Feature| Vintage Indian Pots & Pans … journeying into culinary culture!

“Each culture is known by it’s culinary traditions”
Abdul Haleem Sharar

Vintage Indian Pots & PansThis is not a recipe post, yet a culinary one … with a little bit about the hert of New Delhi, some vintage looking pots and pans, and a dash of colour. A misty winter afternoon visit to New Delhi, or Lutyen’s Delhi as it is referred to, is never complete without a  drive up Raisina Hill which leads to the gates of the Indian Presidents house or Rashtrapati Bhavan. Lutyens’ Delhi is an area in New Delhi named after the leading British architect Edwin Lutyens. He was responsible for much of the architectural design and building when India was part of the British Empire.New DelhiWith Edwin Lutyens, Sir Herbert Baker was instrumental in designing New Delhi. The North & South Block on either side of the Rashtrapathi Bhavan or Presidents Estate were designed by Sir Herbert Baker who contributed beautiful lotus motifs, elephants and Mughal chhatris or kiosks. There are four sandstone columns surmounted by a bronze ship sailing east, two in front of each blocks representing the dominions of the British empire namely Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. {A great read is Patti’s post Our India Adventure from A to Z about her recent India visit on Worth The Whisk. She’s captured the spirit of this beautiful country in her post, followed by one on food.}

Raisina Hill, Lutyen's Delhi For me, no visit is also complete without a mandatory stop at Tashi’s shop in the Tibetan Market on Janpath, translated as ‘People’s Path’, one of the main roads in New Delhi’s commercial district. I endeavor to buy at least a couple of things from this quaint and intriguing  little shop on each visit, an attempt to build my culinary bric-à-brac while the kids stamp their impatient feet! Doma Copper Brass, New Delhi

A very pleasant young man, Tashi Nima, runs his shop, Doma Copper Brass, with a passion. He knows his stuff & his prices are fixed. He has his suppliers, & is known to supply a lot of people with Indian/sub continent bric-a brac. The wares move fast & he sells a mix of old & new culinary items. Everything is handmade, including the handles, rivets , latches etc. The wares aren’t antique, but do date back to the 1910′s etc, & the artistry is entirely mesmerizing.

bric-à-bracTashi Numa  now recognises me and each time I stop by, he mischievously dissuades me from buying up his whole place. I have to keep asking him not to show me new stuff, tempt me with pans I find irresistible etc. This time Mr PAB was with me and he  just isn’t the shopping kind. He accompanies me if I ask him too, but doesn’t have the patience of a seasoned shopper… but Tashi and his Aladdin’s cave had Mr PABs eyes light up like a gazillion stars!Vintage Indian Pots & Pans - my collectionHe took roots in the shop, spellbound by the young mans stories.  Tashi knows the history behind where each piece comes from, the rough time period it belongs to, the uses in that day and age, why it had been given a tin or silver cladding … fascinating! He treats each piece as his baby, talking about the origins lovingly, patiently, passionately and with in-depth knowledge! Every thing I gathered on the table had to be bought declared Mr PAB. I was horrified and Tashi knows me. He jokingly said, “Yes don’t force her. You still need money for lunch!!” Mr PAB emptied his wallet {Tashi accepts cash only} and said ‘We’ll take it all!He LOVED the place, the nostalgia, the journey back in time, the rustic ambience…Vintage Indian Pots & Pans-my collectionI came back thrilled with my battered looking collection. There is rustic charm in these vintage pieces, each piece holds a tale, a story, a reflection of time gone by! Just talking to Tashi, one gathers priceless bits of information. The vessels that come from the North Eastern hills are simple, while the ones from the plains have intricate patterns worked on them, as do some from Kashmir.  My copper frying pan has the artists name engraved on the bottom, a feeling of belonging, a pride in his artistry.

In the field of metal work a variety of styles are seen in different parts of India. In the Ladakh area of Kashmir traditional vessels are made out of iron and brass. Many richly engraved traditional household items like bowls, samovars, plates and trays are also made in Kashmir. In “Naqasi”, elaborate floral and calligraphic designs are imprinted on copper and silver items. These items are then oxidized, which makes the design to stand out from the background.

Vintage Indian Pots & PansMost copperware was clad in metal. The poor would clad their utensils with tin, and the rich with silver. The plain looking simple vessels with just usability as their main feature belonged to the common man, while the intricately worked, domed dishes like serving dishes belonged to the rich, the upper classes,  a reflection of the socio-economic system that prevailed in India centuries ago. Just fascinating how much you can learn about a people and it’s culture from mere utensils! Going back in time, in many ways, the Indian society and its cuisine was as diverse as the utensil it was served in!Vintage Indian Pots & Pans - my collectionMost of the wares are dated back 50-100 years, so aren’t a 100% safe for cooking in. Some have lost their cladding, while others look like they were never clad! As Tashi says, most of them are good to use for boiling water, or for serving non-acidic stuff in {e.g. tomato based gravies can react with the metal if kept for an extended period of time}. I buy them just for quick culinary photo shoots and importantly to add charm to my kitchen.  Just  having them surround me fills me with a strange sense of comfort, connect & unexplained nostalgia. There is so much power in food@pennydelosantos via twitter!Vintage Indian Pots & PansTell me dear reader, do you have favourite shops like these that haunt you and call your name? Are you tempted to buy old rustic culinary ware? Do you find them as charming and comforting as I do? If shipping wasn’t that steep,  if metal wasn’t that heavy, I would happily start an Etsy store and help others build a collection too … if!!

“If wishes were horses
Beggars would ride:
If turnips were watches
I would wear one by my side
And if ifs and ans were pots and pans,
The tinker would never work!”

Vintage Indian Pots & Pans♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

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Comments

  1. OMG Dee This man’s shop is spectacular! I would spend hours and hours lost in the history and beauty of those beautiful things! Next time in Delhi, I’m going to buzz you and got to visit this shop. And only problem is I don’t knw when I would be able to :(

  2. Lovely pots my friend! I can understand Mr PAB and his urge to sell the house when in that shop lol I would gladly collect these charming metal-works, they would totally fit with some pewter pieces of mine :)

  3. These pots and pans are so beautiful! And, you’re right, there’s so much history in simple utensils. I love shopping for Mexican talavera pottery, but it too is not always food safe. The colors always draw me in though.

  4. Deeba, This is one of my most favorite posts of yours!! I even forwarded it to J to read because he is a history buff and excite him even further about India as a trip is long overdue and necessary to complete a circle. I am yet to read the links but wanted to drop you a note and say I always admired your copper and antique pieces throughout your posts. I marked it favorite to when we ever come to India and hope it won’t get lost but I can always turn to you for advice and recommendations. The loveliest of posts! Shulie

  5. Deeba I love so much this post! I would love to spent a day, better a whole week, wandering in that shop! I can completely understand your love for pots and pans, especially when covered in history and traditions!

  6. Hi hi sint it all hubbies duty to empty his wallet ;-) I would have love to see his face while you were colleting all the goodies in teh shop.
    How i regret I was not into blogging and pans when we used to walk there when ever we were in Delhi,

  7. Each piece is absolutely beautiful! I can’t blame you for wanting to stock up!

    I have always wanted to find a shop selling stuff like this around here, but I haven’t had any luck. I like to check out antique shops for fun dishes and silverware, thought!

  8. I am soo so in love with all these pans. Oh wat I would do to get my hands on some! Tey are just beautiful!

  9. Lovely post, the pans and pots are entirely beautiful…

  10. Oh! those looks sooo rustic and wanting to shop for…noting down the place, have to take a look sometime :) n wen it comes to shopping skills…i’m still to find a wife who would say her Mr. is great at shopping :) applies to my MR. as well…hehehe…btw Deeba, which camera do you use? have been doing some research, need a new one :) n ur fotos are awesome…apart from ur skills, i guess a tiny bit of it would go to the camera also ;) thanx!

  11. Oh, what a thrill to be mentioned on your blog, and in this gorgeous feature. I am probably lucky to have NOT known about these cooking utensils and the shop, as I may not have been able to get there while in India, and then have obsessed about it. Time to return to India! Thank you.

  12. ah! got it! Checked up the about n found a canon EOS D50…last time i guess i dint look properly :) One more thing to ask…how does this camera work under poor/very poor lighting? So for being a pain in the neck =)

    • I think it had better work in poor light K, but you’d need to learn how, which settings, and also would have to use a tripod. I am still the very ‘natural’ daylight clicker. I use a Canon macro 100mm lens for my food pictures, and a Sigma f 2.8 otherwise.

  13. This was such an interesting post. I didn’t know Lutyens had such an influence in India. The pots and pans are exquisite. I now have pan envy. I’m going to see if I can buy some modern copies in Dubai – I’m sure there must be some lurking somewhere in old Dubai as there are such strong links with India.

  14. Deeb, I love love love these gorgeous pots & pans! I wish I could get my hands on them…lovely post! I need to visit India soon! :)

  15. This post is exactly what I needed to know from Deeba! Where do u get ur props from? That is such a great find and I just can’t wait to visit the store while I’m in Delhi next time, which is not very far from now :-) (yay, to that!!)
    Will be dropping u an email soon and as you the address. Will let the guy know that PAB has sent me :-)

  16. I would looooooove to have the chance to such gorgeous vintage pots. Sigh…maybe one day. I especially like the photos of these on worn older surfaces.

  17. That store is like heaven for pan-lovers! What splendid objects. Thir old and used aspect is perfect for picture-taking. Your shots are marvelous. I really love the one with the strawberries…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  18. I want to visit India just for these pots and pans (and for many other things, of course). I like vintage kitchenware that beautifully shows its age.

  19. What a beautiful shop Deeba! Something I would someday love to see…

  20. Tahemeem says:

    Love the pots.. they are so adorable :) love them :) u are so lucky :) i am in US right now and donno when i’ll be back :(

  21. OMG…Deeba..awesome! I LOVE such stores..decked up fom top to bottom with metallic stuff.Wow!..Every pan looks so classy.I have seen some of such pots at e Tibetan Market near ISBT but this guy’s collection is totally awesome.I didnt knw there was one near Janpath too! Can wait to go to Dilli Haat when I go to India and this store also joins the list now. Will contact you for details.BTW told my mom about your publish and boasted “I knw her”…she was laughing away :)

  22. Deeba, A friend forwarded your site to me and what a great delight and surprise! Those pans are wonderful–so textured and interesting. I’m on my way to India in February and will look in some of my favorite shops to see if they have anything like those–but i’ll only be in Kerala.

    I love the mix of history, photography, food and shopping in your piece.

  23. Deeba, beautiful pots and pan, nothing beats old and antique pots. love your post.

  24. I really love these kinda of utensils… Unfortunately I don’t find much here in US.. Thanks for sharing wonderful pictures.

  25. Gorgeous pots and pans, – I too would find them impossible to resist. There’s a big retro pot thing going on in the UK, has been for quite a while. I am a little obsessed with a Danish salad bowl designed by Herbert Krenchel, a range of bowls called Krenit. They are made of metal and have bright enamelled insides. We grew up with those bowls as children, every day our salad was served in them. They have been remanufactured recently in new colours, but they are apparently not as thin and fine as the original ones. My step mother loves the old English copper moulds, used for jellies and centre piece desserts. You are right, these old bowls and containers have a numinous quality, a power to trigger memories and reflections. I love bowls best !

  26. What a beautiful and fascinating post…the vessels are gorgeous and so nice the shop owner knows all the stories behind each one. Thanks so much for this…..makes the connection so much more real…Patricia

  27. Arunah says:

    Oh Deeba ! Your bric-à-brac makes me green with envy !

  28. Wow, beautiful pots and pans.
    I wish they could be mine.
    Excellent clicks ♥

  29. Arent they beautiful pots, I could so easily get a hankering to collect such treasures. Love posts like this, its like stepping into another culture & having a little culinary tour around the shops. Thanks for sharing Deeba :)

  30. Wow-ee! This shop looks absolutely fantastic! What gorgeous gorgeous stuff… now I know where you get all your things from….! More posts like this please…. although I still want to see all of your cakes aswell. XXXxx

  31. Gosh deeba!!! Each of these utensils is absolutely gorgeous. Would love to lay my hands on atleast a couple of them :) You make me wish I was in delhi now.. SIGH :)

  32. This post just killed me. Inside! I am utterly jealous and envious and all the other bad things you can think of. what i wld do for those pots and pans and those fantastic stories. You are one lucky girl Deeba. More so that hubs went crazy and emptied his wallet. Oh what I would do! Smiles & Wipes tear.

  33. this post really answers the question i would have sent you over email :) definitely make a stop-over here during this trip to Delhi!

  34. great post! i can’t resist such shops either…my grandmom [ who left is a decade ago] bought brass and copper vessels for all her daughters and granddaughters [10 in all!] incase everything got replaced by stainless steel !!! so i have some amazing pieces from her in my kitchen…

    since you love Lutyens Delhi next time on a saturday be at the Rashtrapati Bhavan by 7 am – they have the most beautiful ceremony of changing the guard on saturday mornings…not publicised but open to the public…

    • Thanks for that info Nina… I have panic attacks like that too, and they seem to have transferred to the kids. They ask me often if they can have my stuff when I pop it…LOL! Great idea to see the change of guards. Must tell Mr PAB. Thank you!!

  35. Beautiful post, thanks very much Deeba. Sir Herbert Baker was also the architecht for the Union Buildings, Pretoria, South Africa (the president’s office for half of the year), and the buildings look very much alike. I have a bee in bonnet about getting my hands on some copper pots, but I actually want to cook with them, so I haven’t found anything suitable yet.

  36. BEAUTIFUL post, Deeba. Your photos are gorgeous!

  37. Beautiful! I don’t think I’d ever want to leave that shop. Have to keep this in mind as I’d love to visit India one day!

  38. Oh what a visual feast for the eyes! What I wouldn’t give to have the chance to visit this store and take pictures of all these beautiful pieces! I love that there is character and history attached to each item that you inherit with the purchase of the item.

    I don’t have any such stores near me that I know of unfortunately. The closest thing I have been to would be the brocante markets in France that are usually held once a week in the major cities where all the antique dealers come out to sell their treasures. So many wonderful things waiting to be discovered there as well.

  39. What beautiful dishes. I’d be happy with just one of them.

  40. Lovely post! Such an intriguing shop. I totaly missed it while I lived in Noida/Delhi. The next time I visit, I am sure to visit. Thanks a lot

  41. I am glad that I can at least enjoy your country through your eyes! You definitely have great vision for beautiful things. I never had a large desire to travel out of my own country until I worked at a university with Grad students who were mostly from places like India, Sri Lanka and China – even Africa. I would so love to visit these countries as I have heard the stories of beauty and nature there. Your post just makes me feel this even more so! Beautiful.

  42. Deeba waht lovely and amazing post! Nice pictures too, huggs, gloria

  43. When our family travels we always make a point to get off the tourist paths and discover how people truly live in a country. Often we make the most meaningful connections and discover the great beauty of the nation beyond the monuments.
    We have not yet had the opportunity to visit India; however, thank you for sharing some of the beauty and delight with us so that we could travel vicariously.

  44. Isn’t this a find??!! These pieces are exquisite. What an amazing journey . The photo’s tell a great story. Brilliant.

  45. Absolutely LOVING this post and the beautiful pots you have shared, as well as your styling of them for your photographs and of course, the little trip around Delhi!

  46. Do I have a favourite shop? Yes, I do and its that one you shop at and keep tempting me with. I am absolutely envious.
    One of these days, I shall descend upon you and you shall take me shopping! :D

  47. Looks like you found an Aladdin’s cave of food blogger props ;), what beautiful vessels to display your stunning food in.
    I do have a favorite shop: Harrods. Harrods, to me is like Tiffany’s to Audrey Hepburn. I truly believe that nothing bad can happen to a person in Harrods. Its just such a wonderful place, I am always happy there.
    *kisses* HH

  48. Gorgeous cookware – I need a bigger kitchen to store all of them!

  49. shirley@kokken69 says:

    Oh, Deeba, thank you thank you for introducing this. I am totally mesmerised by these beautiful pieces. I shall make sure I drop by when I next get to Delhi! I shall look out for these lovely pieces in your future blog photos!

  50. OMG, I would give anything to be able to shop there. It is maddening that I can’t! I am crying in frustration here!

  51. what a find! What beautiful wares! Definitely putting Tashi”s store on my list when I (finally) get the chance to visit my cousin in New Dehli

  52. Wow, beautiful post about beautiful history related to kitchen utensils.
    the next time I travel north, I’m visiting this place.
    thanks for posting….

  53. Deeba,
    Eye catching on tastespotting
    Pots from the bygone era in a timeless presentation…classic

  54. Wow, those pans are so cool! Thanks for sharing! :)

  55. Its an absolute delight to know about Tashi. I love collecting things for my kitchen and looks like I will pay your pots and pans guy a visit when I am roaming the streets of Janpath next. You have a great collection.

  56. You know how much I admire and love your blog and think you are just terrific -so I passed on the Stylish Blog Award via mine !

  57. OMG , i am jus MR.PAB too:-) And so want it all now:-)
    U have made a wonderful selection and i lovee the pic against the wooden crates:-))
    Felt like i was in DElhi with u , reading this post!
    Have day babe:-)

  58. Oh sooo beautiful! Posted a related item on my blog, and one of my readers mentioned your collection. Each piece is simply inspirational, I would be in his shop for hours on end. Thank you for sharing it all!

  59. What an enjoyable read. Thank you Deeba

  60. My reaction would have been the same as you! This is such a reflective post of what will happen to any of us when it comes to photo props (call it “treasures”) and our finding the source of these treasures. Just that not everyone will be lucky enough to be accompanied by someone like Mr PAb who would empty his wallet for all these beauties :-)

    Great post and photos, thumbs up!

  61. you make want to fly to delhi now…loed spicy indian food and that copper brass shop…i’ll lose my head there!

  62. Hey deeba

    Could you please email me the address of Tashi’s shop- would love to visit it when I’m in Delhi next.

    Love your posts!
    email id: capri.shumi@gmail.com

    Thanks
    Shumaila

  63. Deeba- they are really exquisite- youre so lucky to reside in a city and country so rich in culture. going into those shops w so much history, wandering the streets which are thousands of years old- how amazing. a beautiful post. x shayma

  64. The picture of the bright red strawberries in that one pot is amazing. I love this post. I need to go to India NOW! I wish we had shops like these in California, but no we don’t.

  65. These are amazing. Are they safe for cooking acidic things too?
    Good for you Deeba. Take your hubby every time you want more stuff for your kitchen. He sounds more like my husband who would rather watch kids than go shopping, especially with me.

  66. I have been wanting to comment on this post for a week now. I just love it as I love all your posts! Such gorgeous shots of Delhi and the pots/pans. When I come there in the summer, I will have to go visit this guy. Great work!!

  67. Loved this post. I had been wondering from were do you get your hands on those beautiful antique looking vessels. The next time I’m in Delhi (sigh!) Tashi will have another vistor. :-)

  68. How do you say ‘speechless’ in Indian? I love all those beautiful treasures! the textures, the patinas….what a great remembrance too. I have quite a few pieces in my prop library and cherish them too.

  69. Thanks for this! Your wares are wonderful indeed! I will make a trip to this place next year. I visit every year but did not know that such a wonderful prop land existed in Delhi!

  70. Hi,
    First time on your blog and what an excellent post….. I love old indian pots and pans and when I typed it in google, it sent me here. Thanks for the post. I must come to Delhi just for this. When I come to India I usually go to Hyderabad, know I need to come to Delhi.

    Do you have this guy’s address….. I am bookmarking this page…….thanks yaar !!!!!!!!!

  71. I wrote a post before but I think I lost it…….. what I said is that I loved your post and thank you so much for posting it. Your blog looks lovely.

    Do you have this guy’s address…….. I need to make tracks to Delhi soon….

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