While we all deserve a pat on our back for improving our management skills and rediscovering our hidden talents during these uncertain times, but one lesson that the past year and the ongoing year has taught us is to take care; to take care of ourselves, loved ones, our surroundings, mental wellbeing and above all, our health.

And even as the world wrestled with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, we all found an opportunity to learn and motivate ourselves, as every one of us was following the healthy food, DIY home cooking craze. From checking healthy food recipes to getting our hands on gourmet ingredients to the vegetable arrangement, we all made the kitchen our playground. But are these steps enough for safe and healthy cooking?



Using the correct utensils and cooking food for an accurate amount of time with fresh ingredients are the key elements that make your meal wholesome and healthy. Choosing the right cookware is one of the most important aspect of cooking and each ingredient, cuisine and recipe’s reaction differs as per the container they are prepared in. We all know that we must avoid utensils that emit toxic fumes and other cookware that provoke hazardous health issues, but how do we know which ones are the best?

How to choose the best and safe cookware for healthy cooking in India?

It is important to have a common understanding of what cookware is suitable for cooking. Our cookware options differ as per time, ingredients, cuisine as well as maintenance, space, and budget. The best suitable cookware is the one that enhances the nutrients of the food.


Here’s a list of the best to the least preferable cookware to use:

Earthen Clay Utensils:

One of the most ideal utensils for healthy cooking, earthen clay cookware has always been an inherent part of Indian culture and a prominent cooking tradition in households. Made of natural elements that are believed to provide the required minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and sulphur that benefit our health, it also enhances the flavor and nourishment of the food. Clay pots top the rank as their porous nature allows both moisture and heat to flow through the food making it aromatic, it’s alkaline properties help neutralize the pH balance of the dish. When buying earthen clay cookware, one must avoid modern clay pots that are glazed with compounds containing lead. Although an unpopular option for cooking due to its time-consuming potential, earthen clay pots are inexpensive, easily available in a variety of shapes and sizes, Clay utensils are also utilized for storing drinking water, curd fermentation, drinking tea, etc. And even Any dish cooked in clayware is 100% safe and healthy as one uses less oil, retains double nutrition and flavor resulting in a delicious and tender dish. Some of the most popular healthy and tasty dishes like Biryani, Meat Curry, Dals, oriental Pot Rice as well as desserts like Mata Kulfi, Rabdi, Pgirni, Mishti Doi, etc are best used to cook & served in earthen cookware.

Bronze:

Cook in it, serve in it, or eat in it! As part of ancient science, Indian culture has given immense importance to cooking utensils made of metals as they hold therapeutic benefits, and one such metal is Bronze. With its extremely light and comforting properties, bronze or Kansa utensils not only look pleasing but are also supreme for our gut health, as cooking in bronze benefits the skin, eyes, and overall physique. Bronze utensils are popular for their aesthetic nature, and can be seen in temples, homes and used to serve food in authentic Indian or Mughlai themed restaurants. Kansa metal is an alloy of Copper 78 percent and Tin 22 percent both heated together up to 700 centigrade to form pure bronze. When buying bronze cookware, make sure to purchase it from a trustworthy store. The real bronze utensil has a golden glow texture and must be tested by sticking a magnet to it, as Bronze is non-magnetic and verify if the sound it makes matches with the chimes of a temple bell. One must avoid cooking in ghee when using bronze.

Brass:

Popularly known as Pital in India, Brass is an evergreen metal that has been consistently in use. From sculptures, art d├ęcor pieces, toys, to water bottles, masala storage boxes, and cooking ware like water storage pots, pressure cooker, wok/kadhai, boiling pot/patila as well as serving & eat-ware, brass is a common part of our Indian lifestyle. It has been proved that cooking veggies and meat in brass utensils is the best way to gain all nutrients. Brass is an alloy that is yellow in color and it is a mixture of two metals: Copper and Zinc. It Comprises of 70% Copper and 30% Zinc. Cooking vegetables and meat in brass makes your meal wholesome and full of nutrition. Brass is also known to have properties beneficial for hair, skin, increases immunity, prevents abdominal infections along with respiratory disorders, and properties of zinc help sharpen memory. When it comes to using brass, cleaning is an extra task and one must avoid cooking foods that are acidic in nature.

Glass:

Often associated with microwave-cooking, but can be used even on gas stoves, glass is one of the safest cookware utensils. All kinds of dishes can be cooked in glassware, it retains heat as well as the nutrition of the food, one can store food in it as well as eat in it. It is non-reactive in nature and hence, best for healthy cooking. Glass utensils are durable when stored carefully, can be cleaned conveniently, and are available in a variety of sizes and affordable. For microwave cooking, ovenproof glassware is used as they are energy efficient and go well with slow cooking. Some ovenproof glassware is also compatible with stovetops but must be of fine quality and not brittle, even as a good conductor of heat, if contained by heat spots, it may crack. Glassware breaks easily due to rapid changes in temperature and is not recommended for deep frying.

Cast Iron

Voted as one of the most reliable, nontoxic, long-lasting fun cookware that is compatible with all kinds of cuisines, cast iron is one efficient cookware to have in the kitchen. Matching the speed of our lifestyle, the cast iron utensils are affordable, require minimalistic cleaning and their thickness maintains all the nutrients of the dish. If maintained well and free of rust, the cast iron cookware can be easily used for many years. One must avoid using cast iron utensils if the utensil is rusted and if someone is suffering from iron overload in their body. The seasoned cast iron reduces the need for using oil or ghee making it a natural non-stick utensil. When buying cast iron, make sure it comes with a safe coating making it durable and less prone to rust.

High Quality - Stainless steel:

High-quality stainless steel is available in a wide variety and is one of the most convenient cookware for healthy and safe cooking. The reason we are specifying high-quality stainless steel is that it features leading elements as compared to other available moderate quality utensils. High-quality SS cookware provides a surface that resists heat and does not react with food or emits harmful chemicals into your food. Although the risk is minimal, poorly created stainless steel cookware can possibly percolate a small amount of chromium or nickel into food causing a threat to our health. It is important to care for your utensil and must use gentle materials to clean it that will not scratch the stainless steel surface that may compromise the safety of your cooking.

Some other unconventional cookware is stone, popular for hand grinding spices, and fresh homemade paste and masalas, wheat, and rice. Other cookware that one must avoid or stop using immediately are Non-sticks, Granite, Aluminum and Ceramic. While we try and take a step towards health every day, let us not let our busy lives get in the way of it. Let’s start to cook healthy and safe food from today!





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