No food is complete without some ‘Namak swaad anusaar.’ It not only provides some dimension to the flavour but also enhances the existing flavours and makes the dish more delicious. Even many dessert recipes call for salt in them to enhance the sweetness of the chocolate and other ingredients involved in them. And while we’re used to using the classic granulated table salt in our food, there are numerous other kinds of salt that offer a different taste with each pinch. One of the salts is Kosher salt. This specific kind of salt might be one of the most uncommon kinds of salt in Indian cuisine, but across the globe, this salt has quite a lot of popularity. But what makes this salt so special than the rest?
The term Kosher comes from Hebrew, where in Judaism, certain food ingredients are blessed by the Rabbi, or a Jewish religious priest, along with a few rituals. Some Jews follow the Kosher diet, and Kosher Salt is an integral part of it. However, there are numerous differences in the way this salt looks, tastes and consumed.
Kosher salt is more granular in nature, as opposed to the regular table salt. It has larger, coarser grains. This salt is preferred only while cooking and rarely used as a garnish to top-off a specific dish. The taste of Kosher salt is also different than the regular salt. The overall taste is less powerful when compared with table salt.
It has a purer flavour as it is additive-free. This basically means that while out table salt is loaded with additives like sodium iodide, sodium silicoaluminate, sodium ferrocyanide, potassium iodide as well as anti-caking agents to prevent lumping. However, Kosher salt is completely additive-free (unless specifically added by some brands), making it healthier than the common table salt.
Kosher salt is perfect if you’re cooking non-vegetarian food. Its larger surface area absorbs unnecessary moisture from the meat. It is also the salt of choice while curing meats due to its extreme moisture absorption tendency.
When cooking food that involves boiling of water like boiling potatoes, Kosher Salt helps in reducing cooking time, as Kosher salt is responsible in spiking the water temperature, due to its chemical reaction with the water. Probably also helps in saving gas bills in the long run.
Some kitchens use Kosher salt as an abrasive cleaner for its pans and utensils in order to get stubborn stains out, instead of a pumice stone or scrub. Its grain size helps in getting a nice and clean scrub. Moreover, when mixed with oil it retains its abrasiveness and gets easily dissolved with water after cleaning. A pumice stone, on the other hand is known to leave a gritty residue if not thoroughly rinsed.
Kosher salt is known to keep minerals and calcium soluble in our blood. It is also helpful in regulating nerve stimulation and balance muscle contractions. It also aids in digestion as it is known to produce hydrochloric acid in the stomach that aids the digestion process.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.