A patila (pateela) is a traditional Indian pot with a flat or slightly curved bottom and straight sides. It also has a rim on top. A pateela is also called Topia/ Tope/ Chatti/ Bhagona/ Biryani Pot depending upon the region.
To stay robust, ancient Indians boiled milk only in the brass patila. Drinking brass boiled milk is believed to provide additional nutrients and also increases the shelf life of the boiled milk! Milk from a brass vessel also treats various skin ailments.
A pateela may be made out of iron, stainless steel, aluminium, copper or brass and even clay. It is a daily use utensil in most Indian Kitchens and may be with or without handles. It may come with a lid too. It easy to clean, tough and long lasting.
Patila is generally used for boiling water, milk, making tea, preparing chicken gravies, lentils or dals, rice pudding or kheer, rasam or sambhar, many kind of gravy dishes and even biryani.
A patila or pateela is usually selected on the basis of its quantity and use. Small ones are usually used to boil milk and water. Medium sized for making soups and gravies and big sized are generally used for making kheer and biryani. Brass is popular for all these but so is stainless steel.