Clay pot cooking
Clay pot cooking is a technique of cooking food in an unglazed clay pot which has been soaked in water so as to release steam during the cooking process. This technique has a long history, stretching back at least to ancient Roman times, and is commonly used in several cuisines in Africa, Europe and Southeast and East Asia.
Cooking techniques 
Typically, an unglazed clay pot is submerged for 15 to 30 minutes to absorb water before cooking, then filled with the food and placed into an oven. The walls of the pot help to diffuse the heat, and as the pot warms it releases the water as steam. Alternatively, clay pots can be cured by boiling water(not in clay pot) and adding rice to the water. Once the rice is cooked, it is strained and the left over water is poured in the mud pot and is left overnight.This procedure is repeated for a weeks time. This method will help to cure and remove mud from the pot and make it ready for cooking.
The food inside the clay pot loses little of its moisture because it is surrounded by steam, creating a tender, flavorful dish. The evaporation of the water prevents burning so long as the pot is not allowed to heat until it is completely dry. Because no oil needs to be added with this cooking technique, food cooked in a clay pot may be lower in fat compared with food prepared by other methods, such as sautéing or frying. Unlike boiling, nutrients are not leached out into the water.
Because of the heat lost to the evaporation of water, clay pot cooking requires lower oven temperatures and longer cooking times than traditional roasting with dry heat. Clay pots may be cleaned by scrubbing them with salt; soaps or detergents should not be used, because the clay may absorb them.
In African cuisines 
In ancient Ethiopia, all cooking was done with hand-made clay pots made for different types of food. Today in most rural areas and in some urban homes, cooking is done with traditional clay pots because of the high price of regular metal pots. Some urban homes however use traditional clay pots believing that the food tastes better if cooked with a clay pot than with a metal pot.
The tajine is a North African, two-piece clay pot used in Moroccan cuisine. The bottom part is a broad, shallow bowl, while the top is tall and conical, or sometimes domed. The tall lid acts to condense rising steam and allow the moisture to roll back down into the dish. The tajine lends its name to the dish made in it, which in Morocco is a meat stew.
Another clay pot used in Moroccan cooking is the tangia. The tangia is similar in appearance to a tall bean pot. It is used to cook a dish, also called tangia, that is traditionally all meat and spices, no vegetables or beans.
In Asian cuisines 
In Chinese, the pot used for such cooking is generally known as 砂鍋 (pinyin: shāguo) or 煲仔 (pinyin: bàozai), a Cantonese word for “little pot”. Clay pot dishes are sometimes labeled as “hot pot” or “hotpot” dishes on the menus of Chinese restaurants in English-speaking areas of the world., but they should not be confused with hot pot dishes that are served in a large metal bowl and cooked at the table. In Taiwan, the chicken dish sanbeiji is prepared in a clay pot.
In Vietnam, the stew-like dish called kho is cooked in a clay pot. The pot is most often called nồi đất in Vietnamese, although, depending on its size and use, it may also be called nồi kho cá, nồi kho thịt, nồi kho tiêu, or nồi kho tộ.
In the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in India, the traditional clay pot used for cooking is called a chatti. This is usually used in the villages by the working classes, especially for cooking heavily spiced, hot fish curry. For certain curries like Fish curry, even the rich and famous of Kerala prefer clay pot over modern utensils because of the special aroma in foods cooked in claypots. Some resorts cook and serve food in mud pots/utensils for authenticity of taste. Interestingly, this word is also used in Punjab, in Northern India, where traditionally the black lentil (dal makhani) and mustard leaf (saag) are cooked on a slow fire for hours.
There is another type of chatti, called a kal chatti, which means “a pot made of stone”. In this case, it is a kind of chalkstone where the pot is carved out compared to the clay pot where clay is molded and baked. Typically, a kal chatti is used for making South Indian dishes like vetta kozhambhu, kirai masayil, etc.
Sri Lanka 
People in Sri Lanka use a clay pot to make a special food called pahi (“little jackfruit”) fish curry, called abul thiyal and some meat and specially rice and some chutney called accharu. Usually clay pots are used for making freshwater fish called Lula, Hunga, Magura and Kawaiya. For more than 2000 years, Sri Lankans used clay pots and now both urban and village people use the clay pot because they think the foods are tastier and healthier.
In European cuisines 
In Germany, the clay roaster used to cook with is called a Römertopf (literally “Roman pot”). Since its introduction in 1967, it has influenced cooking traditions in Germany and neighbouring European countries. The pot is mainly used to cook meat, like pork roast, chicken or stew, in an oven.
In Spanish cooking a ceramic roaster known as "olla de barro" is used.
See also 
|Wikibooks Cookbook has a recipe/module on|
- Clay Pot Cooking Overview How to use and care for a clay pot with clay pot recipes
- Clay Pot Cooking Overview How to cure a clay pot before going with clay pot recipes
- Romertopf - Nature's Oven The Romertopf Originated in Germany and Combines Specific Porous Clays in a Secret Ratio
- Romertopf Clay Bakers How to Choose the Proper Size Romertopf Clay Baker
- Clay Bakers Images of Romertopf Clay Bakers
- Claypot Chicken With Bitter Gourd Traditional Chinese recipe
- http://homepages.uel.ac.uk/d.p.humber/hethiop.htm Ethiopian Cooking