We’ve tried biryani in several places but the aroma that a clay pot can lend to the dish, no star chef can. A biryani party at my place inevitably means cooking in a clay pot. You can find my dad stationed next to the matki, carefully stirring the rice and spices.
Clay pots are part of ancient history. Almost all ancient civilisations, Indus Valley, Egyptian, or Sumerian, used clay pots to cook, serve and eat.
And pottery still endures. Even in the present times, we find our grandmothers telling us about the special something that clay adds to your food. There has to be a reason why Biryani smells and tastes better when cooked in a Handi.
It is the smokey taste that clay adds to your food.
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Is it safe to cook in clay pots?
It’s not just safe but also highly beneficial to cook in earthenware. Since clay is alkaline in nature, it helps restore the Ph balance of the food. By virtue of the material used to make clay pots, they are also thought to provide certain minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus to the food being cooked.
Go back to your roots and start cooking in clay! Follow this link to get your set of the mud pots now.
How do you cook in clay pots?
Earthenware is porous which allows for slow cooking of the food. It also allows the flavour to spread evenly and your food to marinate in the spices better. No wonder that your curries and biryani taste so much better when cooked in a matki.
Make sure to use less oil—clay is heat resistant and so, the food will retain the moisture, negating the need to add extra oil to moisturise it.
Come summer, we get clay containers to keep water cool. In the winters, you can also use the “down to earth” material to keep your food warm! Click this link to get your earthenware.
How to clean earthenware?
Don’t use any soap or dishwashing liquid to clean the pots and pans. Since clay is porous, tiny bits of the soap may get stuck in it and the next time you cook in the pot, it may affect your food. Pour hot water in the pot or pan and use a brush to clean it. In case some stubborn bits remain, sprinkle some baking soda or salt and scrub clean with a sponge.
If that doesn’t work either, pour water into the pot, adding 3-4 spoonfuls of baking soda and let it rest overnight. You can easily scrub off the food remains the next day.
Unglazed clay pots will also require regular seasoning to prevent it from cracking.
Soak the pot into the water for a minimum of 15 minutes and a maximum of two hours (depending on when the last seasoning was). Dry it and rub a clove of garlic and some vegetable oil on its inner surface. Add water to the pot again (3/4th of the way) and heat it on the stove at a low temperature.
Ready to make some delicious dishes and wow your guests? Purchase curry pots, dum biryani pots and curd setting pot by clicking on this link.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)