Mortar and pestle – your multipurpose grinding tool
Mortar and pestle – a bit of history
The history of the mortar and pestle is extensive, going back thousands of years. It is thought that prehistoric peoples ground and combined food using the first mortar and pestle. The usage of mortar and pestle has developed over time and it has become a necessary piece of equipment in many industries, including chemistry, cooking, and medicine.
Even today, many cultures that emphasize the authenticity and excellence of traditional food preparation still use mortar and pestles extensively in cooking. It is a multipurpose instrument that can be used for anything from grinding spices and herbs and blending and mixing ingredients to preparing pesto, marinades and pastes.
What is the main function of mortar and pestle?
A kitchen mortar and pestle's primary use is to mix and grind ingredients, especially dry ones, into a fine powder or paste. To produce aromatic mixes for marinades, rubs, and sauces, chefs often use a mortar and pestle to smash herbs, spices, and seeds. The ingredients can be pounded and mixed using the mortar and pestle without being heated, which can occasionally change their tastes or scent.
Mortar and pestle are also commonly used in making pastes such as pesto, curry paste, and spice rubs. Fresh herbs and spices can release their flavour compounds and natural oils when crushed and ground in a mortar and pestle, creating pastes that are more flavorful and fragrant. Furthermore, nuts, seeds, and grains can be crushed into fine flours using a mortar and pestle, which can then be utilised in many baking recipes.
What is the difference between a mortar and a spice grinder?
The main difference between a mortar and pestle and a spice grinder is the method of grinding. In contrast to a spice grinder, which employs a mechanical or electrical method to crush and ground ingredients, a mortar and pestle requires the physical crushing and grinding of ingredients.
A mortar and pestle are great for grinding small quantities of ingredients, and the rough surface of the mortar helps to release the oil and flavours of the ingredients.
Spice mills, on the other hand, are made to process bigger amounts of ingredients, they are fast and great when you need some additional spices on the table during dinner.