Soapstone Kalchatti Kadai
Soapstone Kalchatti Kadai
- Curries to gravies, sambhar to palak or dal, every cook we met made it a point to disclose the secret behind the distinct taste and flavour: Kalchatti. One more age old traditional utensil passed on for several generations.
- Kalchatti is made of stone (soap stone) from the earth and is designed to retain heat and keeps food warm for 4-5 hours. The natural minerals are imparted to the cooked food thereby providing the right supplements and nutrition.
- We bring this back from last generation of artisans toiling 16 hours a day to make the best Kalchattis.
- More than 16 hours of labour results in two to three pieces of the cookware. This starts from extracting the rough small block of soap stone from the mine and chiselling the utensil out of it.
- As soapstone is very delicate to heavy machinery, all of this has to be done manually with a chisel and wooden block. Even hammers cannot be used as they can undermine the structural integrity of the stone.
- The sheer intensity of labour and hours to make one soapstone cookware makes it difficult to get more workers when easier options are available in the market.
- As each of the vessels are carved out of a block of soft soapstone, it is very difficult to produce standard and consistent sized products.
- Minimal oil usgae.
- Consumes lesser fuel as they retain heat for longer and hence reduces time to cook.
- Food remains warm for 4-5 hours as these vessels are good insulators thereby prevents nutrition loss while reheating food.
- Nutrition of food remains intact: the nature of the stone and cooking of the food evenly retains nutrients.
- No harmful chemicals. Tested for quality.
- Kalchatti kadai needs to be treated before we start cooking in them. The treatment process is as given below:
- Apply a mixture of castor oil (or gingely oil) with turmeric all over the cookware, both inside and outside. Keep the vessel aside for 3 days.
- On the 4th day, wash the utensil and fill it with starch water from washed rice (or mix arrowroot powder of around 3 spoons in water and use this instead). Repeat this process for 4 days
- On the 7th day, fill the utensil with regular water or starch water and heat it in low flame till the water boils. Repeat this process for 3 days. This helps the vessel to adjust to heat.
- On the 10th day, the utensil can be used for cooking
- Do not cook in high flame or do direct seasoning (tadka) for the initial 1 month.
- The number of days of treatment can be increased by any number of days as it makes the utensil better. But the number of days should not be decreased.
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