Earthenware cooking is back!
If you think that there is no place for clay utensils and pots anymore in this era of smart and modular kitchens, then you’re wrong.
Cooking in earthen pots, a new fad among health-conscious
If you think that there is no place for clay utensils and pots anymore in this era of smart and modular kitchens, then you’re wrong. Village artisans are still eking out a living by making clay utensils and pots. This is evident at Lepakshi Crafts Mela which is being held at Swaraj Maidan where a variety of utensils made of clay are on display. It seems like organic food, clay utensils are also gaining popularity. Many health conscious people are of the opinion that it is the right medium to cook food.
According to naturalists, food cooked in clay utensils retains 90 per cent of its goodness unlike that of prepared in aluminium and steel dishes. The utensils and pots on display at the expo are made of red clay. Generally, vessels made of red clay are used for decoration purposes and as plant and flower pots. With the advent of plastics, the use of red clay vessels as flower pots is also on the decline.
Now, there is a ray of hope that the traditional earthenware can withstand the onslaught of metal vessels and plastics.
Asinapuram Balaji and A Srinivasulu of Chittoor district, who displayed their utensils made of special clay at the exhibition, said that their range included plates, water jugs, biryani pots, fry pans and other essential cookware. The clay cookware is available in a price range of Rs 80 to Rs 350. A pot which can be used to keep curd is priced at Rs 80. A biryani pot costs Rs 180. Clay dishes with lids are also available at a price of Rs 150. There are many buyers for the clay utensils at the expo.
“We burn the molded clay utensils for 12 hours in a furnace to harden them to withstand the heat and pressure while cooking. The clay utensils do not crack or break even at high temperature. Cooking food in clay utensils is also good for health. They are also durable if a little care is taken while handling them,” said Srinivasulu.
Balaji says, “Ours is not a new concept. Before the advent of aluminium and steel utensils, people used to cook food in clay utensils only in olden times, which is quite good for health. Now many health conscious people have realised the goodness of cooking food in clay utensils, which has benefited the artisans depending on pottery for their livelihood.”
By: Ch Sowmya Sruthi