Remember the hot almond-flavored Milk in those earthen cups, which are fondly called ‘kasora’ in India. What an earthy aroma they possess and they leave that smoky milky taste on your tongue, always.
How about introducing these earthen pots in your kitchen too, not just for serving but for cooking as well! This will impart an amazing flavor to your dish and is the ideal choice of utensil for slow cooking. Not just this, earthen pots have so many health benefits too. They come with a bounty of reasons to introduce them to your kitchen as well as on the tableware.
Here are the 10 Reasons Why You Need to Cook & Serve Food in Earthen or Clay pots Now!
1. Looks Amazingly Chic
Well, let’s be honest, we all get attracted by the looks first then the health benefits. The USP of the clay utensils is that they look so urban chic and traditional at the same time. So get that bohemian feel in your kitchen and you will definitely end up flaunting them to your family & friends.
2. Doesn’t leach metals into your food
The usual aluminum utensils we use don’t have a very good reputation in terms of health benefits. They are known to leach the metals in your food thus making it harmful. This the reason why cooking in the pressure cookers used to be discouraged by many Ayurveda scholars. The pressure cooking halves your cooking time but it also sweeps out the nutrition present in your food. The earthen pots, on the other hand, take some time in getting the food cooked but they cook it evenly & thoroughly.
3. It Retains 100% of Nutrients in Food
As per late Ayurveda scholar Dr. Rajiv Dixit, people used to cook and eat food in these earthen pots which is why they used to remain healthy and live a longer life. He experimented with people with diabetes and asked them just to replace their utensils with earthen pots. After some time, their sugar and BP levels were measured, and they improved dramatically. The sugar levels were more in control along with the BP readings.
He got the lentils/Dal tested in a lab to know the percentage of nutrients it had in it, the result came out as 100%. Do you still need a reason?
4. It is Biodegradable
These pots are made up of soil and get decomposed back into the soil whenever disposed of. This decrease the pollution that we create when we add our dwindled saucepan to that dumping ground. So this is our chance to go green and reduce our carbon footprint multifold.
5. Adds Minerals and Vitamins to Your Food
Mother nature always gives, and so are these earthy utensils. The earthy pots are known to add calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and a group of vitamins. What else do you need! A utensil that looks pretty, is biodegradable, cooks food evenly, and even adds minerals to it! Wait it will only get better.
6. Food Stays fresh for a Longer Period
As the food cooks slowly with the even heat circulating throughout the food, it stays warm for a longer period. Thus keeping it fresh. When it cools down completely, it acts as a refrigerator due to its porous nature, thus keeping the food fresher and cooler. When it is hot your food is hot, when it has cooled, your food remains fresh for longer!
7. Gives a nice Earthy Flavor to Your Dish
We all go drooling over those coal-fired smokey tikkas and barbecue. This kind of earthy flavor is soaked in the lentils, soup, curry, rice, milk, or anything you cook in these clay-ridden beauties. If your food is spicy you will have just a subtle earthy essence and if you are boiling milk or any other bland dish then you will be greeted with a strong earthy aroma!
8. Makes the Food Easily Digestible
Being Alkaline in nature, the clay reduces the acidity of the food thus making it easily digestible and you will have the least episodes of that heartburn! Yay! Win-win!
9. Retains Food color and Texture
Having small pores in it, the earthy pots provides slow evaporation of heat, so the food cooks slowly and retains its flavors, color, and nutrients in it. Your variety of capsicum/bell peppers will look as beautiful as they looked while cutting them. This is the magic pot!
10. You don’t need that much oil
Last but certainly not the least as oil consumption is what makes us fret. These magic pots retain water in them which gets released while cooking them. This reduces the need for excess oil to cook the food as the liquid released from the veggies and the pot is enough to cook it evenly. You can add as little as you need or can simply skip the oil and get a perfect, health, oil-free, and nutrient-rich bowl at your table.
The story doesn’t end here, as handling these earthen pots is not that easy. You need to know all about them so that you don’t end up breaking your first earthy one! Let’s know how to season it, how to clean and what things to consider to make them last a lifetime.
How to Season Your Earthen Pot
You need to season your pot before using it for the first time. It’s best if you season it every 30 days to make it last longer. Although there are many ways to do it, We are telling you the easiest one here –
- Immerse in water for about 2 days
- Scrub off with a brush
- Take some edible oil of your choice on your palm and rub it on the insides of the pot.
- Boil water in it before making your first recipe. (don’t put it on a high flame directly, start with the lowest flame and then increase the flame gradually to avoid cracking it).
How to Clean an Earthen Pot
- Don’t use soap while cleaning it, as it will get absorbed in it and your next meal will be rich in your dish soap. Just use hot water and a scrubber.
2. Best Practice will be to immerse it all night in water (both the lid and pot) with some vinegar or baking soda. Then dry it out completely to avoid any mold appearing on it.
3. In India, people used to clean the pots with the ashes of burnt wood, it is still the best option if you have access to that.
Precautions While Using Earthen Pots
- Don’t preheat the oven to avoid any cracking due to sudden heat.
- Dip in water and wash thoroughly before use.
- Always use the unglazed ones as the glaze may have some harmful chemicals in it thus defying the whole healthy cooking purpose of these clay pots. The glazed ones will look more beautiful, waterproof, and shiny, but resist the urge to buy them.
- Start on low heat and then increase the temperature gradually.
- Don’t put it on fire when it’s empty, put some food in it to avoid cracking.
- Don’t put it under water when it is still hot.
From where to Buy the Earthen Pots
We recommend you buy the unglazed pots from your local vendors. As you will get them made at a good price and they will surely deliver the unglazed ones to you.
Also, they deserve some appreciation and money for keeping this old tradition alive in these modern times.
Use the pot to fry, bake, marinate, cook, and even for curd making (famous Indian thing of Dahi Jamana) in summers. Make your tea in earthen pots, drink hot milk in Mitti Kasoras/Earthen mugs and you will get an instant feel of heaven.
Indians have been using earthen pots to store water in summers, our famous Ghada (pitcher) and then the beautiful swan-shaped ‘surahi’ to keep the water at the bedside for nights.
Let’s bring those days back Globally! 🙂
P.S – Don’t forget to buy one for the birds! Fill it with water and let them cool down in the scorching heat of summer.
Recommended Read – How to Start your own container Vegetable Garden?