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On the plus points of cast iron cookware – The Hindu |

On the plus points of cast iron cookware – The Hindu

The irumbu vadachatti is a vintage kitchen accessory that has been passed down from one generation to the next in South Indian kitchens. Over the years, we have forgotten the advantages of choosing utensils such as these. With the emergence of newer cooking techniques and tastes, Dutch ovens, pans and woks have come to occupy space in our kitchen cabinets.

But I come bearing good news. While browsing through stalls at an exhibition, a glossy black skillet caught my eye. Could it be cast iron, I wondered? Indeed it was. Even better was the fact that it was made right here in Coimbatore.


Santhosh Leelakrishnan is the man responsible for the Rock Tawa brand of cast iron cookware. His family have been in the foundry business for many years and, while talking to one of his customers, he became aware of the lack of “organised cast iron cookware manufacturers”. After spending half a year in extensive RD, Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar Foundries launched the ‘Rock Tawa’ range a year ago, as a value addition to their existing business. They don’t just stop with the manufacturing. They go the extra mile and pre-season the cookware for their customers.

An organised cast iron manufactured product is one made with 70% pig iron obtained from the mines and not made from melted scrap that goes into some of the ‘cast iron’ available in the market. The company has six products at the moment with plans for more in the pipeline. All are cast in moulds made from a mix of sand and clay. The sand is re-used after every process. Only a small quantity of new sand is required and any un-used residue is sent for road laying and other purposes. The products are available online or can be picked up from the office after placing an order. The staff are trained to answer customer queries.

Cast iron cookware is undoubtedly a valuable addition to any kitchen. Our pattis back then knew a great deal more than they let on. A well-seasoned cast iron vessel requires a minimal amount of oil for cooking. This is because the seasoning process includes adding a coating of oil and heating. When done correctly, the oil acts as a seal against the porous surface and the application of heat also ensures that the oil bonds to the metal.

However, one must be careful not to touch cast iron when it is hot. After years of using pans with plastic handles, that takes a bit of getting used to. Leelakrishnan says that he is exploring ways to make the handle heat resistant. Cast iron products also should not be soaked in water, as it leads to rusting.

We made fried eggs for breakfast and it felt good to put up a dish fortified with iron. It’s important to wash and dry the pan immediately and coat it with oil before storing. The washing up takes little effort; a brisk rub with a good scouring powder and it’s done.

My new skillet is perfect for use on the stove top as well as in the oven. From baking desserts to searing delicious ingredients, this is great value for money.

For enquiries call 7373133099 and visit www.rocktawa.com

Advantages

Not coated with harmful chemicals and the seasoning process ensures a fairly non-stick surface

Retains heat for a longer time after cooking

Boosts iron intake

Improves with use and is long lasting

Cheaper than handcrafted cookware

Pre-heating for a few minutes on slow flame ensures even heat distribution

Category: Cookware Pans  Tags: ,  Comments off
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