Did you know that the only cooking vessel that safeguards all the micronutrients in your food even after it is cooked for long hours is the humble earthen pot. An experiment conducted in a government laboratory in India revealed that lentil (dal in Hindi) cooked in a clay pot survived a 36-hour non air-conditioned train journey without spoiling and with 100% of the micronutrients intact.
The science behind cooking in clay pots
Although the earthen pot has a long history in India, it is used for cooking in South Asia, some parts of South East Asia and also Africa. In India, it has also been accorded religious sanctity.
In the temple town of Puri in east India, the ‘dal-chawal’ (lentil and rice) made as an offering to the Gods is prepared only in earthen pots or handis. The priests have a simple explanation: “The earth is pure, and only pure things can be offered to God.” But this simple statement is loaded with scientific reasoning. It has been scientifically proven that the remains of a human body (as it goes back to about 20 gms of dust) contain 18 micronutrients including calcium, phosphorous, zinc, sulphur and iron. These are the very micronutrients found in the soil used to make clay pots. So when the priests say, “Only pure things can be offered to God”, it is a perfectly rational, even scientific!
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