Indian Cooking with Baking Soda: Things to Know

In the season of cakes and cooking or especially when you are making some fries, the word “baking soda” comes to mind. To be honest, it is not only used in your food but also for cleaning the laundries too.

In 1846, John Dwight and Dr. Austin Church, two brothers-in-law, square up to produce and sell baking soda. This is an alkaline product chemically known as sodium bicarbonate which is having a multipurpose usage.

Along with the soda, they started distributing a mini cookbook that has recipes for cakes, cookies, puddings, and more. When it is used in the recipes, it produces a “leavener” which makes it fluffy, moist, and tender.

What is Baking Soda?

Indian Cooking with Baking Soda

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a white crystalline powder that is commonly used as a leavening agent in baking.

When mixed with an acid (such as vinegar, lemon juice, or cream of tartar) and a liquid, it produces carbon dioxide gas, which causes dough or batter to rise.

In addition to its use in baking, baking soda has many other applications. It is often used as a household cleaner and deodorizer.

Baking soda is generally considered safe for consumption and use in small amounts. However, excessive consumption can cause stomach upset and other issues.

Uses of Baking Soda Indian Cuisines

Baking soda is having multi-purpose usage in our Indian cuisine and Bengali cuisines. Indians and Bengalis love cakes, buns, pastries, and even different types of fitters. Baking soda is having loads of usage in the bakery section of Indian cuisine.

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The leavening agent in baking

Baking soda produces a leavening agent which helps the product to rise at a good height.

This leavening agent is used as an alkali and it starts its reaction when it comes into contact with acidic ingredients like buttermilk, lemon juice, and cream of tartar.

It is producing an infinite airy texture which is producing light and tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide. You can make any type of cake, cookies, dhokla, khandvi, etc.

Crispy Chicken 

To make the chicken crispy, especially the skin, baking soda is used. You can certainly lock the moisture with the help of it and rub a small amount of it for perfect seasoning.

Vegetable whitener 

Baking soda is used as a cleaning agent and is often used as a cleaning and brightening agent to clean up the veggies.

If you sprinkle it and add a little water to it then the veggies cooked like corn look more vibrant and cauliflower looks much whiter rather than turning yellow.

Soaking beans 

Soaking beans in baking soda helps them to cook faster. You can simply add a pinch of baking soda and then try to cook.


You can simply add the baking soda to the batter, you can simply see the fluffy aspect in the batter which makes the fitters crispy and light. You can make aloo pakora, onion pakora, methi pakora etc.

How Does Baking Soda Taste?

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, has a salty and slightly bitter taste.

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However, it’s important to note that baking soda is not typically used as a standalone ingredient in recipes because of its taste.

When used in baking, the amount of baking soda used is usually small and is balanced by other ingredients such as sugar and salt.

If baking soda is accidentally used in excess or used in place of baking powder (which contains other ingredients to balance its taste), it can give baked goods an unpleasant and metallic taste.

What Does Baking Soda Do to Food?

Baking soda has a variety of effects on food depending on how it’s used. In baking, baking soda is primarily used as a leavening agent.

When baking soda is combined with an acid (such as vinegar, lemon juice, or cream of tartar) and a liquid, it creates carbon dioxide gas, which causes dough or batter to rise.

This is because the carbon dioxide gas gets trapped in the mixture, creating small air pockets that give baked goods a light and fluffy texture.

Baking soda also has a tenderizing effect on meat. When used as a meat tenderizer, baking soda helps to break down the connective tissue in tough cuts of meat, making them more tender and easier to chew.

However, if too much baking soda is used, it can make the meat mushy and give it an unpleasant texture.

Baking soda can also be used to reduce the acidity of certain foods, such as tomatoes.

This is because baking soda is alkaline, and when it’s added to acidic foods, it can neutralize some of the acidity. This can be useful in recipes where the acidity of the ingredients needs to be balanced.

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Overall, baking soda is a versatile ingredient in the kitchen that can be used in a variety of ways to create different textures and flavors in food.

Questions & Answers:

Does Baking Soda Change the Taste of Food?

Baking soda helps in making the food either crispy or fluffy as per the material used for the cooking. It makes the food a little bit salty. If you overdo it with any baking product then it turns metallic.

Can You Use Baking Soda on Chicken?

Yes, you can add baking soda to a chicken. Due to its alkaline feature, it simply breaks the peptide bond and starts the browning process which makes the chicken wings crispier and faster.

Is It OK to Use Baking Soda for Cooking?

Yes absolutely, baking soda is used for cooking, baking and even cleaning the veggies too.

Does Baking Soda Make Chicken Extra Crispy?

Yes, baking soda makes the chicken extra crispy.


baking soda is a versatile ingredient that is commonly used in baking as a leavening agent.

Its usage extends beyond the kitchen as it has various applications, including cleaning and deodorizing.

In addition to its leavening effect, it can tenderize meat, reduce the acidity of certain foods and improve the color of vegetables.

When used in moderation, baking soda is generally considered safe for consumption.

However, excessive consumption can cause stomach upset and other issues.

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