We all have heard of vinegar, right? It is used to add tanginess to foods, especially in Asian cuisines and soups. But what can one use in other recipes? There are many other natural foods that can be used as souring agents in cooking when ingredients like vinegar can't do. These are produced naturally and have no preservatives, which makes them a healthier option to use in cooking, as compared to processed vinegar. At times, we crave for some lip-smacking tangy food, but are unsure of what we can use to make a dish tangier and tastier. Sour foods add that extra tangy flavour in a dish and enhances its taste.
Here Are 8 Natural Souring Agents Which You Can Use In Cooking:
The flavour of tomatoes is sour and sweet. It is one ingredient that is frequently utilised in daily cooking across the globe. Tomatoes are a staple in Indian cuisine and are used to make curries, which are the star of every meal. It pairs nicely with spices and adds a calming sour flavour.
Tamarind grows in tropical climate and this is why it is popularly used in the Southern region of India and is also a prominent in the west and east coast. This is a very strong souring agent that is used in curries like rasam and sambhar, among others. In addition, many enjoy samosas with tamarind chutney, which is both sweet and tangy.
Nothing beats the fresh lemon juice. All around the world, lemon is used as a souring agent to bring the tangy flavour and refreshing aroma. They are citrusy in nature and rich in vitamin C. Lemons are typically not cooked under heat because they might become bitter, instead they are added to dishes after they have been prepared to provide freshness and tanginess.
Also known as Garcinia Indica, this tangy fruit is rich in fibres and antioxidants that help in keeping our stomach cool. You can make dried kokum powder which can be used in any recipe to add tangy flavour. Apart from that, you can make refreshing drinks from this fruit too.
5. Amchur Powder
You can enhance the taste of any dish by adding amchur powder. Amchur powder is made from dried mangoes, which is mostly used in Indian cooking. Just a spoonful of dried mango powder will change the taste of your dish. Add these in mixed vegetables, pindi choley, etc.
6. Sour Curd
Also known as 'khatti dahi', sour card has a strong tangy flavour. In India, people use sour curd to make chaach, a healthy buttermilk drink and also kadhi, which is a yogurt-based curry. Apart from curries, you can also use it to prepare fermented sour dough at home.
7. Gooseberry Powder
In Hindi, Indian gooseberry is also referred to as amla. The gooseberry fruit has a tangy, tart flavour that will make your taste buds sour after just one bite. As adding gooseberries to curries might be tough, it is preferable to use dried gooseberry powder to add sourness to the dish.
Bonus: Citric Acid
Citric acid is commonly found in preserved food like canned tomatoes, candies and soft drinks, because of souring and preserving agents found in it. However, citric acid powder is also used in cooking to add sourness. One tsp of citric acid powder can bring tangy flavours in the dish. So, if you don't have any of the above-listed foods and can't use vinegar in your recipes, this one is the best option.
Try adding sour foods and drinks in your daily diet to improve digestion and boost your immune system.