava Salt is just ordinary sea salt that has been colored with activated charcoal. Black Ritual Salt is used for ritualistic purposes and should not be eaten.
Where to Buy Kala Namak
If you have an asian market – especially an Indian one – in your area, that would be the most likely place to find it. You can also buy it online. Amazon sells a wide variety of Indian Black Salt in various quantities.