Thursday, 10 January 2013

Golpar Namak - گلپر نمک

Golpar-namak is a mixture of salt and ground golpar or Persian Hogwood. You will find this spice mix in almost every grandma's spice collection to enhance the flavour of some of the simplest dishes. Whole golpar is also a stable pantry item for an old tradition of removing curse and stopping bad luck.

Golpar is the thin seedpod of Angelica plant. It is commonly referred to as "Angelica Seeds" which is an incorrect name for the tiny seedpods.  It has a distinct aromatic woody flavour with subtle bitterness. It is a perfect addition for Torshi (persian preserves and chutneys), sprinkled over sour plums, cucumbers and pomegranate.

As most regions of the world have witchcraft as part of their history, so do the Persians! In old tradition, golpar is believed to dispel bad omen and brings good luck when burnt. The eldest member of the family sprinkles golpar in a special metal plate filled with burning charcoal, it smokes and gives a pleasant smell. While reciting a special verse, the burning plate is circulated over the head of everyone in special ceremonies and family gatherings.

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