Purpose: Different pollutants emission due to the conventional energy consumption process is of major concern owed to its significant effect on human health vis-à-vis regional climate. The purpose of this paper is to develop mitigation strategies to reduce the pollutant concentrations in the rural households conducted in a pristine rural village of Indian Sunderban area. Design/methodology/approach: During winter, 2014, 20 households which were using traditional biomass cookstove for cooking and kerosene-lamp for lighting (KIT-TRD) were randomly selected. Specific type of improved forced draft biomass cookstove and solar lantern were used in ten of the selected households (KIT-IMP). Real time concentrations of particulate matter (PM) (PM2.5, PM10) and carbon monoxide (CO) during day and evening time cooking period were measured in KIT-IMP and KIT-TRD. A simulation model was established to evaluate most potential factor to control the level of pollutants inside the kitchen. Findings: Conventional processes of energy consumption in the households, along with the outdoor concentration of pollutants influence the indoor concentration of measured pollutants. The concentration of PM and CO was significantly lower in the KIT-IMP than the other. In the KIT-TRD households, the daytime concentration of PM and CO was significantly higher compared to the evening. The simulated output overestimated the concentration of PM10 and CO in the KIT-TRD. Originality/value: The concentration of PM2.5, PM10 and CO significantly reduces in the indoor environment with the introduction of improved cookstove and solar lantern; however, further research is required to develop optimum sizes of window and door in the rural households to reduce the concentrations of different pollutants inside the kitchen. © 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited.