Long before there were blenders, grinders, and food processors, there were simpler tools to do all that business for you. I am talking about the good ol’ mortar and pestle. This small tool unit has always taken care of everything your modern-day food processors do. What is a mortar and pestle, you may ask?
It is a two-piece cooking instrument intended to pound anything placed into it. Usually, a mortar is a bowl made of stone, marble, or one more hard material, while a pestle is an unpolished blunt instrument made of matching material. The mortar holds the ingredients, and the pestle helps grind or pounce it.
The mortar and pestle beautifully inculcate human effort and power into a simple grinding process to give you chutneys, pesto, and ground spices. This tool that works without electricity delicately balances the flavors of the ingredients without destroying them.
Sadly not many U.SA. kitchens, household, or commercial, use this tool. Want to buy one? Get your mortar from KROK mortar and pestle and enjoy delicious cooking in nature’s utensils. Now, let’s move to the topic of the hour; where and how to use the mortar and pestle. Let’s begin with a small history lesson.
Things You Should Know About Mortar and Pestle
It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that the mortar and pestle have been around since the stone age. They remain famous in present-day times because, as per dietitian Jennifer Maeng of Chelsea Nutrition in New York City, mortar and pestles can smash fixings finely (like powder-fine).
“They have been utilized in the kitchen for a long time,” she shouts. The primarily recorded utilization of the mortar and pestle came from an old Egyptian papyrus tracing back to 1550 BC. Assessments say that the instruments were utilized long before this engraving.
Considering that the plan of the crushing pair has stayed very similar since forever ago, it’s as straightforward as you can get with kitchen instruments.
What Are Mortar and Pestle Made Of?
As they are used for rough purposes, the mortar and pestle must be made with hard and sturdy materials that are non-permeable as well. Some common materials used to make mortar and pestle are rocks, marble, ceramics, wood, and sometimes metals like cast iron or brass.
Great mortar and pestle-production materials should be sufficiently hard to smash the substance instead of being eroded. They can’t be too weak, or they will break during the beating and crushing.
The material should likewise be durable, so little pieces of the mortar or pestle don’t blend in with the fixings. Thus, smooth and non-permeable materials that won’t ingest or trap the substances being ground are picked.
Can Modern Technology Replace Mortar and Pestle?
Let me just throw in a cliché line. This is the age of the technology boom. We have a piece of tech assigned for each of our tasks. In these times when you can get all the work done with just the push of a button, you may be contemplating whether a mortar and pestle is a tool you should own and use.
If you ask me, having a mortal and pestle strategically placed on your kitchen window is almost necessary. Modern-day food processors can indeed liquefy, grind, mince, or pounce ingredients in a sec. But mortal and pestle help extract the delicate flavors and essential oils out of ingredients.
Thus, this tool becomes an unquestionable and irreplaceable requirement for each kitchen. Mortal and pestle also help give a fuller consistency and don’t make your ground ingredients too runny. It is great for getting things ready in modest quantities.
How Are Mortar and Pestle Used In Medicine?
In addition to culinary uses, mortar and pestle also find uses in medicine. This tool was generally utilized in drug stores for different squash fixings preceding setting up an impromptu remedy.
The mortar and pestle, with the Rod of Asclepius, and the Green Cross, among others, is one of the unmissable logos of pharmacology.
For medicinal use, the mortar and the pestle’s top are generally made of porcelain, while the handle is made of wood. This is known as a Wedgwood mortar and pestle and was invented in 1759. Today the demonstration of blending fixings or diminishing the molecule size is known as pulverizing.
Mortars and pestles are likewise utilized as medication stuff to crush pills to accelerate retention when ingested or in anticipation of insufflation. Too finely ground drugs, not accessible in fluid measurement structure, are also utilized in the event that patients need counterfeit sustenance like parenteral nourishment or nasogastric tube.
Why Choose A Mortar and Pestle?
My advice to you is you should get a mortar and pestle even if you have a food processor. I say this with good reason. Let me cleanly list some reasons why I think you should choose mortar and pestle.
The first and vital benefit of the mortar is that it presents a more deep bowl for limiting the material to be ground. The reduces the waste and chances of spillage that happen with level crushing stones.
The second benefit is that the mortar can be made huge enough for an individual to use upstanding and utilize their chest area’s joined strength and gravity’s power for better stepping.
The third important reason why you should choose mortar and pestle is that it gives you more control over the consistency and force. With mortar and pestle, you can decide if you want your ingredients and sauces to be fuller and chunky or homogenous. This makes your dishes more dynamic and flavorful.
The last reason is that using mortar and pestle helps the herbs, spices, and ingredients release their essential oils. This is not possible with your food processor as it doesn’t take the time and hurriedly chops and grinds food. A quick reason is that it is more fun and aesthetic to use.
How To Use Mortar and Pestle?
Using mortar and pestle is actually quite easy. People use it for different things, and there are various techniques to use it. But you only need to start with the basics. Let me familiarize you with how to use a mortar and pestle.
If you want to make a paste of ingredients using mortar and pestle, you need to start with the hardest ingredient, like peppercorns. Start gently pounding it until it is crushed and the ingredient reaches your desired fineness. Then, one by one, add other ingredients and repeat.
After the hard spices go in, the ingredients that need to be crushed and minced, like garlic, ginger, and chilies, are next. Then go the gentle herbs; the liquid ingredients are the last to be added. This order of ingredients ensures a fine paste that you can use for the required purposes.
Here’s what you can use your mortar and pestle for;
- To grind spices for spice rubs or recipes.
- To make pesto
- To prepare guacamole
- To crush nuts
- To make powder of hard ingredients
So these were some of the things that you should know about mortar and pestle. Of course technology helps but these age-old tools help retain the traditional flavor of the recipe. Hence, it becomes necessary to have one set/unit of your own.
There’s a lot more to know but these are the basics that should cover you for now. This was all I needed to jot down for you and I’ll be taking your leave now. I’ll see you next time. Until then, take care and happy cooking!