Roasting is a cooking method that uses dry heat where hot air envelops the food, cooking it evenly on all sides with temperatures of at least 150 °C from an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting can enhance flavor through Maillard browning on the surface of the food. Roasting uses indirect, diffused heat, is suitable for slower cooking of meat in a larger, whole piece. Meats and most root and bulb vegetables can be roasted. Any piece of meat red meat, cooked in this fashion is called a roast. Meats and vegetables prepared in this way are described as "roasted", e.g. roasted chicken or roasted squash. For roasting, the food may be placed on a rack, in a roasting pan or, to ensure application of heat, may be rotated on a spit or rotisserie. If a pan is used, the juice can be retained for use in Yorkshire pudding, etc.. During oven roasting, hot air circulates around the meat. There are several plans for roasting meat: low-temperature cooking, high-temperature cooking, a combination of both.
Each method can be suitable, depending on the tastes of the people. A low-temperature oven, 95 to 160 °C, is best when cooking with large cuts of meat and whole chickens; this is not technically roasting temperature. The benefit of slow-roasting an item is a more tender product. More of the collagen that makes meat tough is dissolved in slow cooking. At true roasting temperatures, 200 °C or more, the water inside the muscle is lost at a high rate. Cooking at high temperatures is beneficial if the cut is tender enough—as in filet mignon or strip loin—to be finished cooking before the juices escape. A reason for high temperature roasting is to brown the outside of the food, similar to browning food in a pan before pot roasting or stewing it. Fast cooking gives more variety of flavor, because the outside is brown while the center is much less done; the combination method uses high heat just at either the beginning or the end of the cooking process, with most of the cooking at a low temperature. This method produces the golden-brown texture and crust, but maintains more of the moisture than cooking at a high temperature, although the product will not be as moist as low-temperature cooking the whole time.
Searing and turning down to low is beneficial when a dark crust and caramelized flavor is desired for the finished product. In general, in either case, the meat is removed from the heat before it has finished cooking and left to sit for a few minutes, while the inside cooks further from the residual heat content, known as carry over cooking; the objective in any case is to retain as much moisture as possible, while providing the texture and color. As meat cooks, the structure and the collagen breaks down, allowing juice to come out of the meat. So meat is juiciest at about medium rare. During roasting and vegetables are basted on the surface with butter, lard, or oil to reduce the loss of moisture by evaporation. In recent times, plastic oven bags have become popular for roasts; these cut cooking times and reduce the loss of moisture during roasting, but reduce flavor development from Maillard browning, somewhat more like stew or pot roast. They are popular for turkeys; until the late 19th century, roasting by dry heat in an oven was called baking.
Roasting meant turning meat or a bird on a spit in front of a fire. It is one of the oldest forms of cooking known. Traditionally recognized roasting methods consist only of baking and cooking over or near an open fire. Grilling is not technically a roast, since a grill is used. Barbecuing and smoking differ from roasting because of the lower temperature and controlled smoke application. Grilling can be considered as a low-fat food preparation, as it allows any fat in the food to drip away. Before the invention and widespread use of stoves, food was cooked over open flames from a hearth. To roast meat, racks with skewers, or, if accessible, complicated gear arrangements, would be utilized to turn the piece. In the past, this method was associated with the upper class and special occasions, rather than customary mealtimes, because it required freshly killed meat and close attention during cooking, it was easy to ruin the meat’s taste with a smoky fire or negligence to rotate it at regular intervals.
Thus, elite families, who were able to afford quality meat, appointed this task to servants or invested in technology like automatic turning devices. With further technological advances, cooking came to accommodate new opportunities. By the 1860s, working families were able to afford low-priced stove models that became sufficiently available. However, the key element of observation during roasting became difficult and dangerous to do with the coal oven. Hence, traditional roasting disappeared as kitchens became no longer equipped for this custom and soon thereafter, "baking" came to be called "roasting". Roasting can be applied to a wide variety of meat. In general, it works best for cooking whole chickens and leaner cuts of lamb and beef; the aim is to highlight the flavor of the meat itself rather than a sauce or stew, as it is done in braising or other moist-heat methods. Many roasts are tied with string prior to roasting using the reef knot or the packer's knot. Tying holds them together during roasting, keeping any stuffing inside, keeps the roast in a round profile, which promotes cooking.
Red meats such as beef and venison, certain game birds are roasted to be "pink" or "rare", meaning that the center of the roast is still red. Roasting
Chicken tikka is a chicken dish originating in the Punjab region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. It is traditionally small pieces of boneless chicken baked using skewers on a brazier called angeethi after marinating in Indian spices and dahi —essentially a boneless version of tandoori chicken; the word tikka is a Turkic word and means "bits" or "pieces". It is a chicken dish served in Punjabi cuisine; the Kashmiri version of the dish, however, is grilled over red-hot coals, does not always contain boneless pieces. The pieces are brushed with ghee at intervals to increase its flavour, while being continuously fanned, it is eaten with green coriander and tamarind chutney served with onion rings and lemon, or used in preparing a chicken tikka masala. A chicken tikka sizzler is a dish; the dish is popular in Afghanistan, though the Afghan variant is less spicy compared to the variants in the Indian subcontinent and uses beef and lamb in addition to chicken. North Indian cuisine Paneer tikka Pakistani meat dishes Punjabi cuisine Chicken tikka masala
The Punjab spelled Panjab, is a geopolitical and historical region in South Asia in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, comprising areas of eastern Pakistan and northern India. The boundaries of the region focus on historical accounts; until the Partition of Punjab in 1947, the British Punjab Province encompassed the present-day Indian states and union territories of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. It bordered the Balochistan and Pashtunistan regions to the west, Kashmir to the north, the Hindi Belt to the east, Rajasthan and Sindh to the south; the people of the Punjab today are called Panjabis, their principal language is Punjabi. The main religions of the Indian Punjab region are Hinduism; the main religions of the Pakistani Punjab region is Islam. Other religious groups are Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Ravidassia; the Punjab region has been inhabited by the Indus Valley Civilisation, Indo-Aryan peoples, Indo-Scythians, has seen numerous invasions by the Persians, Kushans, Timurids, Pashtuns and others.
Historic foreign invasions targeted the most productive central region of the Punjab known as the Majha region, the bedrock of Punjabi culture and traditions. The Punjab region is referred to as the breadbasket in both India and Pakistan; the region was called Sapta Sindhu, the Vedic land of the seven rivers flowing into the ocean. The origin of the word Punjab can be traced to the Sanskrit "pancha-nada", which means "five rivers", is used as the name of a region in the Mahabharata; the name of the region, Punjab, is a compound of two Persian words, Panj and āb, introduced to the region by the Turko-Persian conquerors of India, more formally popularised during the Mughal Empire. Punjab thus means "The Land of Five Waters", referring to the rivers Jhelum, Ravi and Beas. All are tributaries of the Sutlej being the largest; the Greeks referred to the region as Pentapotamia. There are two main definitions of the Punjab region: the 1947 definition and the older 1846–1849 definition. A third definition incorporates both the 1947 and the older definitions but includes northern Rajasthan on a linguistic basis and ancient river movements.
The 1947 definition defines the Punjab region with reference to the dissolution of British India whereby the British Punjab Province was partitioned between India and Pakistan. In Pakistan, the region now includes Islamabad Capital Territory. In India, it includes the Punjab state, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh. Using the 1947 definition, the Punjab borders the Balochistan and Pashtunistan regions to the west, Kashmir to the north, the Hindi Belt to the east, Rajasthan and Sindh to the south. Accordingly, the Punjab region is diverse and stretches from the hills of the Kangra Valley to the plains and to the Cholistan Desert. Using the 1947 definition of the Punjab region, some of the major cities of the area include Lahore and Ludhiana; the older definition of the Punjab region focuses on the collapse of the Sikh Empire and the creation of the British Punjab province between 1846 and 1849. According to this definition, the Punjab region incorporates, in Pakistan, Azad Kashmir including Bhimber and Mirpur and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
In India the wider definition includes parts of Jammu Division. Using the older definition of the Punjab region, the Punjab region covers a large territory and can be divided into five natural areas: the eastern mountainous region including Jammu Division and Azad Kashmir; the formation of the Himalayan Range of mountains to the east and north-east of the Punjab is the result of a collision between the north-moving Indo-Australian Plate and the Eurasian Plate. The plates are still moving together, the Himalayas are rising by about 5 millimetres per year; the upper regions are snow-covered the whole year. Lower ranges of hills run parallel to the mountains; the Lower Himalayan Range runs from north of Rawalpindi through Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and further south. The mountains are young, are eroding rapidly; the Indus and the five rivers of the Punjab have their sources in the mountain range and carry loam and silt down to the rich alluvial plains, which are fertile. According to the older definition, some of the major cities include Jammu and parts of Delhi.
The third definition of the Punjab region adds to the definitions cited above and includes parts of Rajasthan on linguistic lines and takes into consideration the location of the Punjab rivers in ancient times. In particular, the Sri Ganganagar and Hanumangarh districts are included in the Punjab region; the climate is a factor contributing to the economy of the Punjab. It is not uniform over the whole region, with the sections adjacent to the Himalayas receiving heavier rainfall than those at a distance. There are two transitional periods. During the hot season from mid-April to the end of June, the temperature may reach 49 °C; the monsoon season, from July to September, is a period of heavy rainfall, providing
Curry is a variety of dishes originating in the Indian subcontinent that use a complex combination of spices or herbs including ground turmeric, coriander and fresh or dried chilies. Curry is prepared in a sauce. Curry dishes prepared in the southern states of India, where the word originated, may be spiced with leaves from the curry tree. There are many varieties of dishes called'curries'. For example, in original traditional cuisines, the precise selection of spices for each dish is a matter of national or regional cultural tradition, religious practice, and, to some extent, family preference; such dishes are called by specific names that refer to their ingredients and cooking methods. Spices are used both whole and ground, cooked or raw, they may be added at different times during the cooking process to produce different results; the main spices found in most curry powders of the Indian subcontinent are coriander and turmeric. A wide range of additional spices may be included depending on the geographic region and the foods being included.
Curry powder, a commercially prepared mixture of spices, is a Western creation, dating to the 18th century. Such mixtures are thought to have first been prepared by Indian merchants for sale to members of the British Colonial government and army returning to Britain. Dishes called'curry' may contain fish, poultry, or shellfish, either alone or in combination with vegetables. Additionally, many instead are vegetarian, eaten among those who hold ethical or religious proscriptions against eating meat or seafood. Curries may be either'dry' or'wet'. Dry curries are cooked with little liquid, allowed to evaporate, leaving the other ingredients coated with the spice mixture. Wet curries contain significant amounts of sauce or gravy based on broth, coconut cream, coconut milk, dairy cream, legume purée, sautéed crushed onion, tomato purée or yogurt. Curry was adopted and anglicized from the Tamil word kaṟi meaning'sauce' or'relish for rice', it is understood to mean vegetables or meat cooked with spices with or without a gravy, used first in English in 1747 when a curry recipe was published by Hannah Glasse.
Cury appeared in the 1390s in an English cookbook, The Forme of Cury, kari was first described in a mid-17th century Portuguese cookbook by members of the British East India Company trading with Tamil merchants along the Coromandel Coast of southeast India, becoming known as a "spice blend used for making kari dishes... called kari podi or curry powder". Archaeological evidence dating to 2600 BCE from Mohenjo-daro suggests the use of mortar and pestle to pound spices including mustard, fennel and tamarind pods with which they flavoured food. Black pepper is native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia and has been known to Indian cooking since at least 2000 BCE; the oldest surviving Roman cookbook, details numerous recipes that require meats to be seasoned with vinegar and ground herbs and spices including pepper, lovage, mint and coriander. The establishment of the Mughal Empire, in the early 15th century, influenced some curries in the north. Another influence was the establishment of the Portuguese trading centre in Goa in 1510, resulting in the introduction of chili pepper to India from the Americas, as a byproduct of the Columbian Exchange.
Curry was introduced to English cuisine starting with Anglo-Indian cooking in the 17th century as spicy sauces were added to plain boiled and cooked meats. The 1758 edition of Hannah Glasse's The Art of Cookery contains a recipe "To make a curry the Indian way". Curry was first served in coffee houses in Britain from 1809, has been popular in Great Britain, with major jumps in the 1940s and the 1970s. During the 19th century, curry was carried to the Caribbean by Indian indentured workers in the British sugar industry. Since the mid-20th century, curries of many national styles have become popular far from their origins, become part of international fusion cuisine. From the culinary point of view, it is useful to consider the Indian subcontinent to be the entire historical region encompassed prior to independence since August 1947, it is usual to distinguish broadly between northern and southern styles of Indian cuisine, recognising that within those categories are innumerable sub-styles and variations.
The distinction is made with reference to the staple starch: wheat in the form of unleavened breads in the north. Bengali cuisine, which refers to the cuisine of Bangladesh and the West Bengal state of India, includes curries, including seafood and fresh fish. Mustard seeds and mustard oil are added to many recipes. Emigrants from the Sylhet district of Bangladesh founded the curry house industry in Britain and in Sylhet some restaurants run by expatriates specialise in British-style Indian food. Curries are the most well-known part of Indian cuisine. Most Indian dishes are curry based, prepared by adding different types of vegetables, lentils or meats in the curry; the content of the curry and style of preparation varies per the region. Most curries are water based, with occasional use of coconut milk. Curry dishes are thick and spicy and are eaten along with steamed rice and variety of Indian breads. Although wet curries play a smaller role in Gujarat than elsewhere, there are a number of vegetarian examples with gravies based on buttermilk or coconut milk.
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the division of British India in 1947 which accompanied the creation of two independent dominions and Pakistan. The Dominion of India became, as of 1950, the Republic of India, the Dominion of Pakistan became, as of 1956, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan In 1971, the People's Republic of Bangladesh came into being after Bangladesh Liberation War; the partition involved the division of three provinces, Assam and Punjab, based on district-wide Hindu or Muslim majorities. The boundary demarcating India and Pakistan came to be known as the Radcliffe Line, it involved the division of the British Indian Army, the Royal Indian Navy, the Indian Civil Service, the railways, the central treasury, between the two new dominions. The partition was set forth in the Indian Independence Act 1947 and resulted in the dissolution of the British Raj, as the British government there was called; the two self-governing countries of Pakistan and India came into existence at midnight on 14–15 August 1947.
The partition displaced over 14 million people along religious lines, creating overwhelming refugee crises in the newly constituted dominions. The violent nature of the partition created an atmosphere of hostility and suspicion between India and Pakistan that plagues their relationship to the present; the term partition of India does not cover the secession of Bangladesh from Pakistan in 1971, nor the earlier separations of Burma and Ceylon from the administration of British India. The term does not cover the political integration of princely states into the two new dominions, nor the disputes of annexation or division arising in the princely states of Hyderabad and Jammu and Kashmir, though violence along religious lines did break out in some princely states at the time of the partition, it does not cover the incorporation of the enclaves of French India into India during the period 1947–1954, nor the annexation of Goa and other districts of Portuguese India by India in 1961. Other contemporaneous political entities in the region in 1947, Bhutan and the Maldives were unaffected by the partition.
In 1905, the viceroy, Lord Curzon, in his second term, divided the largest administrative subdivision in British India, the Bengal Presidency, into the Muslim-majority province of East Bengal and Assam and the Hindu-majority province of Bengal. Curzon's act, the Partition of Bengal—which some considered administratively felicitous, contemplated by various colonial administrations since the time of Lord William Bentinck, but never acted upon—was to transform nationalist politics as nothing else before it; the Hindu elite of Bengal, among them many who owned land in East Bengal, leased out to Muslim peasants, protested fervidly. The large Bengali Hindu middle-class, upset at the prospect of Bengalis being outnumbered in the new Bengal province by Biharis and Oriyas, felt that Curzon's act was punishment for their political assertiveness; the pervasive protests against Curzon's decision took the form predominantly of the Swadeshi campaign and involved a boycott of British goods. Sporadically—but flagrantly—the protesters took to political violence that involved attacks on civilians.
The violence, was not effective, as most planned attacks were either preempted by the British or failed. The rallying cry for both types of protest was the slogan Bande Mataram, the title of a song by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, which invoked a mother goddess, who stood variously for Bengal and the Hindu goddess Kali; the unrest spread from Calcutta to the surrounding regions of Bengal when Calcutta's English-educated students returned home to their villages and towns. The religious stirrings of the slogan and the political outrage over the partition were combined as young men, in groups such as Jugantar, took to bombing public buildings, staging armed robberies, assassinating British officials. Since Calcutta was the imperial capital, both the outrage and the slogan soon became nationally known; the overwhelming, but predominantly Hindu, protest against the partition of Bengal and the fear, in its wake, of reforms favouring the Hindu majority, now led the Muslim elite in India, in 1906, to meet with the new viceroy, Lord Minto, to ask for separate electorates for Muslims.
In conjunction, they demanded proportional legislative representation reflecting both their status as former rulers and their record of cooperating with the British. This led, to the founding of the All-India Muslim League in Dacca. Although Curzon, by now, had resigned his position over a dispute with his military chief Lord Kitchener and returned to England, the League was in favour of his partition plan; the Muslim elite's position, reflected in the League's position, had crystallized over the previous three decades, beginning with the 1871 Census of British India, which had first estimated the populations in regions of Muslim majority. In the three decades since that census, Muslim leaders across northern India, had intermittently experienced public animosity from some of the new Hindu p
Coriander known as Chinese parsley, the stems and leaves of which are called cilantro in North America, is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most traditionally used in cooking. Most people perceive the taste of coriander leaves as a tart, lemon/lime taste, but a smaller group of about 4–14% of people tested think the leaves taste like bath soap, as linked to a gene which detects aldehyde chemicals present in both. Coriander is native to regions spanning from southern Europe and northern Africa to southwestern Asia, it is a soft plant growing to 50 cm tall. The leaves are variable in shape, broadly lobed at the base of the plant, slender and feathery higher on the flowering stems; the flowers are borne in small umbels, white or pale pink, with the petals pointing away from the center of the umbel longer than those pointing toward it. The fruit is dry schizocarp 3 -- 5 mm in diameter. First attested in English in the late 14th century, the word "coriander" derives from the Old French: coriandre, which comes from Latin: coriandrum, in turn from Ancient Greek: κορίαννον, derived from Ancient Greek: κόρις, kóris, was given on account of its foetid, bed bug-like smell.
The earliest attested form of the word is the Mycenaean Greek ko-ri-ja-da-na written in Linear B syllabic script which evolved to koriannon or koriandron, koriander. Cilantro is the Spanish word for coriander deriving from coriandrum, it is the common term in North American English for coriander leaves, due to their extensive use in Mexican cuisine. Although native to Iran, coriander grows wild over a wide area of Western Asia and Southern Europe, prompting the comment: "It is hard to define where this plant is wild and where it only established itself." Fifteen desiccated mericarps were found in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B level of the Nahal Hemar Cave in Israel, which may be the oldest archaeological find of coriander. About half a litre of coriander mericarps was recovered from the tomb of Tutankhamen, because this plant does not grow wild in Egypt and Hopf interpret this find as proof that coriander was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians. Coriander seems to have been cultivated in Greece since at least the second millennium BC.
One of the Linear B tablets recovered from Pylos refers to the species as being cultivated for the manufacture of perfumes, it was used in two forms: as a spice for its seeds and as a herb for the flavour of its leaves. This appears to be confirmed by archaeological evidence from the same period. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most traditionally used in cooking, Coriander is used in cuisines throughout the world; the leaves are variously referred to as coriander leaves, fresh coriander, Chinese parsley, or cilantro. Coriander may be confused with culantro, an Apiaceae like coriander, but from a different genus. Culantro has a distinctly different spiny appearance, a more potent volatile leaf oil and a stronger aroma; the leaves have a different taste with citrus overtones. The fresh leaves are an ingredient in many South Asian foods. In Portugal, chopped coriander is used in the bread soup Açorda, in India, chopped coriander is a garnish on Indian dishes such as dal.
As heat diminishes their flavour, coriander leaves are used raw or added to the dish before serving. In Indian and Central Asian recipes, coriander leaves are used in large amounts and cooked until the flavour diminishes; the leaves spoil when removed from the plant, lose their aroma when dried or frozen. The dry fruits are known as coriander seeds; the word "coriander" in food preparation may refer to these seeds, rather than to the plant. The seeds have a lemony citrus flavour when crushed, due to terpenes pinene, it is described as warm, nutty and orange-flavoured. The variety C. s. vulgare has a fruit diameter of 3–5 mm, while var. C. s. microcarpum fruits have a diameter of 1.5–3 mm. Large-fruited types are grown by tropical and subtropical countries, e.g. Morocco and Australia, contain a low volatile oil content, they are used extensively for blending purposes in the spice trade. Types with smaller fruit are produced in temperate regions and have a volatile oil content around 0.4-1.8%, so are valued as a raw material for the preparation of essential oil.
Coriander is found both as whole dried seeds and in ground form. Roasting or heating the seeds in a dry pan heightens the flavour and pungency. Ground coriander seed loses flavour in storage and is best ground fresh. Coriander seed is a spice in garam masala and Indian curries which employ the ground fruits in generous amounts together with cumin, acting as a thickener in a mixture called dhana jeera. Roasted coriander seeds, called dhana dal, are eaten as a snack, they are the main ingredient of the two south Indian dishes rasam. Outsid
Salt is a mineral composed of sodium chloride, a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of salts. Salt is present in vast quantities in seawater; the open ocean has about 35 grams of solids per liter of sea water, a salinity of 3.5%. Salt is essential for life in general, saltiness is one of the basic human tastes. Salt is one of the oldest and most ubiquitous food seasonings, salting is an important method of food preservation; some of the earliest evidence of salt processing dates to around 6,000 BC, when people living in the area of present-day Romania boiled spring water to extract salts. Salt was prized by the ancient Hebrews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Hittites and the Indians. Salt became an important article of trade and was transported by boat across the Mediterranean Sea, along specially built salt roads, across the Sahara on camel caravans; the scarcity and universal need for salt have led nations to go to war over it and use it to raise tax revenues. Salt has other cultural and traditional significance.
Salt is processed from salt mines, by the evaporation of seawater and mineral-rich spring water in shallow pools. Its major industrial products are caustic chlorine. Of the annual global production of around two hundred million tonnes of salt, about 6% is used for human consumption. Other uses include water conditioning processes, de-icing highways, agricultural use. Edible salt is sold in forms such as sea salt and table salt which contains an anti-caking agent and may be iodised to prevent iodine deficiency; as well as its use in cooking and at the table, salt is present in many processed foods. Sodium is an essential nutrient for human health via its role as an osmotic solute. Excessive salt consumption may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension, in children and adults; such health effects of salt have long been studied. Accordingly, numerous world health associations and experts in developed countries recommend reducing consumption of popular salty foods; the World Health Organization recommends that adults should consume less than 2,000 mg of sodium, equivalent to 5 grams of salt per day.
All through history, the availability of salt has been pivotal to civilization. What is now thought to have been the first city in Europe is Solnitsata, in Bulgaria, a salt mine, providing the area now known as the Balkans with salt since 5400 BC; the name Solnitsata means "salt works". While people have used canning and artificial refrigeration to preserve food for the last hundred years or so, salt has been the best-known food preservative for meat, for many thousands of years. A ancient salt-works operation has been discovered at the Poiana Slatinei archaeological site next to a salt spring in Lunca, Neamț County, Romania. Evidence indicates that Neolithic people of the Precucuteni Culture were boiling the salt-laden spring water through the process of briquetage to extract the salt as far back as 6050 BC; the salt extracted from this operation may have had a direct correlation to the rapid growth of this society's population soon after its initial production began. The harvest of salt from the surface of Xiechi Lake near Yuncheng in Shanxi, dates back to at least 6000 BC, making it one of the oldest verifiable saltworks.
There is more salt in animal tissues, such as meat and milk, than in plant tissues. Nomads who subsist on their flocks and herds do not eat salt with their food, but agriculturalists, feeding on cereals and vegetable matter, need to supplement their diet with salt. With the spread of civilization, salt became one of the world's main trading commodities, it was of high value to the ancient Hebrews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Hittites and other peoples of antiquity. In the Middle East, salt was used to ceremonially seal an agreement, the ancient Hebrews made a "covenant of salt" with God and sprinkled salt on their offerings to show their trust in him. An ancient practice in time of war was salting the earth: scattering salt around in a defeated city to prevent plant growth; the Bible tells the story of King Abimelech, ordered by God to do this at Shechem, various texts claim that the Roman general Scipio Aemilianus Africanus ploughed over and sowed the city of Carthage with salt after it was defeated in the Third Punic War.
Salt may have been used for barter in connection with the obsidian trade in Anatolia in the Neolithic Era. Salt was included among funeral offerings found in ancient Egyptian tombs from the third millennium BC, as were salted birds, salt fish. From about 2800 BC, the Egyptians began exporting salt fish to the Phoenicians in return for Lebanon cedar and the dye Tyrian purple. Herodotus described salt trading routes across Libya back in the 5th century BC. In the early years of the Roman Empire, roads were built for the transportation of salt from the salt imported at Ostia to the capital. In Africa, salt was used as currency south of the Sahara, slabs of rock salt were used as coins in Abyssinia. Moorish merchants in the 6th century traded salt for weight for weight; the Tuareg have traditionally maintained routes across the Sahara for the transportation of salt by Azalai. The caravans