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F A Q | Cleaners | Cookware | Coffee | Dairy | Hints | History | Spice | Storage | Term

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What are traditional storage vessels in Indian Kitchen?

Traditional storage vessels include: Balti, Bori, Ghara, Handi, Imrit Baan, Peepa, Tiffin carrier, Tokni, and Tokri

Balti (Bucket)

Balti Conceptual artBalti is a bucket used to fetch water and milk, carry and store fluids. While making bulk foods, it is used to carry or store foods temporarily. Balti is also used to carry water to bathe. Balti comes in various sizes. For daily kitchen use, approximately one gallon Balti is used.
Balti can be made of galvanized steel, or brass. Nowadays it is made of stainless steel
The conceptual art depicts traditional Brass Balti where interior is coated with Tin

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Bori (Jute Sack)

Bori were large sacks made of woven jute strings. Bori were used to transport grains such as wheat, rice, or legumes. Empty Bori were used to store grains or other dried commodities at home. such as Atta (Flour), or Besan (Chickpea flour).
Smaller Bori were made of cotton

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Ghara (Earthen storage vessel), Gharia, Matka, Matki

Ghara Conceptual artBroad and round spherical shape with a narrow opening that flares out to form a narrow rim. Normally it is placed on a ring made of jute or straw and string to prevent it from tipping. Ghara is used to store water, or grains. Ghara is also used to ferment sugarcane juice to make Sirka (vinegar), or ferment coconut sap to make Toddy.
Small sized Ghara is called 'Gharia'. Matka is glazed Ghara. Smaller version of Matka is called Matki
Use of Ghara has almost disappeared. Nowadays, plastics are used to make large containers to store grains. With the running water, need for store water has been declined.

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Handi (Earthen-ware), Handiya

Handi Conceptual ArtHandi is a round spherical shaped clay pot. The bottom is thick. The top has a wide-mouth opening about 85% of the largest diameter of the pot. The opening is supported by a very narrow neck that flares out to form broad rim. There is no handle so the pot is lifted by grabbing the rim. Handiya is a smaller version of Handi. Handi is used to store/make pickles, slow-cook (Dum Pukht), incubate fermenting milk to make Dahi. Handi cookware was also made of ay Brass and Copper. Nowadays Handi cookware stainless steel is used. Clay Handi has almost disappeared.
The conceptual art depicts traditional Clay Handi

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Imrit-Baan (Crock jar)

Imritbaan Conceptual artImrit is a corrupted Punjabi word Amrit meaning holy water, Baan is a jar. Imrit-Baan should not be confused with Martban stoneware from Burma. Stoneware from Martban was also used in India, but not as Imrit-Baan. Imrit Baan are used to make and store Pickles. Jars are also used to store Ghee, prepared sweets, Namkeen, and commodities. The crock-ware absorbs heat and cools down slowly. This characteristic is helpful in aging Achar (Indian pickles) in hot-sun. The jars are wide mouth. Normally, these jars are two tone. The upper portion is light brown while the lower portion is white.
Unfortunately, crock jars are disappearing. Fewer people cast pickles; and those who do, use glass jars. Crock jars and clay jars are still better to make pickles than the glass jars.

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Peepa ( Steel Canister)

Peepa is a deep rectangular steel canister. Peepa were originally manufactured to distribute Dalda (Imitation Ghee made of hydrogenated peanut oil). The empty Peepa were not discarded. The capacity was comparable to Ghara, except Peepa were non-breakable. Peepa were eused to transport water, store ghee and oil.

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Tiffin Carrier

Tiffin CarrierTiffin is an Anglo-Indian word meaning light meal or lunch. Tiffin-carrier is sort of a lunch box to pack lunch and take it to work, or pack food for kids for school, or pack food for journey or picnic. During late 1890s, the Tiffin carrier was made of brass, It had 2 to 4 round containers, called Dabba. Each Dabba is about 6" in diameter and about 3" high. The bottom of all the containers (except the bottom most container) had a ridge that allowed the bottom of the container to snugly fit as a lid to the container immediately below it. The lid of the top container was fitted with a small container with its own lid. This small container was used to store Achar (Indian pickles). Each Dabba may be used to store rice, Roti, Dal, Curry, and yogurt separately in its own container.

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Tokni (Water pitcher)

Tokni Conceptual ArtIn the olden days there was no running water. The drinking water was collected from rains and fetched from community well. The water was stored in earthen, copper, or brass vessels. The Tokni is a popular water pitcher made of brass. The interior is not coated with Tin (Kalai). The form factor resembles the Degchi. It is twice as tall as Degchi and half as wide opening as Degchi. Copper is supposed to purify water and used in Temples to store water. Brass is primarily copper with a fraction of zinc. Brassware is used to store water.

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Tokri (Basket)

These baskets were made from Bamboo, used during harvesting, transporting and storing produce. The weave allowed enough room to circulate air to keep produce dry.

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