Till our grandmother’s time, Vengala Panai made of pure bronze was the only utensil used for cooking rice and boiling milk.
Another significant traditional use of Vengala Panai is during the celebration of Pongal and Sankranti festival for making sweet pongal dish in this utensil.
Over the years, our ancestors had developed techniques to make cooking vessels using five metals which were supposed to provide immense health benefits. Makers of such cookware no longer exist and we have lost a significant part of our traditions to history.
Age old traditions use small gaps filled with Tin metal within the inner surface of the vessel to help in better conduction as well as maintaining the food warm for hours together.
The artisans of Kerala and Tamil Nadu are known for their craftsmanship in making intricate brass and bronze work for temples.
The same artisans extended their expertise in making these traditional cookware. The artistic process starts with sand cast and moulding of the bronze cookware in specific shapes.
The volumetric capacity of the vessel determines the thickness and thereby the weight of bronze in the vessel too.
The rough mould is later hand worked to give shine. It takes 7-8 days to make one utensil.