The history of Indian fire bowls
There’s much debate about when the first opportunistic use of fire was, historians believe it has been a central part of life for over 700,000 years. Ever since fire was first discovered, man has been on a journey to master it. Once our ancestors realised that by concentrating fire in a hole in the ground they could control the spread and heat of the flames, they started to turn their attention to using fire for cooking.
The first use of fire pits dates back to the Middle Paleolithic period, approximately 200,000 – 400,000 years ago, and were made using stones arranged in a circle that contained the fire. In-ground fire pits were also used in some cultures, as a simple hole filled with hot stones used to cook food during celebrations and ceremonies. The basic construction of fire pits advanced throughout history, as man learned to work with more diverse materials, and different cultures developed their own variations.
Within Indian culture in particular, cooking became more sophisticated as metal became more readily available. One cooking utensil that’s deeply rooted in Indian culture is the fire bowl known as ‘Kadai.’ Kadai is a type of deep, circular cooking pot, traditionally made out of cast iron and similar in appearance to a wok. The design of the cooking pot has stayed the same for hundreds of years, with riveted plates shaped into a wide bowl shape and sturdy carrying handles.
Due to their large size, they were often used to feed whole villages at one time. The Kadai would be filled with fragrant meats, herbs and spices, and a fire would be lit underneath the bowl. It was then left to simmer until the contents were fully cooked and tender, and all the flavours had blended together. They were often used to celebrate and commemorate special occasions like weddings and religious ceremonies, by the entire village as generations of families sat and enjoyed the unique flavours of this special meal together.
Today, fire pits are still used around the world in both commercial and residential circumstances, bringing warmth and ambiance to gatherings. With more and more people embracing these traditional cooking bowls and bringing the unique essence of ancient India to their homes. Indian fire bowls bring a special atmosphere to modern outdoor entertaining, with many still bearing the character and charm of when they were originally used, hundreds of years ago.
For our ancestors, fire kept them warm at night, helped them craft the first weapons, and enabled them to experiment with new cooking methods. In today’s fast-paced world, we can connect with this fascinating part of ancient Indian culture by lighting a Kadai and gathering our friends and families together to enjoy a barbecue or party with a difference.
Gardening can do wonders for your mental health. Stats from the infographic show that doing gardening improves self-esteem by 30%. Who would've thought of that? It's amazing what being outdoors in a therapeutic environment can do for your health. But gardening specifically gives you a sense of achievement, responsibility, purpose and meaning.
Your garden is an extension onto your home and we’ve been lucky enough to be graced with a beautiful summer. We put time into maintaining and improving our gardens but it’s often not until you have people come around to see your beautiful garden, you realise it’s not the idyllic social space. We’ve gone through our favourite ways to create a sociable garden that your guests will love hanging out in.
For many of us, the start of the year brings with it new ideas, plans and resolutions. Often topping that list is to finally re-do the garden. Whether this means you want to invest in some new garden furniture, like a rustic set of table and chairs or an authentic fire bowl to stay warm, or just finally get around to putting in some new plants, this is the year to do it. We are seeing some wonderfully fascinating trends this year, from repurposed vintage furniture to modern, Scandinavian design.
We are running a competition in conjunction with BBC Gardeners' World Magazine, for a chance to win a fantastic fire bowl package worth over £350 enter here
Everyone at the Indian Fire Bowl company would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!
Also just to let you know that our offices will be closed for the Christmas and New Year period from 22nd December 2016 until 4th January 2017. All orders, emails and contact forms sent between these dates will be despatched or responded too after 3rd January 2017
With the nights starting to draw in and Summer becoming a distant memory, the season of fireworks and bonfires is upon us. This time of year is perfect for spending long evenings outside with friends and family, dressed in coats and scarves and keeping warm with steaming mugs of hot cocoa.
Indian Fire Bowls can enhance celebrations, so we’ve put together a few suggestions to help make your Halloween scarily good!