From Cooking To Decor, This Odisha Family Swears By Clay! For Good Reasons Too


Berhampur: Sarita Panda and Dr Debasish Panda are a highly-educated couple residing in this city in Odisha’s Ganjam district.

Sarita is a naturopath and runs a trust called Krushna Swadeshi Pratisthan Group of India. She has also published seven books on naturopathy and spirituality among other subjects

Her husband is a professor of chemistry at the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Mahuda near Berhampur.

Their only son, Rahul, works as a software engineer.

This family living in Utkal Ashram Road area of Berhampur looks like any ordinary family. But they are different from most people.

Unlike households that use non-stick utensils, aluminium and steel, this family has been cooking traditional recipes in earthen cookware for the past six years.

“The benefits of earthen cookware include the ability of these vessels to absorb moisture due to their porous nature, letting heat circulate slowly through the food being cooked. This makes the food aromatic and helps it retain the nutrition as well as provides the required minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus,” explained Sarita.

“In earlier times, most housewives used to cook in earthen pots. But in modern urban households, paucity of time and maintenance of such vessels have often led them to look for modern options like non-stick cookware, aluminium and steel over clay. But clay vessels absorb toxins that are neutralised by ultra violet rays of a fire. This is not possible in metal vessels,” she added.

Sarita’s love for cooking traditional recipes in earthen cookware aims at retaining our rich culture and tradition, health for all and uplift of potters.

She credits her son for imbibing confidence and inspiring her to lead a new life.

Now her family uses everything in clay from idols of gods and goddesses to home decorations besides utensils to cook and cutlery to serve food as well.

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