Sigri (stove)

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A Sigri is a stove used for cooking, especially in North India. The fuel used is usually coal, dried cow dung and wood, and is therefore useful for those who cannot afford liquefied petroleum gas stoves. Sigris are also used during winters for warmth.

Food being cooked on a sigri


A traditional sigri is made from a steel bucket by first cutting a small hole in the side wall (used later when lighting the stove). Several iron rods are then pushed through the walls about 3 inches below the top across the walls and the interior is covered with approximately an inch of mud paste which acts as an insulator.


Lighting a sigri is a herculean task. First of all coal, cow dung, and wood pieces are loaded from the top. A piece of cow dung soaked in kerosene is then lit and inserted through the hole in the side below the iron rods. The sigri is then left in the open air until it stops smoking - once up to temperature, it produces smokeless heat.

The use of sigris is nowadays confined to villages and small towns because of the enormous time and effort it takes to light it and the overall inconvenience. Sigris also initially produce heavy smoke, but can be a good option for cooking dishes which require an even supply of heat.