As you can see the title says no oil snacks, oil-free snacks which means I have not used oil here. But what have I used, the answer is SALT.
Salt’s melting point is 800.8 degrees Celsius, or 1473.4 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, salt turns into a liquid. … As you can see, SALT CAN ABSORB TREMENDOUS AMOUNTS OF HEAT ( that heat helps us roast things easily ) before it undergoes a phase change, turning from solid to liquid and from liquid to vapor. As salt can absorb tremendous amounts of heat make sure to keep your flame medium.
I remember roasting peanuts in clean fresh dried river sand and how that gave uniform heat. The roasted peanuts used to be just perfect. And that gave me the idea of using salt because it is a little difficult to find sand nowadays.
Hot SALT frying and Hot SAND frying are the techniques used by street vendors in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and China.
Hot sand frying is one of the oldest yet uncommon frying techniques in the world.
I have seen street vendors in Bengaluru roast whole corn and shelled peanuts in hot sand or hot salt. But you can not identify it to be salt as soon as you see because reusing the salt makes it dark and brown.
How it’s done?
Salt is preheated in wok or frying pan. Either whole corn or individual kernels are buried in the salt and occasionally turned. You can also use this technique for peanuts, shelled peanuts, popcorn, etc.
Salt is heated to high temperature and nuts are buried in sand and turned occasionally with a spatula then sand or salt is separated by using a strainer and shaking off the excess salt or sand
This technique is also used to cook meat. In this technique, you wrap the fish or any other meat in a banana leaf, tie it off, then place the banana leaf in heated sand or salt one side at a time turning occasionally and roasting on both sides to ensure it is cooked perfectly.
As a kid, I would see nomads and their tents on my way back home. Every evening they would make puffed rice using this technique. The puffed rice is made by heating sand in a wok over a fire in a traditional way( arranging some bricks in “U” shape and filling it up with dry wood and burning them), then pouring the rice into the sand and quickly stirring the rice. The puffed rice is then quickly removed with a metal sieve or strainer and set to cool. It would smell amazing.
Many other foods are fried in hot sand or hot salt. Even in common households because it is cheap, oil-free and healthy.
- Any food that you are frying ( Papad, Nuts, Cornflakes, Fryums, Whole Corn, Popcorn, Etc.)
- Add Salt into a wok or frying pan.
- Salt is heated to high temperature and nuts, papad, fryums, cornflakes or corn or whatever you are trying to fry is buried in salt and turned occasionally with a spatula then sand or salt is separated by using a strainer and shaking off the excess salt.
Note 1: Shake off the excess salt very well, if not food will be very very salty.
Note 2: Once the salt cools down, store it and reuse it for future frying. It may change in color, but it will stay good for a few uses. You can also use this salt to put under your wire rack inside the cooker, while baking cake in a cooker. I would not recommend using this salt for cooking.
Note 3: The flame should be medium while heating the salt and once the salt is hot reduce it to low – medium and increase whenever needed. Or do as per your requirement, just don’t keep the flame too high.