Nima Oberoi’s enthusiasm in infectious. The way she speaks about aluminum is how another might talk about a truly delicious meal or a vacation destination.
And, once you speak to Nima Oberoi, you realize, why not? Why not be excited about the stunning, mirror, liquid-like beauty of aluminum? Why not be excited that aluminum is also totally sustainable? Why not be excited about a material so malleable, it lets her wildest ideas for form and shape come to fruition?
Nima Oberoi is the founder of Lunares Home, a collection of striking, luxury, modern home goods with timeless craftsmanship. She began the company in 1996, and her brother runs the foundry in India that they together use exclusively.
She’s known for groundbreaking techniques, too. For being among the first to ever use enamel over aluminum and, most importantly, for you dear members — making your shiny, gorgeous paella pan this month.
“This is not the first time I’ve made a paella pan,” Oberoi says. “Lunares used to have a paella collection many years ago. In 2001, when the Millennium happened, I created a Spanish- inspired collection, centered around the idea of the bull and matador, the red roses and the passion in that country. For me, Spain is madly inspiring. I love the over-the-top emotion; the drama. They are up until 2 in the morning in Spain, and I love their bohemian lifestyle.”
For that initial Spanish influenced collection, she made a paella pan. Now, for our members, she’s brought it back, customized the shape and size, and added beautiful red enamel handles.
To create this pan (which is ideal for cooking your perfect paella), she begins by contacting her brother in Rajasthan at the foundry, to discuss the exact shape and style she wanted.
“... it’s hand-buffed and polished about 1000 strokes before it begins to look likewhat you’re looking at now.”
— Nima Oberoi, Designer
“It’s made with the ancient technique of sand casting,” she says. “That’s how they made jewelry in the old days. There are wooden molds, placed inside an iron box. You then pour molten aluminum into the mold. As soon as it’s poured in, they then cover it with sand, and they stamp down with their feet. In 3 or 4 minutes, it cools. At this stage, it won’t look like your shiny version. It’s still unpolished. Our artisans lift it out, and it’s hand-buffed and polished about 1000 strokes before it begins to look like what you’re looking at now. The enamel is applied by hand, and it goes into a furnace.”
You can use this up to 350 degrees in the oven or directly on a fire. You should hand wash it, with a non-abrasive sponge and towel dry. Also, avoid citrus and large amounts of vinegar coming into contact with the surface, as the acid can react with the aluminum.