Tips for clay pot cooking
Cooking in a clay pot is one of the most traditional and nutrtionaly safe methods of cooking.
The slow cooking process develops great depth of flavor, requires much less supervision (as whe cooking food doesn’t tend to stick at the bottom) and has an age old nostalgic charm to it.
But one must be sure to use lead free clay pots. You can use glazed cooking pots, which are easier to mantain and prettier to look at.
But according to me the real aroma and flavor comes from cooking the food in an unglazed cooking pot.
You can use your clay pot to make lentils,
and even desserts like kheer.
You can set dahi or phirni make dahi rice…possibilities are endless.
First timers must wash and soak their clay pots in water for 4-5 hours or even overnight. Then before use, run it inside out with cooking oil.
After first couple of uses, just soak in water for half hour or wash it thoroughly under running water and that should suffice.
You can use your clay pot on your stove or oven.
For stove, do remember to use a metal ring in between for protecting it from breakage.
For use in oven, remember to NEVER preheat oven while using a clay pot.
The sudden change in temperature can make your clay pot crack.
Always put the clay pot in a cool oven. Then switch it on.
Never expose your clay pot to sharp temperature changes as it can lead to breakage. Be it stove or oven, heat change should be gradual.
When you finish cooking, do not put your hot clay pot on a cold surface. Place it on a wooden coaster so it can gradually cool down.
Similarly do not place a hot clay pot for wash under cold running water. Wait for it to cool down and come to room temperature before washing.
For post-cooking cleaning, do not use soap!
Soak your clay pot for a few hours in lukewarm water to which a tsp of baking soda has been added. Then gently scrub, rinse and dry.
Lastly it is important to dry your clay pot completely before storage, or it can develop mould.