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Zishta Cast Iron Cookware

Zishta Cast Iron Cookware

Cast Iron Cookware

Congrats on your journey to bring traditional wisdom to your home. Zishta is glad to be a part of this journey and support you with authentic traditional knowledge gathered through our journeys, discussions with artisans, local communities and scientific information.

Zishta in collaboration with artisans of Tamilnadu bring to you most authentic and traditional Cast Iron vessels that are everlasting. These are made using the most traditional technique honed over centuries by our artisans.

What is Cast Iron?

Cast Iron is an alloy of Ferrous, Silica and Carbon.

What are the benefits of cooking food in cast iron?

  • It adds higher natural Iron content to the food cooked in it and thereby helps in hemoglobin count.
  • Cast iron is thicker & heavier & helps to heat food evenly.
  • It retains heat longer and over a period consumes lesser oil.
  • Cast iron cookware gets better with usage and lasts for generations.

What can be cooked in Cast Iron?

Potato, Yam, Arbi roast, ladies finger fry, chicken or fish fry, pooris, papads, mixtures etc – cast iron is the most preferred vessel.

Tamarind based cooking & citric food is not recommended to be cooked in Cast iron as acidic property releases more Iron in the food than what is needed & hence it gives a slightly bitter taste.

After using Cast iron for over 4-5 months, we have observed no issues in using tomatoes in cooking gravies.

Food cooked in Cast iron can be left in the vessel for 2 hours. Beyond that, it must be transferred to another vessel.

You can make tasty appam in the appam pan or make paddu / appe / kuzhipaniyaram in the Kuzhipaniyaram pan.

In cast iron tawa, make crispy  dosa, uthappam, rava dosa, neer dosa,rotis, paratha and many more.

Cast Iron is OTG friendly and can be used for baking.

How to season cast iron vessel before cooking?

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. 

  1. Optional Step 1: Wash the cookware well and wipe it dry. Apply a mixture of castor oil and turmeric all over the vessel & leave it aside for a day. 
  2. Must do Step: Wash well a few times & wipe it dry immediately. Keep it on the stove. Pour 5-6 spoons of oil & fry small onions in low flame all around it for 5 – 10 minutes. Then throw the onions. Repeat if needed. Wash the cookware and it is ready to use.

 

How to clean and maintain cast iron vessel?

  • Clean it after use with regular dishwashing liquid or soap and regular scrubber. After cleaning, wipe it dry.
  • Initially, the vessel would rust. You may apply a layer of cooking oil and store.
  • If non usage for more than a week or two, apply a coating of cooking oil to avoid rusting.
  • Cast iron gets better with usage.
  • Do NOT soak the vessel in water as it may rust. Always wipe it dry immediately after washing.
  • Do not refrigerate the vessel.
  • It is not recommended to use dishwasher as it may remove the seasoning and rust the vessel.

Some frequently asked questions:

Why is the cast iron vessel rough and not smooth?

  • Pure and good quality cast iron is always porous and rough, as that is the nature of the alloy and traditional making process (2) a good quality cast iron cannot be smoothened with machines or tools as it may break or crack (3) the vessel gets smoother over a period of usage.

Why is the vessel oily?

Cast iron needs to be seasoned with gingely oil. Also, oil is necessary to avoid rusting while not in use. Organic Gingely oil is used in the seasoning process and is sent as-is to avoid rusting. It would come away by washing and frying onion.

Why are there black particles in the vessel? How to remove them?

The black particles are carbon deposits used in the process of making the alloy. It is removed by washing well and then frying onions in it.

Food turns black when we cook in cast iron.

The carbon deposits may not have been removed properly. In that case repeat the process of frying onion. Else, citric food may have been used in the cooking which needs to be avoided.

Does cast iron rust?

Yes, rusting is a natural property of this metal. To avoid rusting, apply a layer of cooking oil and store. It stops rusting over a period of continuous usage.  

How to remove rust?

Apply oil on the inside of the vessel. Keep it on stove till it becomes hot. Switch off and wash it. Surface rusting would be removed in this process.

Can we use tomatoes to cook in this vessel?

Yes you can after 2-3 months of usage once the vessel gets well -seasoned.

Do we need to do the seasoning process every time?

No, it is done only before the first use.

The cast iron vessel is heavy. Why?

Yes it is supposed to be made heavy to ensure even heating & cooking.

Which kadai is better, cast iron or iron?

Iron kadai heats up faster and may burn the food or consume more oil. Cast iron is a better option for food that needs to be cooked for longer as it is thicker, heavier and cooks evenly.

Which tawa is better, cast iron or iron?

It depends on one’s comfort level. From a functionality of their output of giving crispy dosa etc, both work similarly.  

Cast iron tawa tends to give a little higher Iron addition in the food. It needs seasoning and gets better with usage. And yes, Cast iron is breakable.

 Iron tawa does not need seasoning and can be used immediately. They are not breakable and have a long life.

 Quick Fact: The earliest form of tawa was made of Iron. Cast iron came into usage later on

Does cast iron break?

Yes, the one made in traditional way breaks if dropped heavily from a height. It is not as fragile as a clay.

Related Videos:

How To Season Cast Iron Kadai

How To Use Cast Iron Cookware In Indian Kitchen

Difference Between Cast Iron and Pure Iron Cookware

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