India's traditional kitchen is a combination of spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits. The Ammikallu, also known as ammikal, ammi kal, or sil batta, was the grinding tool of choice in South Indian Villages before the food processor era began. The ingredients are placed on the surface of the flat stone and a cylindrical stone is rolled back and forth to grind the ingredients to obtain a thick paste, unlike with a mortar and pestle where the ingredients are more pounded. The fresh masala (blend of spices) prepared on ammikallu has a unique, earthy flavor that is unbeatable!
Be prepared for a heavy implement. The stone alone is 40 lbs. and the pestle (batta) is 7.5 lbs. It is important to note that this Ammikallu is made of the finest karungallu (granite) stone and hammered by hand and not a cheap imitation.
The product included the grinding stone and the round rolling pin.
Item Number: IND-7321_15
How we measure
As with most handmade products by artisans around the world, the pieces may have slight imperfections in the form or finish of the materials. Sometimes sizes of same model may also vary slightly, however, these imperfection do not compromise the aesthetics or functionality of the pieces and are considered normal and to be expected.
To use a Grinding Stone, put the stone in a secure place enough to support its weight. Always make sure to place a protective barrier between the stone and the surface on which it sits so the rough stone does not scratch the surface, especially if you use it on your kitchen counter.
To grind masala, simply put the masala ingredients in the order of your recipe on the stone, then rock the rolling pin back and forth over the ingredients. You can also use a dragging motion (without rolling the pin) to grind the ingredients into a finer paste.
Use care when carrying the stone as it is quite heavy.
After each use, wash the stone and pin carefully using water and a scrubbing tool or pad. Make sure to let the stone dry before putting it away so that it does not grow mold, and store the stone in a dry place.
Before the Grinding Stone can be used, it must be “broken into” to make sure that there are no small grains of rock that can become loose when used for the first time.
To do this you should start by washing the stone and rolling pin thoroughly to remove the dust and particles left over from the manufacturing process. Make sure to scrub it well to remove the dust from all the nooks and crannies. It is best to perform this over a sink or outside so as to not wet your counter.
The next step is then to grind a handful of raw rice several times on the stone using the rolling pin. The rice will serve as an abrasive agent to grind the surface of the stone and pin. Simply put enough rice on the stone, then rock the rolling pin back and forth over the rice, with a dragging motion (without rolling) of the pin every once in a while. Make sure to cover the entire stone including the corners.
Keep grinding the rice until it becomes a paste. At the beginning the paste will be dark from the rock “dust”. Wash the stone and keep repeating the process with new rice until the rice no longer turns grey. Give one final washing and your Grinding stone is now ready to be used to grind masala. Although a laborious process, once done, you will never have to do it again.
Although we are surrounded by technology and gadgets to make life easier, there are a few recipes that just taste better when made by grinding on stone. or using a mortar and pestle. Any recipe with garlic for sure was made of grinding stone. Somehow the oils and flavors from herbs and spices are extracted during grinding, and are not over ground and the taste is deliciously fresh and rustic.