Mortar and Pestle Guide
Mortar and Pestle Guide
Nothing compares to the incredible aromas permeating in the kitchen as you make a homemade curry. The exotic notes of the various herbs and spices are a treat for the senses, starting with smell and getting even better with taste, highlighting why such an array of spices are commonplace in Indian cuisine.
To get the most from these various herbs and spices that are staple in Indian recipes, it is worth buying a high-quality mortar and pestle. With this in your kitchen, your curry-making skills with hit an entire new level, while you will also get plenty of use from the utensil with other cuisine you love to make.
What is a Mortar and Pestle?
Mortar and pestle is a set of basic kitchen utensils used to crush and grind various ingredients for cooking, commonly herbs and spices. The mortar is usually a small bowl that holds the ingredients, while the pestle is a blunt club used to crush them into a powder or paste.
A tool used to prepare ingredients since ancient times, the basic design remains virtually unchanged, showcasing just how effective it for cooking. Traditionally made from stone, modern mortar and pestle sets are available in various materials, including marble, wood, granite, and brass.
Why You Need a Mortar and Pestle to Make Indian Food
If you love cooking Indian food at home, then you certainly will want to use a mortar and pestle. This is because most Indian recipes use a selection of spices that offer the most flavour and aroma when freshly ground from whole spices, and a mortar and pestle is one of the easiest ways to do this.
Whole species retain more natural oils compared to dried, ground spices, so by using a mortar and pestle to prepare your Indian spices, the meal will taste much better (and more authentically Indian).
Furthermore, because Indian recipes typically combine multiple different herbs, you can easily blend them together to create a paste or powder for the recipe. They also have a good size capacity, letting you easily prepare enough ground spices for a meal that serves upwards of four people.
Finally, a mortar and pestle is not just suitable for Indian cuisine! You can use it to grind and crush, spices, and ingredients for virtually any recipe – it is an incredibly versatile kitchen utensil!
How to Choose the Best Mortar and Pestle?
While a mortar and pestle use a basic design, finding the right product is not always straight-forward. Certain features include how suitable a mortar and pestle is for Indian cooking, so here are some things to consdier before you buy:
The most important feature to look for in a mortar and pestle for Indian cooking is the material. This impacts what type of grind you can expect from the mortar and pestle, some being more suited to Indian style cuisine.
For example, a marble or granite is best for recipes that emulsify the ingredients. Brass is considered a traditional Indian mortar and pestle, so is great for creating crushed spices common in most Indian recipes, while stone is a good choice for dried herbs and spices,
Always check the size of the mortar and pestle, ensuring it is large enough for your requirements. For example, if you are making meals for more than four people, a larger sized bowl is needed to accommodate all the spices you are working with.
Smaller sizes bowls are fine for anyone making portions for one to two people, although it does help to choose a decent capacity for Indian cooking, as there is usually lots of different spices used in a single recipe.