Article in Kerala Travel Explorer

September 27, 2019

Kitch.in: Helping to bring back the taste in your food with traditional hand seasoned natural cookware

The inspiration
To get authentic hand seasoned natural cookware has never been easy until now. It was found that most people had started drifting towards toxic easy cookware, which was a clear problem and also the opportunity. Healthy cookware, huge available market to convert, and delight from initial set of customers (when it started), gave the founders the impetus for the formation of The Village Fair, one of the earliest providers of natural cookware. What was an idea has now transformed into a movement. Kitch. in is the result of that movement.

Social Impact
This isn’t your typical good deed of the day. Every product that is bought from kitch.in contributes to the livelihood of craftswomen and men whose skills are at present undervalued. These are the same skills that enabled us to eat healthy in the past. Kitch.in aims to save these various crafts from certain extinction and simultaneously help those who deliver these great products

kitch.in encourages small-scale foundries and artisans to produce better quality products. Kitch.in works with women groups and trains them in the art of hand-seasoning. What started with a group of 3 women has now grown to over 25 women for whom this has turned into a viable source of income to support their families


We make sure that each item you buy from us is hand crafted/seasoned using traditional methods. kitch.in also provides a livelihood to dozens of artisans and craftswomen/men who help bring out the best in your cookware. Traditional hand seasoning techniques is a dying art, and we at kitch.in are doing our best to keep this alive Priya Deepak the Co-founder of kitch.in enterprise.

Hand-seasoned natural cookware
Natural cookware such as cast-iron, clay, stone, bamboo and bronze cannot be used straight after production. These cookware need seasoning and that is where the magic happens. Seasoning of these utensils used to be done at home many decades ago, however, today there are just a handfull of people who possess the knowhow. You may have noticed that most natural cookware brands/sellers use the pre-fix “Pre-seasoned”; however, this refers to factory seasoning and not hand-seasoning. The process of hand-seasoning that we take up elevates these products to a league of its own.

Cast iron
A large part of the professional chef’s community seems to swear by cast iron. Most of them say that the best food comes out of cast iron cookware, and they are not joking. A cast iron pan is also one of the most versatile pieces of cookware you can own. Cast iron conducts heat beautifully and can go from stove top to oven with no problem. Overtime, the cast iron will absorb some of the flavours and pass them along each time you use the pan. That’s why a steakhouse steak tastes so good – they’ve been developing flavours time and time again which seasons the steak each time adding more and more flavour.

Clay Cookware
The most compelling reason to start cooking in unglazed earthen pots comes from the one thing it doesn’t do-leach harmful metals into your food. A well-seasoned clay pot can last you a really long time. However, unseasoned or badly seasoned clay cookware are at risk of cracking while cooking. Foremost health benefits of clay pot cooking come from its ability to circulate steam throughout cooking. This provides plenty of moisture and means that you can cook with less oil and fat.

A major reason why cast iron cookware is making a comeback is because of health concerns involving other types of cookware. For example, some non-stick coated pans are now known to emit toxic fumes when they are heated past a certain temperature. Cast iron poses none of these risks, and can be heated to extremely high temperatures without negative effects.

Keeping in line with the vision to bringing health, tradition and safety back into today’s modern home, the founders of kitch.in have travelled far and wide to find small-scale foundries and artisans who could deliver quality products.

Store Location
Kitch.in store is located inside green scenic art centre called Ente Bhoomi next to South Bridge, Kochi, and the self help group seasoning team works out from the island of Vypin and is growing, as Kitch.in is expanding rapidly. Kitch.in also has a 3 member operations team. Kitch.in works with craftswomen and men from across the country to bring you the best of natural cookware.

Global E-store
Kitch.in’s objective to reach as much homes was possible using digital space so it has its own e-store www.getkitch.in and it also sold through premium partner e-sellers. Kitch.in customers are from metros and tier 1 & 2 cities. The movement is spreading to smaller towns. It also has growing list of international clientele. Kitch.in uses best logistics provider Fedex and domestic shipping is free. For international orders shipping charges are on actuals.


Priya Deepak is a passionate leader with 20+ years of experience in diverse areas of business and has served in senior leadership positions across various IT organisations. Her passion to make it happen was crucial to take the idea and make natural cookware business an organised player in the market about 4 years ago. She immediately identified one of the biggest pain points, which was quality and seasoning. Since then, Priya has travelled far and wide to find the best artisans and foundries that make good quality natural cookware. The next task was hand-seasoning and this is where she created magic. Priya works closely with seasoning team of self-help women group to hand-season the natural cookware thus creating a source of income for them. Today this self-help group has grown to a team of 20+ women. All this came together under ‘The Village Fair’, which has effortlessly formed the foundation for kitch.in Priya brings grit to the table and carries a “lets do it” attitude wherever she goes


An entrepreneur at heart with a passion for problem solving, Joseph specialises in result oriented marketing. Ambiguity is his friend and hustling is his habit. He has worked across industries starting from event management to politics, Joseph has a wide spectrum of understanding when it comes to getting people to change their minds. Joseph’s last gig before kitch.in was as a political consultant specialising in election campaign strategy.


The History of Food & Natural Cookware in South India

The hand-carved, traditional, versatile kitchen utensils made up of soft soapstone are used and treasured since the rise of civilization in India, especially in the southern states: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala. They are called as rathi chippa and kal chatti and employed for cooking, serving, and storing food for many generations (Kora, 2020). In today’s ‘developed’ society, the health-conscious people are shifting toward stone vessels by keeping aside the aluminum, stainless steel (SS), non-stick, and plastic cookware. The aluminum (Al) vessels are available at a cheaper price and SS cookware is easy to clean. In the case of nonstick ware, dishes can be made without food sticking into the vessel by utilizing no or minimum oil. The plastic wares are widely used for storing and heating the food in a microwave oven. However, the utility of the modern cookware is also combined with various detrimental effects on our health. At kitch.in, we believe in sustainable growth in every aspect of human life, therefore we are invested in informing people about the sustainable usage of natural resources by tracing back to the techniques used by our ancestors to improve the environmental conditions for our future generations.

Kerala is an example of a tradition that has been influenced over the years, a coastal state in the Southern part of India, and due to its close proximity to the Arabian sea, there have been numerous foreign influences that have crept into the cuisine of this small state, and understandably there were various methods that were adopted from those influences by the people to cook such varieties of cuisines. As mentioned by Tanya Abraham in her book ‘Eating with History’, “In the heart of Kerala, lies the love of its people for food. As cultures and traditions thrived in the state, food found a prominent position in people’s lives. Influenced greatly by traditions, religious beliefs and trade, it lead to the emergence of a variety of cuisines (Abraham, 2020). The same goes for the cookware used by our ancestors. Trade with South India, can be traced back to some of the most sophisticated civilizations in the middle ages like the Chinese, Romans and Arabs, but most famously it was the Portuguese that really understood the value of trading pepper, and thus settled in the ‘Malabar’.


Portuguese ships trading spices, arrives at Indian Port of Calicut- 16th Century

We at kitch.in, have gone back to our roots, in the hopes of preserving the essence of our cuisine, but at the same time, we want to build our reach all over the world just like our ancestors did in the middle ages. We want the whole world to experience the beauty of natural cookware and in turn preserve the art of hand seasoning which is slowly becoming a ‘dying’ art just like the hand woven cotton that was produced in North India before the British Empire. Therefore, we urge our readers to try to take a ‘bite’ into history with our hand seasoned cookware.


Abraham, T., 2020. Eating With History. 1st ed. New Delhi: Niyogi Books, p.19
Kora, A., 2020. Traditional soapstone storage, serving, and cookware used in the Southern states of India and its culinary importance. Bulletin of the National Research Centre, 44(1).


Mumbai Mid-Day paper – Desi Urns

Mumbai Mid-Day paper on 28 Jul 2019- “Desi Urns” features Kitch.in and talks about our seasoned natural cookware. Food ambassadors Smita Hegde Deo, Samagni, Manjusha Pisharody & Native Spaces Veera Saxena talks about their interests and experiences in Kitch.in cookware.Read Mid-day article Page 30-31




Importance of Iron Content in Meals

According to the World Health Organization (W.H.O) iron deficiency – a condition where your body doesn’t have enough of the mineral iron – is a global public health problem of “epidemic proportions”. It is the single most prevalent nutrient deficiency in developing and industrialised countries, and the most common cause of anemia (Parletta, 2016). Iron is a mineral that is normally present in numerous foods and their products; it is an abundant element on earth and is a biologically essential component of every living organism. However, despite its geologic abundance, iron is often a growth-limiting factor in the environment. This apparent paradox is due to the fact that in contact with oxygen iron forms oxides, which are highly insoluble, and thus is not readily available for uptake by organisms. It is also available as a dietary supplement and many products are fortified with this nutrient. Iron plays its basic role in exchanging of gases within the body; by mainly helping transfer oxygen from a person’s lungs to the rest of the body cells. As a part of myoglobin, a protein that gives oxygen to muscles, iron underpins digestion. Iron is also essential for development, advancement, ordinary cell working, and blend of a few hormones and connective tissue. At Kitch.in, our (cast-iron) products ensure the retention of iron within the food; this is made possible by seasoning the cast iron vessels produced by our able workforce made up of independent women who have mastered the technique of hand seasoning cast iron. Now, let’s view the importance of iron content, for some of the categories in society –

Importance of Iron in Food for Women

Low intakes of dietary iron and calcium are common in women. Iron is a mineral that works with other substances to create hemoglobin, the compound that carries oxygen in the blood. Women and men metabolize iron from food at roughly the same rate. However, while men need around 8 mg of iron in their daily diet, women need up to 18 mg (or 27 mg if pregnant). Women need more iron than men to make up for the amount of iron they lose in their menstrual period. Around 1 mg of iron is lost for every day of bleeding. Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in women. Insufficient iron can lead to anemia. Common symptoms of anemia include tiredness and breathlessness. Iron is especially important during pregnancy. Iron requirements increase significantly during pregnancy as maternal blood volume increases and the baby’s blood system is developing.

Iron deficiency in pregnant women increases the risk of having a preterm or low birth weight baby, which can have a negative impact on the short and long-term health of the baby. The best source of iron is red meat, with smaller amounts in chicken and fish. Iron is also present in plant foods such as legumes, nuts, wholegrain breads and cereals, and green leafy vegetables, but it is not absorbed as well from these foods. Eating foods rich in Vitamin C alongside iron-rich foods can improve iron absorption. Iron supplements are frequently prescribed for pregnant women if they are unable to meet their requirements through food alone.

Prescribed intake of Iron for Women

  • 14-18 years: 15 mg/ day
  • 19-50 years: 18 mg/ day
  • 51+ years: 8 mg/ day

Importance of Iron in food for Athletes

Trained athletes and clients alike are monitoring their intakes and percentages of critical fuels – carbohydrates, fats, and protein – but are potentially falling short on their micronutrient needs. These trace players in the diet can have a significant impact on overall performance (Jena Walther, 2015). Since iron supplements can have undesirable side effects and absorption issues, they’re not recommended unless an athlete has been diagnosed with IDA, and is being professionally monitored and supervised. Higher doses (> 50 mg/ day), in particular, can cause upset stomach and constipation, which has been shown to decrease compliance in female athletes (Beard and Tobin, 2000). Athletes in training are advised to pay closer attention to their diets, and consume more iron-rich foods to avoid deficiency (Beard and Tobin, 2000). Thus, natural cookware is an optimal method to ensure the right amount of iron intake for an athlete.

Importance of Iron in food to help build Immunity

In such testing times for humanity due to the COVID-19 outbreak, building immunity is a crucial factor to battle the virus. Thus, it is absolutely necessary to maintain the nutrition in the food we eat, and the products that are manufactured by Kitch.in have been hand seasoned to ensure that. Therefore, moving away from synthetic cookware is one of the easiest ways to improve the nutrient levels in our body and lead a healthier lifestyle.


Beard, J. and Tobin, B., 2000. Iron status and exercise. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 72(2), pp.594 -597.

Jena Walther, M., 2015. Iron: An Essential Mineral For Athletic Performance. [online] Blog.nasm.org. Available at: <https://blog.nasm.org/nutrition/iron-an-essential-mineral-for-athletic-performance> [Accessed 21 June 2020].

Parletta, N., 2016. Why Iron Is Such An Important Part Of Your Diet. [online] The Conversation. Available at: <https://theconversation.com/why-iron-is-such-an-important-part-of-your-diet-69974> [Accessed 21 June 2020].