How to season Kalchatti | Kalchatti Seasoning Process | Know How to Cure your Kalchatti |Seasoning Soapstone cookware | Beginner’s guide on Kalchatti

Kalchatti, Maakalchatti (மாக்கல் சட்டி) is a naturally occuring softstone, handcrafted/ carved by rural Artisans without any machine assistance. Soapstone cookware will be the pride of any kitchen and are antique collector’s delight.

These soapstone pots are mostly used in southern states of India. They are called by various names as “Ratichippa” in Telugu (rati-stone, chippa-cooking pot) and “Kalchatti” in Tamil.

Kalchatti’s neutralise the pH balance of acidic food items enhancing their nutritional value. The porous nature helps to circulate the heat and moisture through the pot while cooking which in turn enhances the flavours.

A well seasoned soapstone cookware is a treasured possession, passed on by grandmothers to the younger generations. Not all of us have the heirloom cookware, so we get tempted to buy our own.

I was eyeing on various online stores but stepped back because of the huge price. Finally found it in a local shop here in Madurai at a very cheaper price 😜👍🏼

Unlike normal cookware, a new kalchatti needs special care (i.e, seasoning process) before using on gas stove. The new ones appear light grey in colour and get a dark, blackish shade with seasoning/use.

Heating the vessel without seasoning may result in breakage or cracking. There are a couple of traditional methods of seasoning. Even after seasoning, the kalchatti should be introduced gently and slowly into daily cooking.

Kalchattis are thick and heavy walled, retain heat for a longer time hence you can switch off the flame 5 mins before the final dish is done. And another good part is that, food cooked in kalchattis stay good for the next day as well without refrigeration.

Guys, if you wanna experience the traditional flavour of cooking then head out to buy the kalchatti and get seasoned by yourself with the detailed (step by step) process as given below:-

Click this link for the video version of seasoning process.

Day 1 – Day 5:

Clean the surface of the Kalchatti thoroughly using a cloth or dry tissue. Make a paste with turmeric powder and castor oil. Apply this paste evenly on both sides using your fingers or brush. Let it dry it for a day.

Repeat the process for five days without washing in between.

After five days, kalchatti turns pitch black in colour.

Day 5:

Wipe excess turmeric paste with a cloth. Rinse well with hot water. Let it dry for a day.

Day 6 – Day 9:

Soak it in starch water. Make sure that the kalchatti is fully immersed (If starch water isn’t enough, feel free to use rice rinsed water).

Change the starch water daily and repeat it for next three days.

Day 10:

Wash with mild soap and scrub well. Rinse thoroughly with plain water.

Fill the kalchatti with water and boil it on low flame. When it starts to bubble, switch off the flame and cool completely.

Day 11:

Now the kalchatti is ready to be used for making mouth watering dishes.


Cleaning kalchatti after cooking:

Wipe the food residue with a tissue paper/ soft cloth. Fill the kalchatti with water and boil it until the residue starts to float. Once cooled, discard it and rinse it well with plain water.


Special Note:

  1. Starch water: The excess water while boiling rice in a pot.
  2. Do not use any soap for washing. If it turns oily, use either rice flour or besan flour only.
  3. Use on a low flame and don’t let the water dry while cooking.
  4. Periodically oil it and leave overnight and wash it in the morning.

Ghee Rice/ Nei Choru/Kerala style ghee rice recipe

In my hometown, ghee rice is a popular rice recipe, especially, a must dish in the banquet for any big occasions.

For the best taste and aroma, always use pure & fresh ghee or desi cow’s ghee if available.

While cooking Ghee rice, the aroma from the spices and the rice roasting in the ghee will spread all over the house in no time and everyone will be seen taking in a few deep breaths.

You can use any variety of rice to make ghee rice. I usually make with basmati rice which is not sticky and yields separate grains when cooked.

You can serve this ghee rice with Chicken Curry or any non-vegetarian gravies. You may like to try one of these.


Author: Nathiya Adiseshan

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2-3

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 3 tablespoons Ghee (clarified butter)
  • 15 Cashews (kaju)
  • 1 tablespoon Raisins (kishmish)
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1/2 inch Cinnamom
  • 2 Cardamom pods
  • 1 cup Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 2-3 Green chillies
  • 1.5 cups water, add water as required
  • Salt

Cooking Instructions

  1. Wash and drain the rice and keep it aside.
  2. Heat three teaspoons of ghee in a pan. To this, add cashew nuts and stir, till it becomes brown. Remove the cashew nuts. Repeat the procedure with raisins.
  3. Now add onions. Stir and cook till it turns brown. Transfer this into the plate containing fried cashew nuts and raisins.
  4. Take some more ghee and heat in a big vessel. Put cloves, followed by cinnamon, cardamom and ginger-garlic paste. Stir well.
  5. To this, add thin slices of onion and stir a bit.  Add sliced green chillies.
  6. You may now add the rice, which has been washed, drained and kept aside. Mix well and add salt.
  7. Add some split pieces of bay leaf and pour water to cover the rice fully. Stir gently and close the vessel. Cook for five minutes. (If cooking in pressure cooker, cook for 7-8 minutes on medium flame).
  8. Fluff the rice with a fork and immediately transfer into a wide serving bowl in order to avoid clumping.
  9. Garnish with cashew nuts, raisins, fried onions.
  10. Serve hot with mutton/chicken curry or any spicy veg/non-veg dish.

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Did you make this recipe? If yes, do let me know how it turned out in the comments below. Do share a picture on instagram with hashtag #CookedFromHungrystomach and tag us @hungry__stomach

Prawns Ghee Roast/ Mangalore Style Prawn Ghee Roasto

Ghee roast is one of the most popular delicacies in Mangalorean Cuisine. It is a sought after delicacy, prepared using pure ghee or clarified butter and a wonderful blend of ground simple spices.

The aroma of ghee permeates in the air is overwhelming and gets you salivated in no time.

The fiery masala and the succulent prawns making the dish a mouthwatering fare. You may reduce or increase the red chillies according to your taste.

The ghee roast is most commonly made with Prawns, but can also be made using Chicken and Paneer too. I prefer prawns over chicken. Serve Prawns Ghee Roast as a side dish along with Ghee Rice and Pulao on a weekday meal.


Author: Nathiya Adiseshan

Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins
Serves : 3-4

Ingredients

  • 300 grams Prawns/Shrimps
  • 4 tablespoon Ghee
  • 2 tablespoon Curd
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tablespoon RedChilli Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • 4 Red Chillies
  • 1 tablespoon Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 3 cloves Garlic

Here we go!!!

  1. Clean and devein prawns. Dry on kitchen paper to remove excess moisture.
  2. In a bowl, add curd, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, lime juice and a pinch of salt. Add prawns and coat them evenly and marinate from 15- 30 minutes.
  3. Soak red chilies in warm water.
  4. Heat up the pan, add Black Pepper, Cumin seeds, Fenugreek, Coriander seeds and Mustard seeds. Dry roast it.
  5. Transfer all the ingredients to a blender and along with this add Garlic, soaked Red Chillies and grind into a fine paste adding little water.
  6. Heat up the pan, add 2 tablespoon of ghee, add the marinated prawn and saute them for 2 to 3 minutes, take them aside.
  7. In the same pan, add the masala and stir them until ghee oozes out.
  8. Now add the cooked prawn, salt to taste and mix them gently.
  9. Add in two more teaspoon of ghee and roast till the prawn is completely cooked and the masala is dry.
  10. Switch off. Sprinkle some coriander leaves and serve.