Brass Doodhwala Patila (Topia/Chatti/Bhagona/Pots)
- Brass usage dates back millenniums especially for cooking and storing.
- Traditionally all brass cooking / storage vessels are always done with tin coating on the inside to enable storage of a variety of cooked and raw food. Tin coating helps to protect food from reacting with the metal.
- Brass is known for its anti-oxidant property and enables preserving the anti-oxidants in cooked or preserved food.
- The history of the Thatheras can be traced back to over 200 years. In 1947, during the Partition of India, the metal workers‟ community of Kujranwala, primarily Hindus and Sikhs, crossed the border and settled in Jandiala Guru, while the Muslim craftsmen migrated to Pakistan.
- Brass and Copper craft of Jandiala Guru is a centuries old craft. This craft was inscribed on UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2014.
- The metals are melted, poured in Iron moulds and the nuggets are rolled into flat plates. The thatheras skilfully hammer the plates into different shapes. The seams are joined by hammering.
- Heating the plates while hammering and curving them into different shapes requires careful temperature control, which is achieved by using tiny wood-fired stoves (aided by hand-held bellows) buried in the earth.
- The finished vessel is polished with sand and then tamarind juice.
- The final hammered finish is given to the utensil. They create small bowls, rimmed plates, to larger pots for water and milk, huge cooking vessels and other artefacts.
- Cooking in Brass has been part of our culture since time immemorial. Brass is known to preserve the anti-oxidants of food cooked in them.
- Brass also helps in preserving more than 90% of nutrition of food cooked in them. Brass also retains heat and keep food warm for a couple of hours.
- Grandmother's have mentioned that brass is the only metal that retains the taste of distinct spices in the cooked food which they ascribe to the unique property of brass.
- Use low to medium heat for cooking.
- Wash with normal regular dish washing soap or liquid. DO not use stainless steel scrubbers.
- To bring back shine, wash with lemon or tamarind.
- The kalai or the tinning on the inside wears off depending on usage. Re-tinning needs to be done locally. Do not use for cooking until tinning is done again.
- Do not leave cooked food in the vessel for more than 2 hours.
- Do not refrigerate food in the vessel.
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