You might have noticed that certain Indian sweet dishes are laced with silver and gold foil. This foil is commonly known as vark and is used to uplift the appeal of dishes. The foil is actually made up of real edible gold and silver and is tasteless. Further, this is now used as a mere element of decoration of the dishes and to accentuate their appearance, because a dish that looks good, often tastes good too. So, let’s understand everything about the gold and silver vark and why it is widely used in Indian cuisine. Take a look here.
Uses Of Gold/Silver Vark
These silver and gold foils, also known as ‘Sone ka Vark’ and ‘Chandi Ka Vark’ are very delicate and thin sheets of silver and gold and are extensively used in chawanprash, paan(beetle leaf), supari, mukhwaas, candied fruits, biryani, baked products and even in cocktails and mocktails. To make vark, the metal is beaten up into very thin, leaf-like sheets and is supported by a removable sheet of paper. The paper is removed when you’re about to use the gold/silver vark.
Reasons Why Vark Is Used In Dishes
Back in ancient times, vark was used for it offers several health benefits. Silver is known for being enriched with antimicrobial properties, whereas gold has aphrodisiac(substance that has the capabilities to enhance sexual power). Further, it is also believed that these leaves were used in the Mughal Era also, reason being, the property of gold/silver vark to keep the food warm and moist. These metal sheets are also known to keep the nutrition in the food intact for a comparatively longer time. The other reason for the usage of these sheets in Mughal kitchens was to ensure that the dish hasn’t been tampered, even the slightest of touch can ruin the whole sheet and it becomes easy to spot any tampering then.
Significance Of Vark In Ayurveda
Although Ayurveda has no mentions of the significance of using gold(wear gold jewellery to reduce stress) or silver vark, but there are several factors that promote the use of these sheets in food preparation. According to Ayurveda, silver is loaded with immunity-boosting properties and safe consumption of the edible form of the metal can help you out in boosting your immunity. Further, the application of these edible metal sheets can help in delivering clean and hygienic food by repelling the dust particles that may otherwise spoil the food.
Is The Metal Used Really Safe?
According to the food security and safety standards, it is safe to consume vark as a part of adornment on the food but with moderation. In addition to that, it is equally essential to understand the importance of obtaining these edible metal sheets from very trusted sources as these days a lot of people use mere foil, which is impure and may cause severe conditions or diseases in humans. The foil comes as a cheap and compromised alternative of the silver/gold vark and must not be consumed at all.
How To Use Silver/Gold Vark
It is easy to use these sheets at home for making your dishes look more attractive and appealing. Just peel the paper that the vark is backed with, and decorate your phirnis, jalebis, kaju katlis or even thandai(by placing the vark over the surface of the drink), paan and other eatables.
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