The Resurgence Of Clay Pot Cooking In India

For generations, earthenware has been used in Indian kitchens, making it an integral aspect of the country’s cuisines and culinary traditions. Using clay pots in the kitchen for everything - from the setting of curd to preparing stews and biryanis has been a common household routine. It not only gives the food an earthy flavour, but also adds to its nutritional value.

When metal ware began to appear in Indian marketplaces, the traditional method of clay pot cooking became less popular. Clay-based cooking was only found in villages back then. Only terracotta cutlery was seen at dining tables in cities, and food was cooked in metal utensils. With time, clay pot cooking became rare. But now, it’s making a comeback in Indian kitchens, thanks to increased awareness of the importance of healthy, environmentally-friendly and conscious cooking.

The recent fad of cooking in handi has prompted potters to return to crafting exquisite cooking earthenware. Preparing meals in earthenware is always preferable to using metal tools since it is easier to cook in a clay pot and it also increases the quality of any cuisine.

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Health benefits: Cooking in an alkaline clay pot neutralises the acidity of the food, ensuring that the pH balance of the food is maintained. Furthermore, the amount of oil or ghee used in cooking is quite low, resulting in a healthy balance of body fats.

Cooking with consistency: Moisture and heat can move throughout the surface or vessel due to the porous and natural insulating qualities. As a result, the food cooks evenly and doesn’t burn.

Budget-friendly: Clay pots are substantially less expensive than any metalware used in kitchens. Not only is it inexpensive, but it is also readily available in a variety of forms and sizes around the city.

Sustainable: Clay pots have been added to people’s lists of objects to use as a cooking medium as they become more responsible and select sustainable products. The pots are biodegradable, as the material decomposes naturally without causing harm to the environment. Chicken biryani, curd rice, fish curry, dal and many other classic clay pot Indian dishes are worth trying. Not to mention the traditional mishti doi, payasam, kheer and chai.

Tips for handling the earthenware

For the clay pots to last as long as possible, they must be seasoned. Allow the vessel to dry after soaking it in water. Season it with oil then fill it with water. Heat it on the gas stove and set it aside for a while. Remove the water from the clay pot and keep it aside for a few hours. It’s all set to go.

To clean your earthenware, never use soap or detergent powder. Because the surface is porous, the soap residue can be deposited. Washing clay pots with hot water is usually recommended. In certain circumstances, soaking the pot overnight in a solution of water and a few spoons of baking soda might help remove stubborn stains. After that, wash the pot well in hot water.