Kitchen Stories – Meet The Village Fair, spreading the goodness of Cast Iron

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Rewind back to India’s pre-independence years, and you would find that food was cooked in either iron or clay pots. Then, the aluminium and the steel revolution happened in the 20th century, whereby we replaced the new with the old.  However, today the cast-iron task force is shouting out loud, the benefits of cooking using natural cookware. So, here we are, talking about the genius work done by  Radhika Menon and Priya Deepak. Meet ‘The Village Fair’, the company that helps folks like us, own cast-iron and clay cookware, that is seasoned and ‘finished’ by hand and is safe to use. Do you belong to the cast-iron fraternity yet?

Why should we have more of ‘cast-iron’ cookware in our kitchens?

  • Retains heat for a long time
  • Distributes heat evenly…well, sort of!
  • Can be heated to really high temperatures without turning toxic
  • Non-toxic as compared to a lot of nasty ‘non-stick’ varieties
  • Iron from the pan seeps into the food, thus increasing its iron content, apparently
  • Lasts forever…just remember to season it well

How The Village Fair started

There is something about us Indians following trends and embracing a product or a practice only when the western world starts to push for it; be it the practice of yoga or cooking using cast-iron pots and pans! We let our rich heritage lie dormant until someone comes along to shake us out of our slumber. The team at The Village Fair is waking us up, one pan at a time.

The story of The Village Fair began when Radhika watched a television program about a doctor in the USA recommending dropping a fish, cast in iron into the pan. The program was highlighting the fact that dipping the ‘iron tool’ was helping to increase the iron content of the food being cooked. This was the precise moment that an idea dawned on her. Radhika owned a cast-iron Kadhai (a wok) herself, and she suddenly realised the powerhouse she was sitting on! So,  all she did was, post a picture of her wok on social media and the rest as they say, is history.

Why buy the cast-iron pots from The Village Fair?
  • Home seasoning is a tedious exercise and involves days of work. This pain is taken away by this team, as the cast-iron ware you will buy from them is naturally, beautifully seasoned
  • Cast-iron used for cooking should be of high quality. A lot of varieties exist in the local markets but there is no way for you to be sure of the quality of the iron used. On the other hand, the team at The Village Fair carry out quality checks on all their cast-iron products
  • The Village Fair season all their products at home, by hand, using only the best quality of oil
  • Every product you buy is an opportunity for an economically backward woman to make a living whilst she cares for her family
  • Every product you welcome into your kitchen contributes to the rehabilitation of a mentally challenged person

Here’s a peek into the wonderful collection, which might soon  find a place in your kitchen:

See Also

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Contact The Village Fair Team
  • Call: +91 98842 64486
  • Email:
  • Website:
  • Facebook:

At this point it is worth mentioning that there are several myths surrounding the use of cast-iron pans. So, it is just right, that we throw some light on that too.  On researching, I came across a brilliant article in the Serious Eats magazine, about busting myths associated with these ‘good for you’ pans. I believed these myths myself about using  metal spoons and scrubbing with soap. Click here to read more. These cast-iron pans are generally good, but like everything else has some characteristics that you need to be aware of.  So, we suggest you do have a read of the article.

Be a part of the ‘natural cookware’ force, Be Notjustashopper!

All Images: Courtesy- The Village Fair
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  • I really do not remember how i came across your site.THANK GOD I did.I have lived away for so long that i really did not know that so much was happening to help the artisan. I LOVE shopping with JAYPORE a lot and now I am looking forward to extending the list.PLEASE LET ME know about new worthy entrants but I also want to know where I can Purchase a few exquisite pieces of ZAHIDA AMIN’S pashmins shawls.I also love NUPUR use of ATHANGUDI tiles and I certainly shall remember it when i need a new look for my house.

    • Many thanks for writing to us, and for the kind words. JAYPORE is a wonderful place to shop, we love it too! Please do visit our shopping directory ( to get a list of some interesting shopping places we love. We aspire to continue adding to this list. Hope you find this useful. We will get back to you about the exquisite pieces of ZAHINDA AMIN.
      Please do let us know if there is anything else in particular you would like us to write about.
      Best, Nupur

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