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How to season and maintain Kalchatti / Soapstone vessel

Soapstone once mined are chiselled into the desired shape. Unlike clay, they are not heated. Hence the stone is not used to any form of heat. This is the reason for treating a soapstone vessel before using it. The treatment process is a simple one and takes around 8-10 days. During this period, the vessel is slowly exposed to heat.

Step 1: Mix castor oil and turmeric and apply all around the Kalchatti, inside and outside, and leave it aside for 4-5 days.

Step 2: Wash the vessel on day 5 and fill it with rice washed starch water. Repeat this process for 4 days. Throw the water every morning and fill it with fresh rice washed starch water. Do not leave the vessel with the same starch water for 5 days as it would create a bad smell.

Also, if you do not have rice washed water, arrowroot powder can be used as an alternate.

Step 3: On day 9, fill the vessel with rice washed starch water and heat it in the stove in low flame. Switch off the gas once the water boils. Repeat this process for 4 days.

Now, the Kalchatti is used to heat and ready to be used for cooking.

Do not do seasoning / tadka directly in the vessel in the initial days of cooking, for around 4-5 uses. Post this, direct seasoning / tadka can be done.

Ensure that in the initial usage, the cooking is done only in low or medium flame and not in high flame.

The alternate method of seasoning is to just use rice washed starch water for 20-25 days. Replace the starch water every day. In this case, seasoning / doing tadka should be avoided for 6-8 months.

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How to maintain a Soapstone vessel?

It is simple to clean. One can use any regular dish washing soap or liquid. Steel scrubbers should be avoided. Yes it would break if dropped & care needs to be taken.

If there is any smell of food cooked in it, fill the vessel with water, boil it and leave it aside. This removes any residual smell.

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