citric acid
Last Updated : Oct 11,2023

What is citric acid (nimbu ka phool) ? Glossary | Uses + Recipes |
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Also Known as
Nimbu ka Phool, Nimbu ka sat

What is citric acid (nimbu ka phool)?

Citric acid is a naturally-occurring compound with a tart, acidulous taste. It is odourless, colourless and crystalline. It is extracted from the juices of fruits and processed into a white powder that is used as a flavouring agent and preservative in foods and beverages containing vitamin C. It easily mixes into liquids, making it a valuable acid. As far as non-food applications go, citric acid is often used to make good cleaners, such as powders and liquids. It is also sometimes used to process photographs.

Citric Acid Crystal
Citric acid in crystal form has granules that are larger than salt. If you get the crystal form you need to make sure the crystals are completely dissolved before adding it to any dish. It does not readily dissolve in cool water. To dissolve the crystal citric acid, first place it along with water into a cooking pot, dissolve it in the hot water on the stove, and then pour it into the soaking solution. Citric acid crystals are sometimes referred to as sour salt in cooking.

Citric Acid Powder
The powdered form of citric acid is sometimes even finer than iodised salt. It can be added to any dish instantly as there is no prior need to soak. Citric acid powder is useful in sprouting, canning, drying or freezing to preserve Vitamin C content, retard spoilage by bacterial growth, and prevent discolouration.

How to Select
• Choose a good brand.
• Do not forget to check the manufacturing and expiry dates stamped on the label.
• Buy in small packets to retain the flavour.

Culinary uses of citric acid (nimbu ka phool)

Citric plays an important role while making Indian dessets or sweets. So try the below recipes and make these amazing recipes for your loved ones.

1.      Jalebi sticky, sugary, spice-tinged mithai is an all-time favourite in West and North India. It is so popular that for many, by default dessert means Jalebi!

2.      Malai Peda a richly textured product like khoya, which when flavoured with cardamom and saffron becomes an intensely aromatic dessert that nobody can resist.

3.      Chenna Rabri a delightful dessert all by itself, but adding chopped fruits to it before refrigerating makes it all the more irresistible.

4.      Low- Fat Kulfi with Strawberry Sauce visually appealing dessert is very low in fat despite the creamy likeness to authentic kulfi.

Some snack needs sour taste, and citric acid works the best. Try these few recipes below, and enjoy making them too. 

1.      Poha Chivda beaten rice flavoured with peanut and spices makes a delicious any time snack.

2.      Amiri Khaman a spicy tea-time snack or farsan made of crumbled khaman dhoklas tempered with garlic and mixed with pomegranate seeds and coconut.

Citric acid is not only used for flavouring but also as a firming compound. Tomato products use citric acid to make canned tomatoes firmer in texture as well as to reduce the pH level to assist with the sterilization process when canning.
• It also prevents canned fruits from darkening.
• When used to curdle milk it produces homemade cottage cheese.
• It is used to enhance the fruit flavour in most candy jells and gummys. Sour gummies contain exceptionally high quantities of citric acid, which gives them their sour taste; they are typically also coated with the citric acid crystals.
• Citric acid is used to give lemonade, jams, sweets and confectioneries their characteristic acidulous flavour.
• It also plays an important role in the stabilisation of oils and nutritional fats, and in vegetable, fruit preserves.
• It can be added to flavour certain drinks, especially soft drinks.

How to Store citric acid (nimbu ka phool)
• Store in a tightly closed container in a cool, dry place.
• Avoid exposure to moisture to retain its properties.

Health Benefits of citric acid (nimbu ka phool)
• Some people might be sensitive to citric acid, in which case they should avoid it as it might irritate their stomach.
• Read labels carefully, since citric acid may be used as a preservative in many more foods than you might expect.

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