Saunth powder, also known as “sonth” powder, is a key ingredient in Indian cuisine, particularly in North Indian and Punjabi dishes. It is made from dried ginger root, which is cleaned, peeled, and then ground into a fine powder. This powder has a distinct and potent flavor of ginger, along with slightly sweet and warming notes.
Saunth powder is commonly used in a variety of dishes, including:
Chutneys: Saunth powder is often used to prepare sweet and tangy chutneys that accompany snacks like samosas, pakoras, and chaats. These chutneys balance the savory flavors of the dishes.
Curries and Gravies: Saunth powder can be added to curries, gravies, and sauces to enhance flavor and provide a subtle heat. It is especially popular in recipes with legumes, lentils, or meats.
Marinades: The powder can be included in marinades for meats, especially in tandoori-style dishes. It imparts a warm and slightly spicy flavor to the marinade.
Drinks: Saunth powder is sometimes used to prepare traditional Indian drinks, like ginger tea or adrak chai. It adds a strong ginger kick and a bit of sweetness.
Desserts: In some desserts, particularly during festive occasions, saunth powder can be added to provide a warm and spicy undertone. It’s often used in sweets like gingerbread or as a flavor enhancer in rice puddings.
To use saunth powder in your cooking, you can start by adding small amounts and adjusting according to your taste preferences. Keep in mind that it has a concentrated flavor, so a little goes a long way.
Saunth powder not only imparts flavor but also offers potential health benefits. Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory and digestive properties. However, its health effects may vary depending on the quantity consumed and individual health conditions.
You can find saunth powder in Indian grocery stores or online. If you can’t find it pre-packaged, you can make your own by drying and grinding ginger root. Just make sure to peel the ginger and dry it thoroughly before grinding it into a fine powder.