Ever Tried Pisyun Loon? It’s A Local Salt From Uttarakhand
Image Credit: Pisyun Loon

Salt is a mineral largely made up of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical component that belongs to the wider class of salts; salt in the form of a naturally occurring crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite. Seawater contains enormous amounts of salt. One of the most fundamental tastes in the human palate is saltiness, which is necessary for life in general. One of the oldest and most used food seasonings is salt, and salting is a key food preservation technique. 

Uttarakhand's Kumaon and Garhwal hills are home to a variety of salts that have been flavoured with flavours including mustard, coriander, garlic, ginger, cumin, and red, green, and yellow chilies. These salts are a staple of the region's traditional cuisine. 

Many people think that one of the reasons pahari salts were created was to make people feel thirsty so they would stay hydrated during the dry northern winters. Vegetables are in short supply throughout the winter. Thus, Pahari's enjoy eating plain rotis and parathas with some flavorful and bold pisyu loon during these dry months. 

However, pahari salts have gained popularity in recent years, and several local producers in Uttarakhand are now selling their products online. Here are a few typical pahari salt recipes that you can make on your own. 

Green Salt 

Also known as Pisyun loon, one of the most popular pahari salts is this one. Take some coriander, hing, green chilies, peeled garlic, and fresh mint in a bowl to create hara namak at home. Mix it up in a blender. Traditionally, salt is prepared by manually crushing it in a sil batta or a stone grinder. Add some rock salt next. The mixture you now have is wet. The mixture needs to be roasted in a pan for a few minutes so that it separates and takes on a crumblier consistency. The hara namak is complete after roasting! Again, the mixture is typically left outside in the sun for four to five days when using the traditional methods. Like all salts, you can add it to a variety of foods like dal, salads, rice, chaat, and others to enhance the flavour. 

Garlic Salt 

You may either make this salt entirely out of garlic or you can also add some peppercorns to it. Grind together some green chilies, garlic leaves or cloves, coriander, a tiny bit of ginger, and jeera to create garlic salt. Add the rock salt next. The mixture can be either roasted to remove the moisture or eaten raw. To add some zing to your namak, try substituting some garlic, red chilies, cumin seeds, hing, and roasted peppercorns. You may use this to spice up any food you choose, just like the previous recipe! 

Mustard Salt 

This salt is made by roasting some mustard seeds in a pan, and is referred to locally as Daindoosa salt. After that, include some red chilies in a blender. You're done once you've added the mixture to the rock salt. Layering a hot chappati with this salt is another way to eat it!