We are very careful about the things we eat then why not with utensils we cook in! Earthen ware is one of the best medium to cook food in and actually benefits your health! So go ahead or should we say go back to using clay and earthenware to cook tasty healthy meals in your daily life! Here is how and why!
Inexpensive and easily available – Earthenware in India, is inexpensive in comparison to other cooking utensils. You can get them in different shapes and sizes without making a hole in your wallet. You could even order these online and have them delivered to your doorstep without much of a fuss.
Flavourful food – Whether it is a mitti ka tandoor or a simple handi used to make a curry in – the porous nature of a clay pot makes it retain moisture and heat within the pot itself ensuring a dish that is perfectly cooked and full of flavour! Moreover that earthy taste and aroma is unmatchable!
Beautiful – You get pottery or earthenware in all shapes and sizes and for all purposes. Use a kulhad instead of a plastic or ceramic cup for your morning chai. Store cool water in a matki instead of in the fridge and the water will have a natural sweetness to it! These clay pots are beautiful to look at and come in various colours, shapes and designs. They add a touch of class and ethnicity to the dining table.
Health benefits – Cooking in clay pots is said to give you all the calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, sulphur and several other compounds that our body benefits from! Clay pots are also alkaline in nature so they mix well with acidic food to perfectly balance out the PH level of what you cook – making it healthier!
Heat Resistant – Contrary to popular belief these are heat resistant though not as much as a copper or iron vessel. Handis or clay pots that have been fired to a point and glazed make them more heat resistant. You can easily use these to cook your daily meals on a gas burner. Rice, dal pulao, or a sabzi you can make it all in an earthenware pot. The trick is to keep the flame low and eventually raise the temperature as sudden changes in temperature may cause the handi to crack. Slow cooking in a handi imparts a delicious earthy flavour of the food. Try making a handi biryani in a clay pot– you will know what deliciousness is! A couple more minutes of time is a small con as opposed to the several pros of cooking in clay! The best part is that you get microwave safe ceramic and earthen ware utensils too!
Perfect for milk and milk products – Mishti doi or sweetened curd is every Bengalis pride. Try making mishit doi in a mitti ki handi and set another batch in another vessel – you will instantly know what makes the ones from Bengal so fabulous! Same goes for curd – set curd in an earthenware pot. Boiling milk or even brewing you morning cup of tea or coffee in an earthen pot adds that fabulous robust aroma and taste to it!
Types and options galaore– There are various types of earthen ware available since it is such a rage these days. Right from ceramic to cream ware to pots and pans made with pure terracotta – there are a number of options to choose from. Use ones that are lightly glazed so you can use these to cook food at high temperatures without losing out on the benefits.
So step out and go buy those clay pots to revive and rejuvenate your cooking and food eating experience! For recipes browse through sanjeevkapoor.com
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.