Pisyun Loon: All About This Flavoured Salt From Uttarakhand
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Uttarakhand is popularly known as Dev Bhumi as it is famous for its many historical and prominent temples as well as majestic hills. One can also get the best possible variety of fruits and vegetables in Uttarakhand that are also not infested with insecticides and pesticides. Pisyun loon is a type of traditional salt that is consumed specifically in the Garhwal area of Uttarakhand. 

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The name of this translates simply into ground salt. It is a type of pahadi salt that is made by using some rock salt and fresh herbs that are ground manually on a sil-batta. This process helps in imparting a lot of unique tastes and flavours to the salt.

The Local Legend Of Pisyun Loon

Pisyun loon is a salt that has been prevalent in Uttarakhand for many years. Although its origin is unknown, there are a lot of stories and speculations related to the invention of this salt among local people. One of the common stories that is believed among the locals is that salt came into use as a means of inducing more thirst among people. Consuming salt that is mixed with a lot of beneficial herbs helps in making a person feel thirsty. Since the temperature in the hills is pretty low, most of the time people end up not drinking enough water. Adding ground salt to food helps make a person feel thirsty and drink enough water for a day.

There is another theory that says that people started consuming pisyun loon because it has digestive benefits and is generally better than normal rock salt. Whatever the reason might be, today pisyun loon is an important part of the culture of the people of Uttarakhand. During harsh winters, when the vegetation is pretty scarce, people simply sprinkle this flavourful salt on the top of the rotis and parathas and make a delicious meal out of it.

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Cultivation Of Pisyun Loon

Pisyu Loon is traditionally prepared by the women of Uttarakhand, especially in rural areas of Garhwal and Tehri region. With time, pisyun loon has become popular in metropolitan cities. People are becoming more and more intrigued to try this delicious and healthy salt. Because of the surging demand, many women in Uttarakhand can make enough money for themselves. It has also led to a boom in the entrepreneurship culture in the region.

Different NGOs that are based in and out of Dehradun work with rural women of Uttarakhand to produce this famous salt. It is prepared in different styles and packaged in beautiful packets. The delivery is done throughout the country and people love this authentic variety of salt. Most of the women cultivate the local herbs that are added to the salt in their kitchen gardens. This also helps in minimising the cost of producing the delicious salt and better profit margins are maintained. Today people are using pisyun loon for giving that extra kick to bland curries, making delicious sabzi and even using it to sprinkle on fruit and vegetable salads.

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Recipe For Pisyun Loon

The famous ground salt from Uttarakhand is a spice like no other. While it's not possible to replicate the authentic flavours of Uttarakhand, at home, one can try making something very similar in their kitchen. To make this seasoned salt at home, a person will need the following ingredients.

* 1 clove green garlic

* ½ cup coriander leaves

* ¼ cup ginger

* ½ tsp salt 

* 3-4 green chillies

* ½ tsp jeera

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* To make this delicious salt one needs to follow these steps.

* Take all the ingredients like  garlic, ginger, green chillies, coriander, and roasted jeera. Now take a sil-batta, and make a fine paste out of it. One must make sure that they do not apply a lot of force while making this paste. It should be left a little coarse.

* Now one can simply add the sea salt into the paste of spices. The mixture must be baked in the oven at 80°C for 30 minutes so that it becomes completely dry. One can also choose to sun dry the salt mixture for four hours at least.

* After four hours, the salt will be ready to be consumed. One can further grind it to have an even finer mixture or consume it as it is.