Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Mud pot/Clay pot cooking (Man paanai samyal)

mud pot cooking-Clay pot




































I had this idea of Clay pot Cooking (mud pot/ Man paanai) for a long time. But due to some reason or other it was getting postponed.

Finally the day came when I with my husband and son went to a pottery shop in the outskirts of the city. "So here we are in the ruins of Harappa to buy a pot", my husband joked. I could literally see a tradition of making pots at its brink of extinction.

The shop looked more like a house and it had a distinct smell of clay. Pots were everywhere around us, even on the top of the roof, some well rounded and some broken.

I took a lot of patience in choosing and analysing each and every pot he showed us. I finally chose a medium sized well rounded unglazed Clay pot.

Advantages of Clay pot Cooking:

1) Clay pot is porous and heat circulate through the pot which retains the aroma and nutrition of food. I tried Keerai kadayal in Clay pot , and can smell the nice aroma and it was delicious as well.

2) The food is cooked slowly and completely and no need to add extra fat or oil.

3) You can cook almost anything in it and is even suitable for microwave.

4) The Clay pot retains temperature for a longer time as compared to steel utensils and hence no need to transfer it to casserole.

5) Last but not least, it makes the food tasty comparing to cooking in other utensils.

Health Benefits:


1) Alkaline food is best for our body but in today's fast world we prefer more acidic food which produces toxins. Since Clay is alkaline in nature and when food is cooked it neutralizes the PH balance of food and hence acts as natural detox. 

2)  Cooking in Clay pot is same as the process of steaming and hence retains the nutrition in the food. 

3)  No extra oil is needed for cooking which helps to maintain cholesterol levels.

4) Reheating the food always leads to loss of nutrition but if you cook in clay pot it retains the temperature for a longer time and no worries for reheating.



Method for curing:

1) Boil water in a container and add rice to the water.

2) Once the rice is cooked, strain the rice and keep the left over water.

3) Pour the left over water in mud pot and leave it overnight and discard it the next day.

4) Repeat this procedure next night and continue for a weeks time.

5) on final day, boil water in Clay pot add few dal (split green gram dal or toor dal) and cook for few minutes.

6) Use wooden whipper and whip the dal nicely and throw it.

This method will help to cure and remove mud from the pot and make it ready for cooking.

Cleaning:

1) Cleaning the Clay pot after cooking is also easy, clean it with a brush or scrub pad and wash it with warm water .

2) Do not use any soap or detergent as the Clay pot is porous and absorbs it and when you cook again it will get into your food.

3) For stubborn stains, take rock salt in scrub pad and scrub it nicely. Fill the pot with hot water and wait for half hour. Discard the water and wash it again.

Precautions:

1) While cooking use wooden spoons or spatulas and avoid metallic ones as it will not scrap the mud off the pot.

2) Clay pot cooking needs more care than normal kadai cooking as it tends to break or develop cracks if you don't handle it properly.  

Availability:

1) In India, you get to see the road side vendors selling unglazed clay pots in reasonable price.

Another interesting use of mud pot is storing water in it, for which you will get a different pot. Click here to read the article.


Interested more to know about other traditional cooking methods, try Cooking in cast Iron.

12 comments:

  1. very informative, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i am using clay pot from last 4 months .it is a nice and wonderful experience . I have problem of pot getting burned while boiling milk on low flame .Pls guide sac9377@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice Post! Unglazed earthenware made from tested clay is the safest. I've been using this kind of pots for about 2 years now and have replaced most of my metal and ceramic ware with it. They do a great job in my kitchen. Most important is that my pure clay pot is non-toxic, metal and chemical free. The unique steam locker lid seal steam & water soluble nutrients inside to give you the healthiest food. I got it from mecware.US

      Delete
    2. Hi Thad, Thanks for visiting my blog. Yes, you are right unglazed earthernware made of pure and tested clay would be a better choice and thanks for sharing your experience with us.

      Delete
  3. If you are using the same clay pot for gravies and as well as for boiling milk you might face this problem. Try using a clay pot exclusively for boiling milk and please avoid using the same for preparing other food.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi, Thanks for this very useful post. I have been cooking in Miriams Earthen Cookware for some time now. These are handcrafted pots and pans made in the USA from pure and tested clay. I've come to love these pots so much... they look beautiful in my kitchen and cook my food so delicious.
    After searching high and low for unglazed, pure clay pots, i finally found these that were made right here in the USA and they're working great for me. Yes, I am feeling so much more healthier eating food from them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comments. Yes it is always better to use clay pots made of pure and tested clay. It might be little difficult while we start cooking with clay pot in the beginning as it needs more care but when we eat the food made with clay pot we would love them.

      Delete
  5. Thanks for the information.
    I have started using it to prepare dal. Could you please guide me with the complete method of preparation of dal.
    Should I soak dal before preparing or not.
    What time will it take to prepare dal in clay pot.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi SaHiL, thanks for visiting my site. Clay/ mud pot takes more time to cook dal than pressure cooker and approximately around 15-20 mins depends on which dal you are using. It is better to soak the dal before cooking as it saves time. If you are asking for dal recipe as for roti, I will post it soon.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Harini,

    I bought a clay pot last week for making gravy. I just washed it and then filled the pot with water and bolied it. Then I discarded the boiled water. After this I used it to made fish curry. Immediately after cooking the taste was fine but then I kept the curry in the pot itself. Later after few hours when we tasted it, it was very bad that we could only smell mud in the curry.

    what can i do to avoid this............

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi,

    Thanks for visiting my site. I think you haven't done the curing process and that is the reason you could smell mud in the curry. Check "Method for curing" in this post and do the curing process. This will help you.

    Thanks,
    Harini

    ReplyDelete