Whenever you shop for kitchen cooking vessels, either online or offline the beautiful coloured vessels attract you without doubt. You just want to buy them and imagine yourself cooking the most astonishing dishes as shown in most of the cookery shows.
Non sticking cook wares have become very popular in last two to three decades in India. The main reason of popularity was that they can be cleaned very easily and use of less oil in cooking besides their looks. I, like everybody else of my generation, who got married in eighties dumped the stainless steel, iron and earthen cook wares to make space for the new "in thing" in cooking vessels.
They have a layer of Teflon or polytetraflourothelene. It is the black nonsticking layer we see on inside of the cookware. Slowly this black layergets erased while cooking. The chemical layer got mingle with cooked food and this is attributed to be one reason of increasing cancer cases thse days.
There are few cases of cancer in my known circle and in every case, the doctors had advised them to dump all non sticking, melmoware and plastic containers from kitchen.
With a new narrative from Indian nutritionists like RUJUTA DIWEKAR about bringing in the age old Indian wisdom to the forefront, the steel, iron and earthen pots are making a comeback to the kitchen. I am now totally sold out to the idea of bringing back the metal into the kitchen.
When my sister in law was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, her doctor advised her to get rid of everything non-sticking , plastic and melamine ware from the kitchen. We all have most of the storage boxes of plastics. Now they come in such attractive designs and colours that there is no way you can hold yourself back. But she replaced everything with in no time. And so did everyone in the family.
Let us analyze why iron, steel or earthen ware are good for us.
After discarding my non sticking dosa tawa, I was worried about how to make a good dosa on iron tawa. To my surprise, making dosa on iron tawa was as breezy as on non stick girdle. Actually, it comes out better cooked on iron tawa.
The first question arises about iron utensils is that how to prevent rusting of these iron / cast iron vessels. It's simple. Just wash the vessel with soap. Then dip a kitchen napkin in oil and just wipe the iron utensils all around so that a layer of oil is formed everywhere to prevent them from rusting.
A friend of mine had added earthen pot to her kitchen and mentioned that "sabzi ka taste hi badal gaya". The vegetables taste so delicious. I used to wonder how can vegetables taste better in an earthen pot till I tried it myself. After seeing the ease of using the metal in kitchen, I had replaced all non sticking utensils by steel kadhai, iron kadhai, iron sauce pans to my cooking arsenal.
Doctors also advise using iron cooking vessels as they make food rich in iron specially for anemic patients.
Iron utensils need to be seasoned or curated before using them. It's simple. first wash the vessel with soap and non abrasive wool. Remove any rust and clean thoroughly. Now wipe them with a kitchen napkin dipped in oil and cover every inch of the vessel with oil. Now heat it for 5-7 minutes. You can also keep it in your oven.
No aluminium utensils were added. I will share the reason of not adding Aluminium in another blopg post.
Earthen pots come in glazed or unglazed inners. I prefer unglazed earthen pots. The benefits of using clay pot for cooking is it's ability to absorb water and circulate steam, which makes the meat/ vegetables moist and tender as well as soft on the inside with a crispy crust. The unglazed clay is also alkaline, balancing the pH in the food, adding a little sweetness to acidic ingredients, such as tomatoes.
I have myself observed that all the dry vegetables which I make in my earthen pot are always tastier than earlier versions.
Where to buy?
As we are all prefering being at home, due to Corona, the best place to shop is our apni dukan - Amazon.in
I am sharing few links of cast iron and earthen cookware to help you out in your selections.
Cast Iron cooking vessels link:
Earthen cooking pot:
So, are you bringing back the metal and earthen pots in the kitchen? Share your experiences with me.
Pics are from Google search .