Friday, July 18, 2014

Black Food - #WhatTheBlack

Black as a colour in food is often associated with being burnt. As a child, my sister went through a phase where she would assiduously remove every bit of black from her food before she would even begin to eat. Given that mustard and jeera were standard ingredients in the tadkas at home, it often took her longer to pluck out the black grains, than to actually eat her food.

So can black be beautiful in food?

Of course it can!

Case in Point :

1. Chocolate - Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bitter chocolate, chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, chocolate biscuits, Black Forest Cake  - they all come in various shades of black and each one is more delicious than the other.

2. Squid Ink - Squid Ink is rapidly gaining popularity or at least curiosity, ever since the Masterchef Australia series started airing on Indian TV. We normally used to discard all of the black bits when cleaning squids, but now it is being used to colour pasta to great acclaim in some parts of the world.

3. Spices - What would an Indian kitchen be without spices? Pepper, cinnamon, cloves, All Spice, Mustard, kala til, kalonji, are all an essential part of Indian cooking and yes, they are all black! Then you also have Vanilla Beans and Licorice (Mulethi) which have very strong flavours, but are much loved.

4. Black Rice - a beautiful nutty rice from Manipur which is excellent in kheers.

5. Some of the most expensive ingredients in the world (excepting saffron) are also black - think Caviar and Black Truffles.

Even common foods like cabbage, mushrooms, potatoes, brinjals come in shades that are almost black, so can you honestly say that black = burnt?

This post is a part of #WhatTheBlack activity at

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