In today’s fast paced lives, not just a gas stove, a microwave and oven have become a necessity for living. However, if we look back just two-threecdecades ago, it was a homemade stove or clay chulha (stove) or mud Chulha that was used for cooking almost everything and is still a tradition in many regions of rural India. Although a clay chulha was not technically enabled and required you to flame it by blowing air continuously through a pipe but the food cooked on it was much tastier and healthier.
With the change in time, the humble chulha got replaced with the fancy and one-touch cooking range that is supported with chimney and keeps the home smoke free. If you think that the change is a move because of the harmful effects of chulha, you need to read this piece of information which talks about the bright side of the ‘Indian Chulha’.
The traditional way of cooking on mud chulha which involves the use of earthen pots works wonders when comes to naturally enhancing the flavours of the dish. As per the food experts, the food cooked in earthen pot on mud chulha is rich in nutrients as it helps retain the moisture and the aroma of the cooked food.
The flame on gas stoves is harsh and may rob of certain nutrients in the food while cooking on it, however the flame on a clay chulha is not too harsh and so the cooked food doesn’t lose its natural moisture and nutritional value. The clay stove uses slow cooking process so it keeps the minerals in the food intact.
What makes the food cooked in this traditional chulha lip-smacking? If you have ever had the chance to eat food made in the mud chulha, it has a smoky flavour due to the use of cow dung cakes, which ultimately enhances the overall food experience, if experts are to be believed, there are villages in India, where people still prefer food made on mud chulha as it is more flavorsome.
While the new-age people find it a polluting agent, it is believed that the use of mud chulha in the open courtyard for cooking along with cow dung cake helps purify the house and air. It also keeps the house free from mosquitoes and insects.
During the 4-day holy festival of Chhat Puja, in the Indian state of Bihar, the first day begins with cooking rice and bottle gourd on clay chulha. It is believed that when food is cooked on a chulha, a Sattva-predominant environment is created in the area. It takes away the negative energies of the house and welcomes the deities with all positivity. Therefore, any individual who enters there gets the benefit of that environment.