Vengala Panai (Bronze cookware)
- Bronze as an alloy has been used for making cookware for many centuries.
- Till our grandmother's time, Vengala Panai made of pure bronze was the only utensil used for cooking rice and boiling milk.
- Another significant traditional use of Vengala Panai is during the celebration of Pongal and Sankranti festival for making sweet pongal dish in this utensil.
- Over the years, our ancestors had developed techniques to make cooking vessels using five metals which were supposed to provide immense health benefits. Makers of such cookware no longer exist and we have lost a significant part of our traditions to histroy.
- Age old traditions use small gaps filled with Tin metal within the inner surface of the vessel to help in better conduction as well as maintaining the food warm for hours together.
- The artisans of Kerala and Tamil Nadu are known for their craftsmanship in making intricate brass and bronze work for temples.
- The same artisans extended their expertise in making these traditional cookware. The artistic process starts with sand cast and moulding of the bronze cookware in specific shapes.
- The volumetric capacity of the vessel determines the thickness and thereby the weight of bronze in the vessel too.
- The rough mould is later hand worked to give shine. It takes 7-8 days to make one utensil.
- Bronze is a durable metal and can be used for a very long period of time or even passed on from one generation to another.
- Vengala Panai with its high heat carrying capacity helps in uniform cooking, prevents nutrition loss and keeps food warm for hours after cooking in them.
- Open cooking of rice in vengala panai and draining the excess water helps in removing pesticide impurities and excess starch thereby making it ideal for a healthy living.
- Traditional Vengala Panai is made of 70% Copper and 30% Tin and can be used for all types of non-acidic based cooking (without tamarind and lime).
- Zishta Vengala Panai is made of pure bronze and mild oxidisation will lead to dullness of colouring over period of time .
- Scrub the utensil with tamarind or ash or combination of both to revive shine .
- Vengala Panai is made heavy and needs to be handled with care .
- Retains heat for long, use cloth or mittens to handle the same after cooking.
Write Your Own Review
You May Also Like