Shutterbug's Blog

Living with Multiple Myeloma in Hyderabad , India . Random musings .


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Lock-Down Dairies – 25 May 2020 : My video on Seasoning Soapstone Cookware on Youtube.

Spent the whole day editing a video that I made on how to season a Soapstone Utensil.

Here is the link to the video –

This is a very ancient cookware that was used by several civilisations all over the world since thousands of years.

It is carved out of Soapstone by hand, Supposed to be soft and porous.

Cooking in this cookware has several benefits –

  • The material is mostly inert and hence does not impart any flavour to the recipe.
  • Food cooked in this Utensil stays hot for almost 3-4 hours.
  • Contains essential nutrients like magnesium and calcium which leaches into the food.
  • It is long lasting if handled well and can be passed on to several generations.
  • Any type of food can be cooked in this utensil. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes can be cooked. Deep frying is not advised.
  • Food cooks evenly in the container.
  • Does not react with acidic foods.

I enjoyed the whole process of seasoning this Utensil which took 13 days to complete. This process hardens the stone and makes it long lasting.

I also prepared my first dish in this utensil yesterday , called ‘Mukkala Pulusu’ which is a famous recipe in Andhra Pradesh. It was definitely tastier than the dish that i used to cook in a steel utensil 🙂

However, the one I bought was of medium size which is small when I want to cook for more than 4 persons. I will be buying a bigger one soon.

Love this creation.

These can be bought online from various online stores.

You can find dosa pans, paniyaram pans, kadai , lamps , mortar and pestle (small) etc. The most popular model in which any kind of gravy recipe can be cooked is called ‘Kalchatti in Tamil or Rathi Chippa / Rachippa in Telugu).

Usually found in the southern states in India.

It is surely making a comeback .

Can be used on Gas stove , Oven and wood fire too.


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My Obsession with Traditional Cookware

Eating healthy is important and Cooking food the right way is equally important. There are umpteen ways to cook food and a variety of cookware is being used to cook food all over the world.

These days I am fascinated and have been craving for all Traditional and Natural products like Earthen Cookware and Handloom Sarees.

A decade ago I came across articles that advised against using Aluminium cookware . Aluminium reacts with acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus foods and tamarindwhich makes the food toxic. I began replacing the ones I had with Stainless steel ones. I got a Stainless steel pressure cooker, a Kadai and other Stainless steel cooking pots for curries.

I recently came across this informative article which doubled my obsession for traditional cookware.

http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/artisinal-earthenware/article19133289.ece?utm_content=buffer3e782&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Cookware  made from terracotta, soapstone and cast iron are on my mind these days.

Have been exploring these varieties on the Internet, the pros and cons of each one of them, the recipes that are best cooked with each type of vessel , the sources for procuring these, cleaning/handling and maintenance of these pieces and finally the price of these beautiful pieces.

Got some good reviews from my sis too who has got hold of a terracotta utensil and has been raving about how yummy her dals turn out each time. Micro nutrients from the clay make the dish tasty and nutritious.

I have some good memories of my Grandma cooking delicious food in earthenware. Grandma is no more. Hope to interview some of the other women in Grandma’s village , who continue to cook using earthenware , during my next visit :).

I had stopped using Non-stick ware and was looking for other types of cookware. A year ago I tossed out my non stick pan which I used for making Dosas and bought a cast iron tava (pan) . I also bought a small appam pan which I now use to prepare tadka. Tossed out the Aluminium one I had that I used for preparing Tadka. Bought these online from peacockcolours.com.

Love these two babies . Especially because of the non stick kind of coating. They are heavier compared to other materials. Got to be careful so as not to drop them. They might break and break your floor too :).

I have just ordered a cast iron skillet and a cast iron Kadai online. Looking forward to their arrival 🙂 Ordered them from Thevillagefair.

Some six years ago I began replacing my Stainless steel utensils too as I read that Lead and chromium from stainless steel leach into the food. I did some research and liked ceramic-ware and bought two curry pots. Quite easy to clean but the thin layer of ceramic cannot withstand a steel spoon and hard scrubbing. Ceramic-ware also has traces of Lead and cadmium .

My recent obsession with Earthenware took me a Farmer’s market at Saptaparni , Banjara hills , last Sunday. Bought black earthenware . Bought this after reading and watching YouTube videos on how to Season and cook in these type of utensils.  Here is my latest acquisition –

Will review once I start using it 🙂 .

I also have a copper water jug which I plan to use . Got this as a gift from my Organisation. It was lying in a corner in our Pantry and I retrieved it today 🙂  Indians have long since believed that drinking water stored in a copper container is very good for the health. More on this later.

Till then … enjoy healthy cooking …