Pisyu Loon: The Legendary Flavoured Ground Salt from India | Fork the System


In front of me lies a plate of beautifully arranged raw mango slices, resembling the petals of a flower. My friend, Alka Dogra, urges me to taste them immediately. As I take a bite, my tastebuds explode with the piquant salt and tangy sourness of the fruit, a familiar and delightful combination.

Alka reveals that the salt, called green chilli salt from Uttarakhand, is the one I had been eager to try. Memories flood back to me of my school days, where my friend Mahima used to bring her mother’s signature spice mix, a treat we all savored during lunch. The mix was a fiery explosion of flavors that we all craved.

Years later, while enjoying fruit with Alka in Delhi, she longs for her grandmother’s flavored salts. Intrigued, I inquire about the unique salt and learn that it is called pisyun loon, a cherished condiment in Uttarakhand.

This special salt, deeply rooted in the region’s culture, is a symbol of tradition and nostalgia for many. It is crafted with care, using a variety of spices and ingredients that vary from household to household. The flavors and memories associated with pisyun loon evoke a sense of joy and connection to the past.

Today, pisyun loon has gained popularity beyond Uttarakhand, with women like Shashi Raturi and Deepa Devi selling their homemade salts online. This trend has not only provided employment opportunities but also brought the unique flavors of Uttarakhand to a wider audience.

The art of crafting flavored salts is a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of our ancestors, who found ways to make simple ingredients into culinary delights. As we savor these salts, we honor their legacy and the relationships that have been nurtured through these flavors. The tradition of pisyun loon lives on, a reminder of the rich cultural heritage of Uttarakhand.


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