Cast Iron cookware is thick, heavy iron vessels considered ideal for various recipes. The thickness helps to spread the heat evenly and maintain the temperature. Kadais, pans and skillets are popular cooking utensils.
Buying a good quality cast iron utensil and following some simple procedures to season and maintain them is important to obtain best results.
Cast iron utensils are heavy but brittle. Care needs to be taken while handling. They are brittle but not delicate as glass or clay utensils. The surface is rough and porous in texture.
Seasoning a utensil before first time use is a simple procedure.
- 1. Wash and clean the new kadai / tava with plain water.
- 2. Take a bucket or large vessel and fill enough kayani (water collected from washing soaked rice) to immerse the kadai.
- 3. Leave the cast iron utensil immersed in this water over night.
- 4. Repeat this process twice
- 5. Then remove from kayani and rinse in normal water.
- 6. Wipe and smear the vessel on inner and outer surface with oil (preferably sesame oil)
- 7. Your kadai / Tava is ready for cooking!
A few Tips:
- 1. Do not use harsh detergents and scrubbers to clean.
- 2. Once you finish cooking just wash it with a mild dish washer liquid and scrub lightly. Take care not to remove all the oil.
- 3. After washing, towel dry and do not for get to apply oil on the surface and leave it until next use.
- 4. Before using your tava for dosas greasing them with a cut brinjal or onion dipped in oil can give excellent results.
- 5. For restaurant style Dosas, water can be sprinkled before spreading the batter for each dosa. This helps to maintain the heat.
Health Benefits of using a cast iron utensil for cooking are essential to know. Spending time to take care to season and maintain a cast iron utensil may be a little time consuming but the benefits are worth the labour. They definitely prove to be better option to their hassle free but hazardous nonstick counterpart. Non stick utensils release harmful toxins when heated above a certain temperature.
Health benefits of using iron cookware are proven since ancient times. It increases the iron content in the food which makes it healthier and tastier. Traditional recipes taste best when cooked in a cast iron utensil. Once the kadai / tava are seasoned and used regularly the amount of oil you use for cooking can be minimized, which is an added benefit.
The best part is that these vessels will become an integral part of not just your kitchen but your family, as it will only get better with age and stay with you for generations. Such cookware is usually passed on to us from our grandma’s kitchen. Natural Cooking is healthy cooking!
- Photo courtesy by our Aptcraft customer - Mrs. Vanitha Sankar, Bangalore.