The sight of earthen pots flooding the market makes a cool sight during summer. No refrigerator water can match the earthy sips taken from these natural coolers. The smell of earth connects us to the land and sets-in nostalgia. How about eating the food cooked in earthen pots? Many might not know or might have forgotten that cooking in earthen pots was a common feature a few decades ago. It is cool to get back that rich earthy flavor in your food if you talk to the same potter to get you a few earthen cooking pots. You will be surprised when he reveals that cooking is only done in earthen pots at his home.

If you are wondering whether you also need to get a fireplace to cook in these pots, it is absolutely not necessary. You can use the clean, green, gas fuel to cook in these natural pots. Of course, you need extra space to stack these in the kitchen. They can be your proud displays in a safe place when put upside down or can be used to store fruits and vegetables. Yes, fresh products store longer in earthen pots and also don’t lose their humidity and get wrinkled as in a refrigerator.

Cooking in earthen ware may take a few minutes longer than that cooked in a pressure cooker. Earthen cooking pots are shaped high, with narrow mouth to retain heat. It can be left open during cooking or an earthen lid can be used to cover it. Earthen pot itself is porous and traps outer air into the cooking process. A combination of air, earth and sunlight retain maximum nutrients in the cooked food. Slow cooking is back in demand after researchers have proved that it is good for health. Medium or slow flame used for cooking in these pots amounts to slow cooking.

What can be cooked in these vessels? Well, almost everything. Once you taste the rice, pulavs or biryani cooked in these pots, it is difficult to like any other. These can be used just like metal vessels while cooking dals or vegetables and even meat. They take-in little extra water measure as some humidity is absorbed by the pot and lost through its pores into the atmosphere. Pots also work as food warmers as they retain heat for longer time and keep the food warm Gourmets vouch for the fish cooked in earthen pans. Earthen tawas can be used to make rotis and chapattis.

What to look for while buying earthenware? It should be baked well and should not have any cracks. Different shapes and sizes can be made to order or chosen from the available lot according to requirement. The potter will be happy to make a few new ones as India still has many families engaged in pottery and they will definitely welcome additional income. Soak the new pot in water for a few hours to test of it has any cracks or leaks.

For starters, you can begin with one pot and use it during weekends and holidays to experiment. Food cooked in earthen pots will be the topic of discussion at family get- together and parties. It is sure to tempt you to add more and increase the frequency of usage. These are also environment friendly as they are easily bio degradable. You‘ll have the pride of doing your bit in caring for nature while reviving a healthy tradition.

Summer is the best time to bake pots. Get your potter to bake yours this season and enjoy the fresh earthy flavor in your food.

By Anand & Madhura Katti

 


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