Thikri Phodni Or Kallu Ogarane: Try This Stone Cooking Method
Image Credit: instagram/@globalvegproject, Edited by team slurrp

We often talk about the delicious flavours of Indian dishes and the many spices used in cooking. But did you know that there are different ways of cooking Indian food? From using clay pots to slow cooking, Indian cooking methods add special flavours to dishes. One unique method is called Thikri Phodni in Maharashtra or Kallu Ogarane in Karnataka. It involves cooking with a stone to give dishes a smoky flavour. Yes, it's true! Isn't that surprising? Let's explore this special way of cooking that adds a unique taste to regional dishes.  

This traditional cooking technique, known as Thikri Phodni or Kallu Ogarane, adds a unique depth of flavour to dishes like dal or gravy by infusing them with a earthy smokiness. Unlike traditional tadka methods that may require excessive oil, this technique offers a healthier alternative. 

To execute this method, a rock is heated until it reaches a scorching temperature. Once hot, it's placed in a bowl or small pan along with chopped garlic, green chilies, and coriander. A modest amount of oil is added, significantly less than what would typically be used for tadka. The creates a sizzling blend of aromatic ingredients, creating a flavourful tadka. 

When poured over dal and thoroughly mixed in, the dish takes on a rich, smoky essence that evokes the taste buds with village-style cooking.  

What to keep in mind  

Two important considerations when using this method are ensuring the rock is clean and free of any dirt and taking necessary safety precautions due to the intense heat generated. It's essential to wash the rock thoroughly before use and exercise caution to prevent accidents, especially if replicating this technique at home. Safety measures should be observed, particularly in households with children. 

Who uses this technique 

This technique is predominantly used by tribal communities, including the Koli community and in many more rural areas and holds ancient roots that are slowly fading away amidst modern cooking methods. Passed down through generations, it showcases a traditional approach to cooking that emphasizes flavour and cultural heritage. However, with the advent of quick cooking hacks and contemporary culinary practices, this age-old technique faces the risk of being lost to time. Despite its historical roots, the technique faces challenges in surviving the fast-paced culinary landscape, highlighting the importance of preserving traditional cooking practices within indigenous communities.