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Down to earth cooking |

Down to earth cooking

Zealous with Gordon Ramsay’s recommendation on his YouTube channel to keep it simple, I headed to one of the most crowded, disorganised shopping areas Hyderabad — Ameerpet. It’s not my first choice to shop because of the lack of parking space and hectic traffic. I braved the horrible heat and decided to do what an average city driver does — park on the road in front of a shop and disappear.

I chose that one shop to drop in on a weekday, because I was told they stock clay water bottles. With the world fighting plastic, debating over BPA and plastic grade and environmentalists spreading the word about plastic bottle bleach, drinking water from steel or glass felt safer. That, until I came across a post about drinking water out of bottles made of clay.


Those who drink water stored in earthen pots will know how immensely satisfying it is, so imagine drinking such water from a portable clay bottle. The portable earthen bottle is the latest ‘cool quotient’.

Once at the shop I was surprised at the range of clay products they stocked. Water bottles happened to be just one part of it. The store has kitchen utensils beyond cups, saucers, bowls and jars, all made of clay and designed to cook and serve. Having cooked in earthen pots, my personal interest in the product went up a notch higher. As I went through the collection, I wondered at the superior styling, fine finish and packaging. The smooth body will definitely make stirring less cumbersome. Some of them even come with see-through lids and a small outlet for steam. They have every utensil needed in the kitchen made of clay.

On enquiring further, I was told the distributors are from Hyderabad and they have a manufacturing unit in Gujarat; a part of the earthen pots and utensils come from Rajasthan and they sell all over south India. One of the partners, Jitender Raj who stocks the collection named Desi Mitti, in Marrdepally, has a reason for attempting to popularise clay utensils.

Considering that earthen pots and pans are available by the roadside in Kerala, Hyderabad and Chennai and are inexpensive, why should one want to pay a premium price for Desi Mitti cookware? For one, the finish and smoothness that are close to that of metal utensils are one reason; , they are made to look attractive and is made from clay which is filtered six-times.

“Filtering clay till we get the finest output is the reason why our utensils have the fine finish. This also ensures, purity of the soil and residue less body,” says Devesh. With Desi Mitti Devesh’s brother Jitender Raj is initiating him into business.

Jitender’s moto being “
Paise bana na hai. Kyun na ek achi cheej se banaye
(we have to do business, so why not start with something good).”

After an extensive market survey on the type of utensil and cookware every household uses, Jitender and Devesh have worked with their artisans in Gujarat and Rajasthan to design an exhaustive collection of cookware, serveware, including an idli cooker and rice cooker. “To be honest the rice cooker is inspired from Mitti Cool’s collection,” says Jitender.

Their drinking water storage container is in white. Is it coloured? “No, it is made from
safed mitti
. It is a type of mud typical of Rajasthan. In Marwari language it is called moond,” explained Jitender. Discussing about tips on handling and tricks on how not to burn food in earthen pots, Jitender says that as a businessman he knew he would have to handle such queries so he and his brothers experimented with it. “We turn to our grandmother for the solution to such questions. In olden times, cooking was done in earthen pots, so, she comes up with the best solutions,” says Devesh.



Mud talk

  • Strength:Soaking clay utensil in butter milk makes them stronger

  • Preparation:After buying clay water storage pots prep them by storing water for three days allow it to sweat. The more it sweats the better it cools.

  • Non stick:Smear clay cooking utensils with ghee or oil and heat them for about 10 mins in low flame to avoid food from sticking to the bottom.


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