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Kalai Art Works – Old and Effective Technique to Clean Utensils

Rahul Kumar 1

Kalai Art Works  

In today's lifestyle technology plays a vital role in people life. Technology has made life much easier than before. In other words, people are much dependent on technology. But we always forget, after all, we are human! and it is our nature to forget that there is always two face of the coin. If technology brings advantages than disadvantages are also associated with it. 

Let's start with very simple thing Kitchen, definitely, technology has changed the definition kitchenware.

Earlier kitchenware of copper and brass were used but with the rapid intrusion of stainless steel and aluminium vessels brass and copper, vessels vanished from the modern day kitchen.

Earlier people used to keep big and heavy kitchenware of brass and copper because these were the most preferred cooking wares due to their high conductivity. But after every two-month copper utensils must be lined(Kalai) to maintain the taste of food. Otherwise, food imparts a bitter taste or even at times lead to food poisoning. 

There was kalaiwalas who used to clean copper and brassware with the old technique. Kalaiwals dug a pit in the ground and prepared a temporary blast furnace, airing it with bellows.

They then heated the utensil, blasting it off and on; sprinkled a little nausadar (sal ammoniac or ammonium chloride) which gives out deep white smoke and a peculiar ammonia smell. The powder is then rubbed all over the utensil’s interior to rid the utensil of any grit and make it more abrasive.

Then a piece of virgin grade tin is touched to the blasting hot interior of the utensil; the tin melts and is quickly rubbed into the whole of the utensil forming a lining of tin in the interior. The utensil is then dipped into a bucket full of water.

The sudden contact of the hot utensil with the water creates a shrill and sharp sound that dims with the utensil recovering its normal temperature.

But with modernization, this technique is no longer used. As we grew older, the visits by the kalai wala grew fewer and fewer with every passing year. Then they stopped altogether. This is because the markets by then were flooded with cookers and steel vessels, and people had almost stopped using copper and brass utensils.

Why do we need to use brass and copper Utensils? Science behind it

Kalai walas believe that stainless steel utensils are only good for boiling milk or water but if you want that lingering taste of food in your mouth, you must cook in brass utensils.

It may sound intriguing, but when water is stored in a copper vessel for hours, copper, in traces gets dissolved in water. This process, known in scientific parlance as the “Oligodynamic effect”, and has the power to destroy a wide range of moulds, fungi, algae and harmful microbes due to its toxic effects on living cells. The copper content of water which reaches a level of about 190 micrograms per litre is well within the permissible limits set by the WHO and thus remains safe for drinking. Also, copper is an essential micronutrient required by our body at a level of about 1 mg per day. The best way of meeting the body’s need for copper intake is by taking water stored overnight in a copper vessel. Two litres of the water can supply approximately 40% of our daily requirement of copper.

Water stored in a copper jug is good in many ways for our health and well-being. It stimulates the brain, promotes bone strength, aids in digestion, regulates body fat, is anti-carcinogenic, regulates functioning of thyroid gland, prevent joint pains, aids in haemoglobin synthesis, maintains acid-alkaline balance in body, helps in improving fertility and conception related problems, prevents

white patches on the skin helps in healing of internal wounds and slows down ageing due to its antioxidant property.

It is important to be aware of the age-old traditions and inculcate them into a daily routine wherever possible.

  1. abraison abraison

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