Role of Brass Utensils in Indian Cuisine: An Age-Old Tradition
Image Credit: Unsplash

Brass utensils have been a crucial component of Indian cuisine for ages. Brass has been utilised for numerous things in India, from serving dishes to traditional cooking equipment. In addition, serving food with brass utensils is now thought to be a more authentically Indian dining experience. Because brass is a healthy and safe metal to cook with, our ancestors utilised brass containers for cooking meals when it was readily accessible.

Although the use of brass utensils in Indian cuisine is not new, it has recently become more popular. There are a number of causes for this, but one of the main ones is that brass, an alloy of copper and zinc, is exceedingly hard and resistant to wear and strain.

Many people think that brass utensils were used in India throughout the Vedic era (which lasted from approximately 1500 BCE to 500 BCE). Brass was frequently employed at this time to create tools and objects for ceremonial purposes. Brass didn't start to be used more frequently for cooking and dining equipment until much later, though.

Brass has earned a reputation for being a material of exceptional beauty and strength over the years. Brass has a distinct role in culture, from its usage in historical weaponry to the ornamental patterns that cover many Indian temples. Many Indians think that cooking with brassware infuses the food with more benevolent and auspicious energy since brass is alluring and mystical.

Why Brass Utensils Are Integral To Indian Cooking And Tradition?

Brass utensils have been used in Indian kitchens for generations, with each utensil having its unique function. The most common brass utensils include the kadhai, tawa, handi, and jhara. The kadhai is a deep, rounded pan used for frying and sautéing. The tawa, a flat circular pan, is used to make bread, such as chapatis and parathas. The handi is a deep, heavy-bottomed vessel used for slow-cooking stews and curries. The jhara, a perforated spoon, is used for straining liquids and removing solids from hot oil or water.

One of the main reasons why brass utensils are so important to Indian cooking is because of their ability to distribute heat evenly. The high thermal conductivity of brass allows for quick and even heating of food, reducing the likelihood of hot spots and burning. Brass utensils are also less likely to warp or deform under high temperatures, making them more durable and longer-lasting than other materials.

Another reason why brass utensils are integral to Indian cooking is their antimicrobial properties. Brass has been shown to naturally inhibit the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms, making it a safer option for storing and preparing food. Unlike plastic or other materials, which can harbour harmful bacteria, brass utensils are naturally hygienic and easy to clean.

Brass utensils also play a significant role in Indian culture and tradition. In many Indian households, brass utensils are passed down from generation to generation, becoming cherished heirlooms that are valued for their history and significance. Brass utensils are often used during special occasions and religious ceremonies, symbolizing purity and auspiciousness.

In addition to their practical and cultural significance, brass utensils also have aesthetic value. The warm golden hue of brass adds an element of elegance and beauty to any kitchen or dining table. Many brass utensils are intricately designed and handcrafted, showcasing the rich artistic traditions of India.

Despite the many advantages of brass utensils, they have become less popular in modern times due to the rise of non-stick cookware and other materials. However, there has been a recent resurgence of interest in traditional brass utensils, with many people rediscovering the benefits and beauty of these timeless objects.

In conclusion, brass utensils are an essential part of Indian cooking and tradition, offering numerous advantages in terms of heat conductivity, hygiene, durability, and aesthetics. While they may have fallen out of favour in recent times, their cultural and practical significance continues to make them a valuable addition to any kitchen.