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Cooking the good old clay way

“Trending” has become the keyword in today’s day and age. In the space where I am, cooking in clay seems to be in.
Tagines from Morocco , the Spanish Cazuela used a Lot in Basque cooking , the Chinese sand pot (Saw Kuo) and the Palayok of the Philippines are showing up in menus and in the news of late. So lets give this a thought and some research.
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Needless to say after humans figured out that fire cooked food and made it tastier. They possibly looked for a medium to cook in to extend their knowledge of pit and spit cooking, according to my friend and an eminent food writer Rahul Verma, the first cooking utensils were tree barks, essentially to hold some liquid and provide a layer of separation to avoid food chaaring. It was soon replaced by clay (around 15,000 years ago!) and clay pot cooking has stayed on ever since.

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Let’s bring this humble clay and pair it with the humble cuisine of our country and what we get is an understated yet sure winner. The long slow cooking that is inherent to our cuisine allows little to go wrong when cooking in claypots. Also the spices that we add to our food tend to mature over a period of time and taste better thanks to the porous nature of unglazed clay….

Whether it is the sarson ka saag and urad dal that is cooked in the “Taudis” of Punjab , the fish Curries cooked in the “Kundlems” of the local dhabas (Khanawats) of Goa (some of them still remain in Bicholim Taluka) or the Malwan fish curry and the dish that I hold a special bias towards – the Syrian Christian fish curry which tastes the most superb the next day, left in the chatti that its cooked in. (Have to mention the kullarh waali chai, the raarha doodh and Mishti doi).

I have always believed that our relationship to food is an extension of our relationship to life and aspects around us. Earth and clay have been our bond to nature; philosophically from time immemorial earth has always stood for life and rebirth.

As a chef seeing a claypot is a comforting sign because it shows we’re going back to our roots yet again. All that this humble chef asks is to look inwards at our cuisine as well when appreciating “foren claypot cuisine”, as “mitti” has always been the essence of Indian food and philosophy.

Comments

  1. Back to the Basics, or Reaching your Roots… Its a nice way to put how earlier days of cooking although may not have a literal science behind cooking, did things quite scientifically. Its so intriguing… Well written and nicely said, would be an understatement, but I m short of words here.

  2. ✨🙏✨kindfulness, to your polite…..
    …….
    …..gesture ✨🌸✨🌼✨🌸✨😊✨

  3. Great piece! Thanks. Perhaps the word for local dhabas in Goa Bicholim is Khanawals and not Khanawats. A typo, I guess.

  4. My grandmother and mother make bajra rotla on a clay tavdi and so do I. I remember bringing one to the UK with me, swaddled in a shawl as part of my cabin baggage!

  5. Everyone talks about the significance of clay pots, (which is incredible) but no one talks about how to clean them after greasy cooking, as clay pots absorb detergents.

  6. Thank you, Chef for remembering Misti Doi.
    I think Champaran mash too deserves a mention in this article Chef. We talk so often about one-pot meals of distance shores, this one-pot meat dish is an experience of its own.
    Looking forward to you cooking both Misti Doi and Champaran mash one day soon.

  7. Nice to be grounded back to our roots.
    How to clean and maintain these vessels. I hope daily dish washing liquid/soap cannot be used here. What then? any easy approach?

  8. You reminded me my dad.sadly he is no more.until his death (74) he had no health issues at all.He used to bring these clay pots.He taught to how to cook in these.Ranveer sir I AM EVER GR8FUL TO YOU.MAY GOD BLESS YOU N YOUR FAMILY.

  9. You reminded me my dad.sadly he is no more.until his death (74) he had no health issues at all.He used to bring these clay pots.He taught to how to cook in these.Ranveer sir I AM EVER GR8FUL TO YOU.MAY GOD BLESS YOU N YOUR FAMILY.

  10. You know what Chef kuch log Duniya Mein Aise hote hain jo sabse alag Mukam Hasil karte hain aur Logon ki pahchan Banane Mein Unki hlp Bhi Karte h aur aap unmen se ek h love❤ you sir ❤

  11. Main To Yun Hi nikala tha Akela Ghar Se log Jhooth gaye aur karvan Banta Gaya
    You deserve this chef ❤
    Pichhle 20 years se mai Caesar disorder ki patient Ho Aur Meri Jindagi Ki agar koi last wish Hogi to vo h Aapse Milana

  12. Mitti is just not essence of Indian food and philosophy. It’s essence of our life, sabne aakhir mitti ho jaana…mitti de bawae

  13. I m a villager and my mom and grandma used to cook dal ,sarso ka saag and curry in these earthern pots and the taste is just mind blowing 💖…..sir ur a wonderful chef …Hats off to u😊

  14. Ranveer can you please make vedio on why clay and not other metal.. is it just the ease of use … how taste differ .. what is the kahani behind clay not being replace by other metals in indian cooking (except in recent times)

  15. Sir apni puri journey pe ek video bnao na.. I’m sure that many people wants to know more about you….#Most awaited……❤️❤️❤️

  16. Actually it’s a blissful feeling when u cook in earthen pots….mere bus chale to sare bartan htaker bus mitti k bartan rakhdu

  17. Such me agar yahi chiea than we have to move our old place & that is village . Because village is one of source that still using clay cooking like tavi(we called in gujarati),madhuli, ghado,etc. & i think this is best for health as well. & making clay utensil is also in my blood because it come from my ancestor because my cast is Prajapati subcast from kumbhar

  18. Chef Ranveer yes you know how to narrate and how to connect with our roots. You are really an inspiration. Back to basic is the really urge of this time. Thank you chef for the good piece!

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