My best found on cookware: And where to find them?
Long before humans invented the modern utensils, food was cooked in clay pots, water was kept in clay pots, and even eaten and drank in clay pots. A visit to any history museum will reveal broken clay utensil remains of the previous civilization. Come modern-day age, the supermarkets is a host to a variety of material used in utensils ranging from nonstick, aluminium, steel, iron, glass and what not. They come packaged in beautiful colours, convenient sizes and to add to it, perfect deals.
Why would the modern human being, have the time and even the incentive to look up for the ‘good old’ clay utensils? It looks dirty, easily breakable, hard to clean and even harder to find.
The current clay pot collection that I haveIn my search for the perfect cookware, reading articles upon articles, I came across one overlying point every time. Whichever material you use, some particles will definitely leech in to your food, no matter what precautions are taken. Cooking in aluminium, the most widely used in subcontinent, leaches Aluminium in the food which is like a neurotoxin to our brain. Cooking in cast iron leaches iron in our food, larger quantities of which can again be detrimental for health. The same concept applies for non-stickware, copper ware and even stainless steel. Yes, you read it right! The PH of the food can be acidic or alkaline. Under acidic conditions, stainless steel which is made up of iron, chromium and few other elements, start to break away, so one must never use tomato based dishes or any acidic food in a steel pot or pan.
This lead me to the answer I have been looking for. The clay pots. Allah has again and again mentioned in Quran that human beings are made up of clay. One of the verses, from Surah Muminun, ayah 12 is:
Sahih International: And certainly did We create man from an extract of clay
My answer from here onwards was simple: Cooking in clay would be the best for our bodies because human body is made up of clay. My teachers, while I was gaining the Islamic education, would point out that we should adopt the likeness of mud and clay because that is what we are made up of, and that is where our bodies shall return. Their focus was from tarbiyyah point of view, that we should become humble in our affairs just like the way the earth is. People walk on earth yet it had the beauty of bearing the most sweet fruits, similarly we should also crush our self esteem(pride) and adopt the likeness of earth.
I realized that, it applied not only from spiritual point of view, but also from biological point of view too. Can you guess what happened next? From clay pressure cookware, to flat pan (Tawwa) to several sizes pots, to water cooler, to jugs to even drinking glasses, I have tried all! And I am always in awe. The porous nature of clay is superior to its rivals. Water always remains fresh and wonderfully cool in a clay cooler. The food is cooked in the gentlest of heat and stays hot for a long time. Not to forget, the medical health benefits that would render.
Having said that, I know the limited life span of a clay pot is what hinders us all. Guess what, I have never really broken a clay pot by dropping it (MashaAllah!) but managed to break it simply because I was unaware how temperature sensitive it is. It cannot tolerate sudden changes in temperature of heat and cold and therefore care must be taken when it is put on stove. Here are a few guidelines if anyone wants to adopt a claypot:
- Soak it well for a good 24 hours before first use and season it. Water jugs, yogurt pots, coolers don’t need to be seasoned. There are lots of videos on Youtube that can guide on seasoning.
- If you buy the glazed ones, buy from a reputed place that doesn’t use lead in its glazing.
- Before cooking, use a little water to gently heat it, using lightest of heat and that once the pot gets heated up, discard the water, then start cooking
- Avoid keeping hot clay pots on cold surfaces or it will crack
- Don’t wash it using chemical detergents. I try to soak it on hot water and gently scrape off using my hands or sometimes the metal scourer really very gently.
- Keep separate vessels for separate kind of dishes
- If you use an electric stove like me, then use a heat diffuser
Now the next question is, where to find it? In the west, Pakistani or Indian shops in Asian areas have stored them conventionally. However, recently I have seen it on Amazon and also lots of nutritionist in the west are recommending the ‘branded clay pot’ versions like Vita Clay and Extrema cookware. In the subcontinent, as I am aware of Karachi, it can be easily brought of from a street vendor most of the times. In Saudi Arabia, I have seen it as Saudi traditional stores like Hazzaz, Dunya Al asaar and even Lulu Hypermarkets, sometime outside souqs like Souq Taiba, on the motorway connecting to Madina, Dammam etc. But the winner for me, in Riyadh was a market near BBQ Tonight where there are several shops dedicated to selling earthenware from Makkah, Madina, Jeddah, Jordan, Pakistan, Egypt etc. I love this place and every time I go to BBQ tonight in Riyadh, its a must stop. Prices are convenient too, though sometimes there is a need for bargain.
The location is :
Dirab Road, Riyadh, 14712
If you know, undiscovered areas in your city, please let me know. I can update here for the benefit of all.
Finally, like everything, clay pots do come with a ‘downside’. Because of our fast paced life, always looking to get the job done sooner than later, I do find that the pot takes longer than usual time to heat up. Sometimes up to half an hour. I would personally suggest to start cooking 30 minutes before you actually plan to, so the clay vessel is ready for you. I have personally kept separate utensils (stainless steel for example for doing simple white rice, for e.g.) at hand ready for me, for those no-time-for-cooking days or when the kids want an unexpected meal. For those days, when I really feel like nourishing my family, clay pot is a definite winner.
http://www.calltowardslight.com/2019/10/my-best-found-on-cookware-and-where-to-find-them/http://www.calltowardslight.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/clay-pot-1024x637.jpghttp://www.calltowardslight.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/clay-pot-290x290.jpgfeaturedHealthbest cookware,Clay pots,earthenware,Location,Mud,RiyadhLong before humans invented the modern utensils, food was cooked in clay pots, water was kept in clay pots, and even eaten and drank in clay pots. A visit to any history museum will reveal broken clay utensil remains of the previous civilization. Come modern-day age, the supermarkets is...Zauja Muhammad AliNida Alinida_fareed@hotmail.comAdministratorCall Towards Light