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I adopted the policy of making
curries in Iron vessels to combat Iron deficiency. Elderly people and many
women (after child birth) have Iron deficiency. Iron is also needed by our body
to absorb other vital vitamins. In the presence of Iron these vitamins are
absorbed by the body. You may check for yourself that, often in the doctor’s
prescription of multi-vitamin tablets, Iron is also included. Often Iron is
taken as a supplement and people pop Iron Pills/Tablets. For some Iron tablets
lead to constipation. Instead of popping pills, I took the clue to use our age
old method of fighting Iron deficiency by cooking curries and dals in Iron
vessel react with the dishes which we prepare in them. The color of the dishes
become somewhat black. By consuming these dishes we are continuously giving
Iron in the required quantities which can be absorbed by our body. Iron
compounds break-up easily in our metabolism. On the contrary, aluminium vessels
form aluminum compounds which are more stable and do not disintegrate in our
metabolic process. Aluminium compounds rather accumulate at various places and
are difficult to be purged. Such accumulations cause various diseases. Hence I
prefer Iron vessels to Aluminium or Non-stick Pans and Tawas (though I have all
Pans and Tawas are not difficult to maintain. If we use the Pan regularly it
would be white as shown in this picture. You may wonder then why in some of the
video clippings you find an aluminium vessel also. The reason is simple. The
bigger Pan which I use always is made of Iron. It is of lower (thick) gauge and
is ideal of cooking. Till now I couldn’t a small Pan in lower (thick) gauge.
The smaller Iron Pans in the Vizianagaram market (where I am placed) are of
higher (thin) gauge and are not suiting to my cooking style.
prepared in Iron pans change color. If you can ignore the color of the dish and
think about the taste and health benefits, I suggest you shift to Iron pans and
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I was going thru your site tonight and read the discussion regarding the use of
I do feel I can share some useful information with your readers regarding the
use of "IRON" cookware.
1) When we ask a shop-keeper for "steel" or "iron" tawa or
skillet, what he sells to you is in fact a "mild-steel" (MS)
tawa….normally about 4 to 6 mm in thickness. While MS gets heated very fast in
a comparatively quick time and is very good for quick roasting of papads and
heating of cold items, the problem with MS is that it gets heated and cooled in
an un-even manner creating
"hot-spots" which would burn (say) the dosa, roti or the bobbattu or
the seasoning being cooked in it .
2) The better option is to specifically ask for a "cast-iron" skillet
or vessel…..this is "cast" metal unlike MS skillet / vessel which is
made by "rolling" steel in a mill into sheets and then mechanically
fabricating the vessel.
3) Cast iron is the preferred choice for cookware because it has excellent heat
retention and diffusion properties . Seasoning is used to protect bare cast
iron from rust and to create a non-stick surface. Because cast iron skillets
can develop an extremely "non-stick" surface, they are a good choice
for dosas, egg dishes, cornbread and pineapple upside-down cake.
4) To impart a non-stick property to the cast-iron it has be
"seasoned". This is a two-step process, firstly involving a thorough
scrub-cleaning with steel-wool to expose the bare metal and then applying a
layer of animal fat or vegetable oil, and heating the cookware to bond the fat
to the metal. Cast-iron cookware become more non-stick with use
due to the progressive increase of the deposit oils or fats on the pan.
5) Cast-iron cookware should not be cleaned in the ordinary way like scouring
or washing in a dishwasher as it would remove or damage the seasoning . We can
simply wipe them out after use or washing them with hot water and a stiff
6) Cast iron cookware is good for anemics as it leaches small amounts of iron
into the food.
Best Regards / Lakhan
November 22, 2009 5:09 AM