As more and more homemakers discover the benefits of the natural, organic way of life, everything from fashion to decor to food is going the sustainable way. Cookware is no different.
Shunning those harmful plastics and toxic teflons, a host of new brands are taking a cue from the past with utensils that hark back to our grandmothers’ kitchens.
From brass pots and terracotta tableware, to cast iron tawas and copper and bronze-glazed masala daanis, these brands are bringing back the joys of good old slow-cooking. We round up a few.
The Indus Valley
The collection here is almost from your grandma’s kitchen—neem wood glasses and ladles, copper and terracotta water bottles and cast iron pans. Fed up with melted plastic in their microwave, Mumbai-based husband-wife duo Jagadeesh Kumar and Madhumitha Udaykumar launched this line of natural cookware that is heat-resistant and non-toxic.
Our pick: Neem wood cooking ladles
Founded by Archish Mathe, Meera Ramakrishnan and Varishta, the brand borrows from our ancestors on how to lead a sustainable life. You will find tin rasam vessels from Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, copper water pots from Maharashtra, handmade urulis from Kerala, table runners made of natural river grass from West Bengal, iron-rich vessels from Manipur, kansa utensils from Odisha, neem wood cutlery from West Bengal and more.
Our pick: Masala daani
If you like everything terracotta, you are going to love this brand. From utensils to tableware and kitchen products, the award-winning designs showcase Indian innovation at its finest. Started by Mansukhbhai Prajapati, a traditional Gujarati clay craftsman, the kitchenware is made from mineral-enriched mud without additives.
Our pick: Water coolers
This Coimbatore-based brand has gained quite a following across the country. Specialising in cast ironware such as dosa tawas, appam chattis, paniyarakkals, roti tawas and even Dutch ovens, the products are pre-seasoned to hinder rust formation.
Our pick: Dosa pan
The 21 products designed by Gunjan Gupta are not only impeccably crafted, but innovatively conceptualised as well. It is a total reinterpretation of everyday Indian household products. For example, the humble kulhads (chai glasses), diyas (lamps) and baltis (buckets) metamorphose into champagne
glasses, vases and candle holders.
Our pick: Champagne glasses
Essential Traditions by Kayal
Founders Kayal Vizhi Sriram and husband Shriram Narayanan are encouraging cooks to channel their inner grandmothers. With clay pots, brass ladles and grinding slabs made of soapstone, the brand also offers specialised utensils such as brass kuzhi karandis (a traditional ladle for sambhar and rasam), soapstone curd jars, and murruku and idiyappam grinders.
Our pick: Soapstone curd jars
With sustainability at the heart of its design approach, the processes and materials used by this brand ensure no harm to the environment. Everything is food-safe—safe to serve in and safe to cook in. Their terracotta collection has water bottles, jugs, tumblers, curd-setters, and roti boxes, besides a new serveware, drinkware and bakeware collection.
Our pick: Roti box
This Jaipur brand stresses eco-friendly natural kitchenware as a way to combat mineral deficiency in the body. Be it functional cast iron cookware, ornamental copper platters, serving trays or drinkware, it caters to all modern kitchen needs.
Our pick: Iron sizzler plates