Made from caramel, molasses and spices, gravy browning is used for giving gravies in England an appetising brown colour. It comes as a dark-brown liquid or powder. It was popular in the first half of the twentieth century, but is not widely used nowadays. Do not confuse gravy browning with gravy powder.
Gravy browning is not widely available – many supermarkets have stopped stocking it. However, some still sell it labelled simply as ‘browning’; it is also available online.
Store in a dry cupboard.
In addition to browning gravies, it can also be used to add colour to stews, soups, microwave-cooked meats, cakes, icing and home-brewed beers. Use gravy browning judiciously, otherwise the dish will become unattractively brown. If you cannot obtain it, substitute with caramel food colouring, Worcestershire sauce, instant coffee granules, dry-roasted plain flour or browned onions, depending on the dish you are colouring.
Article by Sejal Sukhadwala