There are many varieties of vessels, mostly called handi, for the cooking and serving of biryani dishes. Our Indian Clay Biryani Pots are perfect for the slow-cooking dum pukht method which dates back to early sixteenth century, in which the dish is cooked in a sealed vessel.
These Pots are hand crafted by our artisans in Tamil Nadu, India with natural clay of the region, giving it various shades of reddish-brown colors. The Clay Pots are almost spherically shaped with a narrow mouth to allow it to be “sealed” with dough of kneaded flour and water. By tradition, there are no handle on the Pots so they have to be lifted by grabbing the rim or cupped in your hands. They are glazed on the inside using lead and cadmium free glazes making them waterproof, eco-friendly, and food safe.
The Biryani Clay Pots produce are the ultimate all-in-one-pot dinner, and quite possibly the jewel in India’s culinary crown. Biryani is the kind of meal that could take several hours to prepare, as basmati rice is first infused with assorted spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves long before adding grilled pieces of meats, then scooped into the Clay Pot and heated together in an oven until ready for service.
How we measure
These clay curry pot are handmade by artisans in the traditional manner and as with most handmade products, the pieces may have slight imperfections in the form or finish of the materials. Sometimes sizes of same model pieces may also vary slightly, however, these imperfection do not compromise the aesthetics or functionality of the pieces and are considered normal and to be expected.
Our Indian Clay Biryani Pots can be used to serve, or even better to cook Biryani dishes. The pots can be used in traditional or micro wave oven, open hearth/charcoal ovens, or over direct heat, and serve as a perfect serving vessel to go directly to the table for an authentic presentation. The clay does retain heat for a long period of time so be careful in handling them, and be sure to protect any surface on to which they will be placed.
As with any clay or glass cookware, the pieces must not be submitted to drastic changes in temperature. The pieces should be allowed to adjust slowly to heat, letting the pieces slowly heat up until they are hot, either on the stove or in the oven. Likewise, you should also allow the pieces to adjust to room temperature before washing or storing them, and never sit a hot pot on a cold surface such as granite or tile.
Normally a Biryani dish is started by mixing basmati with garam masala, an assortment of Indian spices such as turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, and cardamom and other spices, then cooked for with rich ghee butter until the rice is very well cooked and infused with the spice flavors. Once the rice is done, cooks add grilled pieces of lamb, chicken, or fresh prawns that were separately prepared, and the mixture is scooped into the Clay Biryani Pot and heated together in an oven, or more traditionally, on the charcoals of a fire.
The Clay Biryani Pot is then normally covered with a piece of dough during the final stage of cooking in the oven, functioning as a steam cooker by trapping the heat and all the juices in the biryani, adding richness to the flavor. Eventually, the seal is removed, and the natural aroma of the spices and tender food is released for the pleasure of the diner.
The Pieces are dishwasher safe, however it is better to hand-washed the pieces with mild soap, as putting them in a dishwasher can cause them to absorb the detergent flavor. If the piece is heavily soiled, fill the piece with warm soapy water and allow them to soak briefly, then scrub them lightly with a sponge or soft cloth. Never use metal or abrasive cleaners, and always try to avoid strongly scented soaps which can flavor the clay.
Even though the Clay Biryani pot is glazed on the inside, it should still be cured before its first use. To do so, rinse it well under running water to remove any dirt left over from the manufacturing or shipping process. After blotting dry with a kitchen towel, fill the pot with with plain water, or if you prefer rice stock water (kanji vellam), and let it soaked overnight. On following day, empty out the water and wash it again. With a paper towel, wipe it with a generous amount of oil (preferably coconut or sesame) both inside and out. Put the pot on the heat and slowly bring up the heat and heat it on medium for about 5 minute. Let the pot cool completely, refill it with rice stock water or plain water, and leave it over night again. This procedure should be repeated for three days. On the fourth day, you can empty the pot, rinse it well under running water, and begin enjoying your clay curry pot. Courtesy of http://www.jopreetskitchen.com
The Indian Clay Cookware we sell is made by our artisans in Tamil Nadu Indian. It is a time consuming and laborious task. We hope you enjoy see the video on how they are made.