In today’s world, where culinary exploration knows no bounds, an indigenous Indian seasoning is garnering global acclaim. While flavoursome coloured salts like the pink-hued rock salt from the Himalayas and marshes of Camargue in France, or the black lava salt and blue salt from Iran, are well known; it is our very own Pahari Loon – a delectable seasoned salt from the hill state of Uttarakhand – that is captivating palates and redefining cuisines.
Pahari Loon has its origins in the quiet hills of Kumaon and Garhwal. It’s unique flavour profile is a result of rock salt infused with traditional flavours that are crushed and mixed on a grinding stone, a.k.a. sil batta. Mustard, fresh ginger, fragrant coriander, chillies (green, red & yellow), garlic, roasted cumin, carom seeds, and toasted sesame seeds are ground together, and left to mature for a minimum of one week. This aging process imparts a depth of flavour that is simply unparalleled.
Pahari Loon is more than just a flavour enhancer. It’s a treasure trove of minerals with therapeutic properties and health benefits. Rock salt is organic, with no additives, and high on micronutrients. Its coarse texture enhances the flavour of any cuisine, and ingredients such as carom seeds, ginger, garlic and cumin seeds are known for their digestive properties. The preparation of Pahari Loon is a testament to simplicity at its best and is the ultimate complement to any meal. It is also a profound reminder of our rich regional culinary traditions and heritage, where age-old techniques have been preserved and handed down through generations.