Angithi is a secondary stove to the primary stove Chulha.
Different forms of angithis made of copper, iron and stainless steel are shown below.
Image source: gftonline.de
The exterior of an Angithi looks like a pail or a bucket. Usually a galvanized steel bucket is converted to an Angithi to minimize rust. A small opening is made near the bottom of the bucket. The inside of the bucket is coated with a mixture of concrete and clay to form a uniform cylinder at the centre of it. An iron grate is installed halfway through the length of the cylinder. Fuel like charcoal is added from the top and supported by the iron grate on the top half of the cylinder. Paper, dried twigs are fed through the opening on the bottom to start a fire and to light the charcoal and Upla. On the top surface three wedges (about 1" high) are created for the cookware to rest on. All the exposed surface of the concrete/clay structure is routinely coated with a mixture of clay and cow dung.
Fuel used: Initially, the Angithi is fired up with a small amount of charcoal and pieces of Upla or dung cakes. Once charcoal catches fire, mined coal (Pathar Koyla) is added. After loading coal, the Angithi is put outside to prevent hazardous fumes from spreading inside the house. After the fumes have ceased, the Angithi is brought back inside for cooking.
The Angithi is more than a cooking stove. The handle of the bucket of the Angithi made it easy to be carried from one place to another and it was therefore a ‘mobile stove’.
Of the many simple daily use objects that have been sacrificed at the altar of modern living the humble Angithi, the earthen cooking stove that adorned each and every home in north India is one of them. Every home in Punjab had an Angithi till the mid-sixties. In the cold winter of Punjab the Angithi would become the hearth of the homes as it was kept inside to warm the rooms like a room heater.
Nowadays, except for some remote rural homes, it is not found anywhere.
The simple Angithi will always remain a symbol of warmth, the true heart of each home, as families gathered around it during meal times for partaking piping hot food.