Art in ancient and Medieval India wasn’t limited to selected substrates. While Murals, Paper & Garments were the leading substrates, Pottery products like Pots, Kulhars, decorative items, God Idols, and more continued to develop over centuries. Lamp and water jars form a huge part of the Indian tradition of pottery. Even though it was only practiced and used as a necessity back then, today Indian pottery thrives as a luxurious artform this is mainly due to its growing role in aesthetics, indoor decoration, and conscious effort for a healthier lifestyle.
One of the most popular pottery cups is Kulhar or Shikora. This pottery and its art form have a rich history dating back to the Indus valley civilization. Another feature is that this pottery form is shared by India and Pakistan. Unglazed inside out, they are made in a fire kiln and are never reused. Food stalls and bazaars in the Indian subcontinent often served hot drinks in kulhars, which lent them an appealing “earthiness” that was lauded as a hallmark of the area. Now with the advent of polystyrene and coated paper cups as they are more convenient and cheaper. Drinking tea in a Kulhar would soak up the interiors and give a very pleasant taste and fragrance. Now Kulhar can be found in some of the high-end restaurants. Even though an effort was made y the Indian railways to preserve this, it turned out to be a failure.
The pottery had lost its importance as cookware 10 years back when Indian kitchens were flooded with plastics that were easier to handle, nonbreakable, and very cheap but after a more conscious move for a healthier lifestyle fueled by the awareness of cancer and lifestyle diseases, people have been welcoming back Indian pottery to their kitchen after its brief exile. These pottery or earthenware are more eco-friendly and nowadays easy on the budget is an added bonus. In cities, people are joining pottery classes to learn and make pots to replace the plastic ware at home. Clay pots add many important nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and sulfur to food, which is extremely beneficial to our body. since clay is also alkaline, it neutralizes the acidity in the food, making it easier to digest. Clay pots fill the recipes with a scent of earth, and they can last for years if maintained properly. Clay is a heat-resistant material, and food in these pots retains moisture, so no more added oil is needed to keep food moist while cooking.
Handi, Matka, and manchatti are some of the other names of Indian cooking ware. Needless to say, these pots have a huge fanbase all around the world fame for their delicious food and aromatic smell that draws your taste buds in. the reason is that since the clay is unglazed, it soaks in the food and then gives it a very earthy taste. Also, the food takes a long time to cook in, and thereby the slow and drawn-out cooking process definitely enriches the cooking process. No wonder, Indian cuisine is one of the celebrated cuisines of the world.