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What Is Pitambari Powder


For so long as I can bear in mind, the cookware in my house has been given a time off each fortnight. A day for relaxation and pampering—a spa day, if you’ll. That is the way it goes: Copper, metal, and bronze cookware and silverware are heaped on a kitchen counter. Then they’re positioned, one after the other, underneath a working faucet and drenched in chilly water. Coconut coir or a kitchen sponge is dipped in a salmon-pink powder that has been sprinkled over-the-counter and used to wash every utensil vigorously. The vessels are allowed to relaxation underneath their powdery masks for a couple of minutes, and as soon as washed and dried, their glossiest sheens are revealed.

That pink miracle-worker is named Pitambari, a deep cleanser-polisher that helps return metalware to their authentic shine. The phrase ‘pitambari’ is a mixture of two Marathi phrases: ‘pit’ for brass, and ‘tamb’ for copper, however it may be used throughout a variety of metals, together with silver, chrome steel, aluminum and iron. For almost 4 many years now, its tarnish-attacking properties has discovered it an abiding place in Indian households; in 2009, it discovered its solution to the USA, making it obtainable in main Indian grocery shops and on-line marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart.

“Rising up, I bear in mind serving to my nani (maternal grandmother) polish her vessels with this mysterious pink powder that appeared to work like magic,” says Kamana Bhaskaran, a Sonoma, California-based meals content material creator. Thirty years on, she nonetheless finds loads of use for it to scrub every thing from metal pots and pans to her copper water bottle.

Picture by Amazon

Chef and producer Shrimoyee Chakraborty swears by her stash, too. In 2016, when she opened Calcutta Road, a Bengali restaurant in London, all she requested her mom to deliver for her from India have been a number of packets of Pitambari. “I’m obsessive about bronze utensils, and acquired a number of for my restaurant—water glasses, jugs, and cooking vessels—and the Pitambari left all of them spotless,” she reminisces. Chakraborty, who now shuttles between London and Mumbai, continues to have a gradual provide of this powder to be used at house.

Though Pitambari is used in the present day on metals like metal and iron, in India, it was primarily used for conventional copper, silver and brass vessels for cooking, storing, and consuming. This observe of utilizing these metals for meals and water stems from Ayurveda, an historical faculty of drugs that was additionally integral to the inspiration of Indian delicacies. Most instances, these standard utensils (just like the kalash, urli, kadai, and lota) can be handed down from one technology to a different, and a few have been utilized in spiritual prayer so sustaining them was sacrosanct.

This reverence for our utensils is without doubt one of the causes behind Pitambari’s very existence. Founder Ravindra Prabhudesai shares, “In my former life as a political activist, I’d go to a whole lot of properties, and the one factor I discovered all of them had in widespread have been glittering copper and brass utensils, most of them cleaned with lemon, tamarind, buttermilk, or ash. I wished to discover a simpler answer.” And so, Pitambari (previously often called Copshine) was born.

The packaging doesn’t reveal a lot about its elements, however Prabhudesai assures me it is totally protected, and vegan, too. “It’s primarily a mixture of dolomite powder, tamarind essence, and champaca flower extracts, nevertheless it additionally features a few different secret elements that can…stay a secret.”

That’s okay, we gained’t pry—simply so long as we’ve got a gradual provide of Pitambari in our kitchens.

What’s your favourite product for holding copper and silver tarnish-free?

This publish accommodates merchandise independently chosen (and beloved) by our editors and writers. As an Amazon Affiliate, Food52 earns an affiliate fee on qualifying purchases of the merchandise we hyperlink to.




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