Saindhava lavana is name for Himalayan Pink rock salt. The word “Saindhava” refers to the ancient Sindhu Kingdom talked of in the Indian epic The Mahabharata. The Sindhu kingdom was located in the Indus river valley in modern day Pakistan. “Lavana” means “salt”. So Saindhava Lavana means salt that comes from the region of the Indus river valley. The famous Khewra Salt Mine, one of the primary sources of Saindhava Lavana, is located in the foothills at the head of the valley beside one of the tributaries of the Indus.
Saindhava lavana, which is mined in Pakistan, is sold widely in India as a culinary salt. Many Indians mistakenly believe the salt actually originates in India. Saindhava lavana is also the base salt that goes into making Kala Namak and Sajji salts. Saindhava Lavana is also sold in Europe and the United States as “Himalayan Pink” or “Himalayan Pink Sea Salt” (even though it is a rock salt). It is ground and used as a culinary salt, carved into salt lamps, and also carved into Himalayan salt blocks used for cooking and serving food. My new book, “Salt Block Cooking,” details how to use these blocks for grilling, chilling, and serving food.