This study Putting the cook before the stove: A user-centred approach to understanding household energy decision-making from the Stockholm Environment Institute takes a look at existing cooking patterns in the Haryana State in northern India where several improved cooking stove projects have taken place.

In the study location, the researchers extensively interviewed householders about their stove building and cooking habits. In this area, Mothers and daughters often build portable or fixed place Chulha stoves that they use to burn dung, wood and straw. The authors did a great job of interviewing stove users and attempting to understand from the users point of view, why these unimproved mud stoves were used more often than the improved stoves that they had available.

Burning dung, is a vital part of the local economy and culture of this place, and the women cooking, use the dung for low simmering, in a purpose-built mud stove. It doesn't look like that stove usage was effectively replaced by the improved stoves that have been introduced in this area. The local cooks also pan fry and then bake roti, which they bake pretty easily in the local chulah stove, and the Philips and Oorja stoves don't have a place to do this baking.

It seems like cooks in this area don't mind having multiple stoves for different purposes, and this type of study is essential to understanding what the cooks needs are before we try to address those with improved stoves.

Mahesh Yagnaraman
Ooorja First Energy

“Oorja” today represents a new way of cooking and has the potential to grow into a large,
successful business in India and globally. The initiative aims at creating a commercially
sustainable business, offering clean, safe and affordable energy solutions to identified
customers in both urban and rural households in developing countries."

More detail on the Oorja stove in The Hindu: A stove and a smokeless kitchen

Dean Still, August 9, 2008

BP Pellet Stove in India
Roger Samson, July 2008

A Small Stove With Big Ambitions
A $17 stove could reduce carbon emissions and improve women’s health in India, Margot Cohen, YaleGlobal, 7 April 2008

This is great 4 minute video


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