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My Love for Stone and Clay pots

My appatha(paternal grandmother) used to have a Kalluchatti ( Stone cookware). I remember it so well, oh that black beauty  and the dishes cooked out of it used to be so tasty. These memorioes later turned into a yearning for owning one such chatti : P

Anyway I put aside this desire to own a kalluchatti in one corner of my heart and went on with life as usual. Then recently we were at Biobasics to pick up our groceries and my dear friend Devi tells me about the new Kallu chattis they have got. The little girl in me was so delighted, the memories of my childhood rushed through my head. It felt like there was nothing to stop me from being the proud owner of this kallu chatti.

I already own a few mannu chattis or clay pots too.







Here are the tips to season and handle these cookware. They need a lot of attention and care and I promise that they return the same care and attention in the food that cook for you :) win-win




Why Kalluchatti/Mann chatti?
The flavor of cooking in these stone/clay vessels in unbelievable. Food cooks evenly and slowly making the taste flavorful and intense.

Two it retains heat for a longer time there by keeps food fresher for a longer time and the food doesn’t spoil as fast as in a stainless steel cookware. It’s so beautiful that you can use it as a serving dish too J

It is said that food cooked in stone or clay ware retain more nutrition than the ones cooked in SS, well I do not have any scientific proof to this statement, but my heart kind of says this is true !

It is said that due to their alkaline nature mud and clay interacting with the acid in the food, there by neutralizing pH of the food.

Seasoning the Stoneware (the same methods are applicable for clay pots too)

  •  The soap stone/clay cooking pots are soft, fragile and porous. They will have small very fine specks of stone, so before starting to cook edible things, it’s necessary that we season before you put them on fire for cooking. If you put them on fire without seasoning they may break or crack.
  • For seasoning keep salt water in it for a few hours and then wash the entire pot with the same water. Subsequently pour and store to the full some starchy water like the water you get after washing the rice or the starchy water you get when you drain the excess water after the rice is cooked. This starchy water is called Kanji.
  • Soak it with kanji water say overnight.Then on a low flame heat it till it boils then let it cool down. Subsequently wash the entire pot with the same starchy water.
  • Repeat this process for 5-6 times.
  • Apply a mixture of oil and turmeric powder to inside and outside and keep out in sun for 4 -5 days
  • oil and turmeric coated
  •  Now the new stone pot is ready to be kept on the fire for cooking purpose. Once the pot is seasoned and the pores of the stone get sealed and the surface gets less absorbent and denser.
  • When they are seasoned, they turn dark in color, almost black, with age and seasoning.


Important points on stone/clay pot cooking


  • Soaking your cookware for 20 mins in water before cooking is a good habit.


  • These pots take a longer time to get heated and in the same way they also take longer to get cooler. Since the stone/clay retains the heat you should know that the food will continue to get cooked even after you remove the pot from the heat source. Switch off a few minutes earlier keeping in mind this off-the-fire cooking.
  •  They can be used on usual gas stove too. Just that never use them on high heat. Low heat is preferable and you may gradually increase it to medium heat. Sudden changes in temperature might crack the pot. I generally prefer cooking on low heat.
  • Soap stone pots serve the purpose of cooking the food and also as a serving dish/casserole. The food will be hot on the table for a long time.
  • Do not keep an empty stone/clay vessel on the fire. Always keep something in the pot and then keep it on the fire. There is always a chance of their breaking if you expose them to dry heat.
  • By nature the soap stone pots are gentle and fragile and hence have to be handled with care. Do not handle them by the rim of the pot. Always hold them with both hands and have a grip with the fingers around the body of the pot.Do not pick up with tongs, always use pot holders/cloth
  • Do not put hot pots on cold surfaces, they might crack.
  • After using let them cool completely before you try to wash them.
  • Never put them in dishwasher
  • They are porous in nature so DO not use chemical dishwash powders to clean them as they can absorb them and later leach it into your food. Instead use natural dishwash powders based on soapnut/shikakai etc.
  • Do not use scrubbers that are abrasive to clean your pots, it will decrease the seasoning
  • It is a good practice to season your pots once in a while to maintain seasoning and to avoid food getting stuck to the pots. They last longer. The more you care for them, long their life.


It might sound difficult or strenous but once you get used to it, it gets easy. You will keep falling in love with the food that these pots can make and will never want to stop cooking in them. They are magical :)   Enjoy and spread the magic





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