Do's & Don'ts of Iron & Cast Iron Cookware
Do we need to season Iron and Cast iron cookware? Zishta Iron tawa does not need additional seasoning as the pure iron ones are already treated with sesame oil, heat and husk. Cast Iron cookware or tawa need proper seasoning. Cast iron cookware requires seasoning before the first usage as the tiny pores expand & oil in this renders the surface smoother with a layer giving a non-stick effect to the vessel. It is a simple process that needs to be done only once in the beginning of usage. A significant part of seasoning is does by us except the last step (As the cookware looks like a used one) and we recommend our customers to do this step before first use. Can anything be cooked in Iron and cast iron? Tamarind based cooking & citric food is not recommended to be cooked in cast iron or Iron cookware as acidic property releases more Iron in the food than what is needed & hence it gives a slightly bitter taste. Any food cooked in ironware must be immediately transferred to another vessel. After using cast iron for over 4-5 months, we have observed no issues in using tomatoes in cooking. But tamarind, lemon, etc is a definite no-no. Food cooked in cast iron can be left in the vessel for 2-3 hours. Beyond that, it must be transferred to another vessel. Does it rust? Yes, any Iron or cast iron cookware would rust if not used for a long time (say, over 2 -3 weeks). In regular usage, traditionally these cookware are not washed regularly but just wiped with a cloth and stored. The remaining oil helps in retaining the seasoning. When ever you wash, wipe the surface of water immediately and apply some cooking oil to retain seasoning. . Also if one would not use it for long, then apply a coating of cooking oil & store it to avoid rusting. If it has rusted, take a mixture of oil and salt and scrub the surface where it has rusted. This scrubbing will remove the surface rusting. Then wash the cookware well, wipe it of water, heat it in the gas burner and apply a coating of cooking oil. This gets the cookware ready for use again.