Selecting your ideal Kadai Cast Iron Vs Pure Iron
One of the questions that bother us is whether there is a difference between cast iron and Iron cookware and if yes, what is the difference, where is it used & which one should we opt for?
Based on our documentation of oral traditions from the communities making these for centuries, generations who have used it in the past & scientific understanding, we bring to you the below insights.
First, let us differentiate between duration taken to cook any food. Cooking that needs longer duration and the ones that need a shorter duration plays an important role in deciding which is the right cookware for your needs- Iron or cast iron cookware.
Now, let us explore cookware like Kadai, skillet, paddu pan, etc where the cooking time needed is longer. Kadai, paddu pan, etc are made of both Iron and Cast Iron. To cook for a longer duration, cast iron is always better than Iron.
Cast Iron cookware instead of Iron is recommended for food which needs longer duration to cook. The reason is that in Iron it is difficult to make heavy pans and hence would not have the thickness similar to a cast iron pan.
Hence, Iron cookware gets heated such that it either can burn the food or may need additional oil to avoid food from getting burnt before it is fully cooked.
Cast iron, because of the making process, is much thicker & heavier & helps to heat food evenly. It provides higher Iron addition to the food cooked in it. Cast iron cookware gets better with usage and lasts for generations.
Zishta Iron & Cast Iron cookware
Zishta collaborates with the community of artisans from Tenkasi region in Tamil Nadu for the Iron & cast iron cookware. The craft is at least 300 years old & popular for their unique way of making high quality (popularly known as railway grade Iron) hand-made Iron & cast iron cookware.
A few years back, there were over 30 units and today there is only 1 small foundry due to unavailability of labour. It is so far the only known place to use railway grade Iron which is also called as first-grade Iron.
The Iron tawa made here has the unique traditional process of heating it to red hot using hay and coal and beating it to remove any impurities.
The key ingredient into making the best-cast iron cookware here is the sand cast made of the local river sand. Their age-old technique of sand casting using sand from the local river has set this artisan cluster apart. It is also the only known place to melt pure Iron to make cast iron cookware. The entire process is manual thereby creating a completely handcrafted authentic product. The process ends with treatment using hay & gingely oil (til/ Sesame oil).