How to use a pestle and mortar

This versatile kitchen tool dates back to the Stone Age and can save you a lot of time in preparing some of your favorite meals.
A new kitchen tool can make us doubt: do we really need more? When it comes to mortal and pestles, the answer is 100% yes. Not only does it look good on the kitchen windowsill, but it is also a tool that saves a lot of time and produces a finished product that cannot be reproduced.

Learn more about this ancient tool and its many uses here.

What are mortar and pestle?

 You've probably seen a heavy bowl-like object with a large rock inside; they are weights and pestles. The mortar is the bowl and the pestle is the stick. You can find them in stone, such as granite or marble, or in other materials such as ceramic or wood. Mortar and pestle are excellent tools for mixing, grinding, mixing, grinding and mixing water and hot water. 

The mortar and pestle are among the oldest tools and not only in the kitchen. Historically, mediciners have used mortars and pestles to mix medicines. They are also used in chemistry and beauty industry to combine pigments. They date back to the Stone Age, and were used to crush food such as fruits and vegetables into edible parts.
They come in sizes perfect for a clove of garlic to a size large enough to comfortably accommodate a melon. When buying a mortar and pestle for the home kitchen, the best one will have a smooth shape, about four to six inches in diameter, and it will be made of granite or marble.
Mortars and pestles appear in many different cultures and sometimes have different names or special uses. The most common type you will encounter is the molcajete. Not to be confused with the dish of the same name, molcajete is usually carved from the same type of volcanic stone and goes back to the Mayan and Aztec cultures. They are different from most other mortars and pestles that you will find by the insertion of three legs carved into the ground and their rough texture.

How to use a pestle and mortar
The best technique with a mortar and pestle is to think of a pestle as a tool for pounding your ingredients into a mortar base. Use the pestle to clean all the sides and center, then press gently but firmly and turn the pestle, turning it towards the bottom of the mortar. Circular motion can also help, especially with wet materials.
These things must be done with a mortar and pestle

 One of the oldest foods to be crushed in a mortar and pestle, grinding whole spices is still one of the best things you can do. You can even make your own spice mix at home! Using a slow grind every time brings out the aromatic oils of all the spices. Ground food products from the grocery store can be expired and stale; Grinding them completely and quickly with a pestle opens up a whole new world of flavors. 

Pro Tip: 

Try toasting them a little longer in the pan to get the best bang for your buck. You can make your own salt - think citrus zest or herbs like rosemary and thyme.

 The aromatic garlic is a classic. Prepare finely crushed and clean garlic in less time than it takes to remove the knife from the stick.

 In the Genoese tradition, basil pesto is made with a pestle and mortar. This is a good example of the type of mortar and pestle: turning pine nuts into paste, grinding garlic, releasing oil from fresh herbs, and creating an emulsion with it.

 This is a perfect recipe for a pestle and mortar. And that goes for other similar dough recipes. Chimichurri, gremolata, romesco, tapenade, curry paste and more! Use your mortar and pestle to create delicious meals without the need for consistency and softness.


Guacamole is prepared in Mexican cuisine with a molcajete. You can still make a large batch of guac with a mortar and pestle. Blending onion, jalapeno, and cilantro into avocado creates a sweeter, better flavor than the blended version.

If you are a fan of lime and mint drinks, you may know that one of the first steps is to crush some lime leaves. Well, traditionally, clay and a pestle are used to prepare this drink. The next time you make a batch of this Cuban wine, try mixing mint and a little sugar in your mortar and pestle and prepare to be blown away by the flavor it releases.

How to season a mortal and  pestle
Some mortars and pestles come pre-made, which is a great option if you don't feel like going through the process. Stone types, such as granite, marble or molcajete, are natural products and require cleaning before they are food safe. Colorless items like glass or ceramic don't need any flour to begin with. Just give them a good soap-free scrub and you're good to go. 

The first thing you should do when you take your tools and pestle out of the box is wash them in hot water. You can even submerge it completely if it seems too dusty. Remove any grit or dirt, then rinse and repeat until completely clean.

Once you get a good powder, throw it away and start again, with a little water after each. Do this until there is no more value or tint of color in your rice. Finally, clean your mortar and pestles thoroughly with a bristled brush and lukewarm water, then rinse thoroughly.

 How to clean mortal and pestle

The best way to clean your new mortar and pestle depends on what it's made of. For porous stone types like granite, polishing is your best friend. Once you open it, daily maintenance is a breeze. The most important thing is to never use soap and porous materials; soapy food and soap can get stuck in the cavity and leave a bad taste.
All you need is a stiff brush and a few minutes of elbow grease when you run it under hot water. Just make sure to let it dry completely before packing or storing. For ceramic or other smooth surfaces such as glass or metal, all you need is a few passes with warm water and the abrasive part of the sponge.

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