Chaat Masala & Black Salt: Appetizer seasonings
I just wanted to expand on the seasonings typically used in Chaat and South Asian appetizers, starting off with introducing chaat masala and Indian black salt (kala namak).
Luckily chaat masala can be your one-stop-shop for chaat seasonings as it’s a spice blend that’ll automatically make your chaat taste like, you guessed it, chaat. It packs in the heat, salt, tang, pungency, sourness etc. Chaat masala includes spices and seasonings like salt, red chilli, paprika, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, aniseed, long pepper, cumin, green cardamom, black pepper, dried mango powder, clove, carom and citric acid. As well as chaat, you can use chaat masala to season other foods like fries (this is ridiculously good), sweet potato, fried eggs, popcorn and fruits like mango and guava.
Kala namak is made by heating himalayan pink salt with other spices. Although it’s called black salt, it is light pink in color when ground down. Kala namak is known for its pungent taste and sulphuric aroma, and so you can use it alongside lemon juice (or something else tangy) as a substitute for chaat masala. It’s a little eggy in flavor and so is great for vegans; a sprinkle of black salt on tofu scramble seems to be quite popular, I can’t wait to try this out! Like chaat masala, Indian black salt can be used to season appetizers, fruits, drinks, chutneys etc.
You can find these at your local south asian store, give them a try if you haven’t had these before! I’d recommend getting a pack of chaat masala just to try it out on some fries/ potatoes, that’s probably my favourite! Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions on this in the comments, and what else chaat masala and kala namak can be used for!