Often times you may have heard your elders referring to the salivating taste of village foods. How their taste is distinctive and flavourful compared to the urban kitchen cooked produce.
There are numerous factors they would list that which renders their village food superior. These would be – purity and authenticity of the ingredients involved like pesticide free vegetables, desi ghee, unadulterated spices that are organically prepared or at times the traditional method employed in cooking (like cooking on the chulhas) and also not to forget dadi ke haath ka jadoo.
All of it is true, but there is one more important secret ingredient that contributed to the magic that left you craving for more bites of your village delicacy.
These are the Organic Earthen Terracotta Clay Pots which they used to prepare their food in. The porous nature of these pots use to hold the moisture and aroma of food cooked in it without loss of natural essential oils. This helped bring to the table set of curries with all that smoky & earthy aroma in it which tasted delicious and was also adding goodness to your health.
Today we bring to you Top 5 clay pots you should consider having in your kitchen to relive your old day palate. We’ll cover how and why to purchase these, Instructions to follow before etc. We’ll also cover the harms these modern kitchen utensils are doing us. So lets get started.
Why You need to Switch from your Regular Toxic Cookware
In earlier times clay pots were what our ancestors used to prepare food, the benefits of which they basked generously. Unlike today’s generation they displayed greater immunity to diseases, had better stamina and agility. The organically prepared food they put in their mouth gave their body and mind the required balance.
Our generation made the shift owing to numerous reasons like –
- Modern designs promised by these aluminium-steel-copper made utensils that eased handling
- Reduced time in cooking due to metals property to conduct heat faster
- Longevity of metal when compared to the fragile nature of clay products
- Low maintenance requirement etc
What we failed to fathom was that this trade came at the cost of health and well being of us and our children. Every time you heat your metal made vessel in the stove you are not aware of the toxins it is
leaching into your food which can cause issues like thyroid, hormonal imbalance, complications of heart and maybe even Cancer.
Here is a list of harm your everyday kitchen utensil is causing you –
- Non Stick Cookware
This is a very common vessel in most households due to the ease in cleaning, handling, cooking etc. But little do many people know that one of the element in construction is a plastic polymer called “poly tetra fluoro ethylene” also known as ‘teflon’.The fumes generated on heating these contain elements of mercury and other toxic agents that can do serious damage to lungs and brain.
- Aluminum Cookware
Again a very common utensil to be found in most kitchen. Much loved for being cheap, strong, light-weight and versatile. Problem with this one is that aluminium is a thyro-toxic metal which gets deposited in the body and stays for long causing trouble. And every time you cook your food in this it leaches into your food making it toxic.
- Stainless Steel Cookware
Although 100% stainless steel is comparatively a better choice to consider than the ones we have discussed before, but it too has some negative effects at disposal. Many stainless steel utensils have elements of copper and nickel added to them to provide the utensil an extra shine. These leach dangerous toxins into your food upon reacting with oil and heat.
Top 5 Clay Pots
First place among the recommendation is SeGrand’s Clay Biryani Pot Handi. Made of 100% Pure and Natural Clay, he design follows the same one as our traditional cooking pots, which brings all those nostalgic memories back.
The biryani pot is tough, sturdy and is in right manner heavy to support cooking on stove and not break easily. ‘Biryani Pot’ as the name suggests, has a curvature which is on purpose constructed to support dum cooking to prepare pot biryani. However you can also use this to prepare your regular curries too.
Good thing about the brand is that they offer customisation on Size so as to help the customer get their desired biryani Pot that suits their need. SeGrand has alos helped infuse modernness into making the biryani pot by providing it with handles on both sides unlike the traditional pots so as to aid customer with handling their Clay cookware better.
Second on the list is SeGrand Clay Cooker. This is where the brand has made effort to erase perception of public that Clay Pots are meant to be the same old unappealing design. The Clay Cooker is totally a modern design for the modern kitchen.
The Clay Cooker allows full on pressure cooking experience similar to the regular ones we use in our kitchen. However you get the benefit of preserving all the vital nutrients unlike your regular cooker that kills most by breaking the substances apart in the name of cooking.
Another famous brand after SeGrand is the Craftsman. They specialise in deep burned black clay pots. As the process of black pottery follows the pot to be put in the kiln two times, this adds lot of strength to the product and prevents from breaking.
This type of clay pot with broader opening design is very much preferred in south where it goes by the name “chatti” and is used to prepare traditional fish curry.
This clay pot is more of a matka rather than a clay pot for cooking. The brand though claims that it can be used for cooking too but the pot is a little small for that. However the best use of this cookware is to prepare curd.
The natural mineral in these Clay pots render the curd thicker and richer in taste whilst also adding a note of smoky note into it.
Finally, to warp it up we have a product from the Vaghabatt. Again a product of modern making, this one is microwave safe too – providing customer with greater ease in cooking.
They come with a glass lid and the unique deep & narrower design of Kadai facilitates Quick Stir – Frying of Food.
What factors to consider when Purchasing Clay Pots
Here is a list of factors that you need to be absolutely sure about before going for purchase –
- Check with your vendor whether the product you are buying is glazed or unglazed. Usually unglazed pots are safer and better option than the glazed ones as they retain their porosity by not going through artificial colour to provide a finished look
- Make sure what you are buying is made of 100% pure terracotta earthen clay and not any artificial clay like porcelain or kaolin that are devoid of any natural and organic benefits.
- Know that changing to Clay Pots is a huge commitment. Cooking in clay pots require time and patience, they don’t cook as fast as your regular metal vessels, but one thing for sure the end result will never disappoint you.
Always cook on slow flame with Clay Pots, high flame is not good for the life of these pot, they tend to crack because of that.
How to Season Clay Pots before Cooking?
There are certain instructions you need to follow before putting you Clay Pots to its first use. Since the product directly comes from soil, there are some measures you need to take to cleanse it of the strong odour or any impurities that have clinged to it. These are –
- Rinse the Pot using dishwash liquid thoroughly
- Soak the pot in buttermilk (water also works fine) and keep it undisturbed upto 24 hrs
- Rinse it again and let it dry completely
- Apply oil on both inside and outside of the pot and place it on stove. Heat it for 15 min on slow flame.
- Leave it to rest for an hour
Your pot is now ready to use
Food Cooked in Clay Pot is Rich in Iron, Calcium, Magnesium and Sulfur which plays an important role for Your Well-Being. Also the Alkaline Nature of Clay Pot interacts with Acidity in the Food, thereby Neutralising the pH Balance and eventually making food healthier and a lot tastier.
This Covid time has been both a trouble maker as well as an eye opener. While we are recovering and entering into a new era leaving the virus behind, let’s subscribe to a healthier alternative.
Clay Pots are the part of that same rich heritage that helped our ancestors live a rich and healthier life.
Let’s relive that goodness together, Let’s connect with nature, Let’s return to our basics