Cast-iron cookware making a comeback in Indian kitchens

Cast-iron cookware is making a big comeback into Indian kitchens, replacing Teflon

Admittedly, non-stick cookware is user friendly. But for Indian dishes that may need high heat for longer, Teflon may not be the right pick

At high temperatures, Teflon can be carcinogenic. Besides, if you use metal spatulas on Teflon or wash it roughly, the coating can come off and get mixed with food

So, cast iron is a great alternative. It is said that processing foods in iron machines and using iron cookware adds a bit of iron required for the body to the cooked food

However, contrary to common belief about iron cookware being good for people who are anaemic, the amount of iron you get from it is not significant

Yet, when the choice is between having to possibly consume carcinogens from non-stick ware and consuming safe tasty food from cast iron, the pick is obvious

Seasoned right, the surface of cast-iron utensils becomes quite non-sticky too and easy to use. Plus, pre-seasoned cast-iron vessels are also widely available

To clean and store your cast-iron kadai, skillet or tawa, soak it, gently scrub with mild dishwash, wipe, heat the pan till dry, and then coat with oil all over with a cloth

This avoids rust formation. Repeated use of cast iron for cooking will improve its seasoning as well

Did you know that iron utensils have been used by the Chinese for 2000 years before they became globally popular?

The world was introduced to cast iron after a casting process was discovered and patented in 1707 by a Britisher named Abraham Darby

Apart from cast iron, there are some other cookware one can use too. Here are some things to keep in mind while selecting cooking utensils

Opt for food-grade stainless steel always to avoid nickel or chromium coating

Avoid aluminium or copper utensils for cooking. Copper vessels can be used for serving food only and not for cooking or storing, as it could cause toxicity in food

For quick cooking, you can continue to use Teflon or non-stick cookware if you like, but always ensure that it is used only on low heat