You have spotted them in your local high-street kitchenware shop or have seen them used on your favourite cooking show but still you wonder how to use a mortar and pestle.
Surprisingly simple to use, once you start using this traditional tool, you will never look back, using it time and time again when cooking countless delicious dishes.
So how do you use one? Let us educate you and get you cooking with this must-have tool.
How do you use them?
This tool is ideal for mashing, grinding, muddling and bashing. By mashing the ingredients, you can release all the natural oils and flavours from herbs and spices.
Other ingredients that work well in your Pestle and Mortar are peppercorns, spice seeds, herb seeds, fresh herbs, spic leaves, rice, nuts and other plant seeds.
To grind, start by placing the raw ingredients into the mortar and with one hand holding the mortar and the other hand holding the pestle, twist it against the ingredients so that they grind against the bottom and sides.
You can use yours to grind the seeds, choosing to grind in either coarse, medium or fine consistency. This can be done by placing your ingredients into the mortar and with one hand holding the pestle with your fist in a firm but comfortable grip, take the rounded end, placing onto the ingredients and rolling it against it with a firm pressure until you have reached the preferred consistency.
With larger spices and seeds, it is recommended that you pound these larger items. When pounding larger items, be sure to gently but firmly bash the spices, this cracks the spices allowing to switch to a finer grind.
For spices that you want to keep intact and recipes that ask for crushed instead of ground, there is a technique for crushing spices. By rolling the pestle across the top of the ingredients so that they crush and burst, continue until all the ingredients have been crushed.
Cleaning your Pestle & Mortar
When it comes to cleaning it, there are certain rules to follow for effective cleaning.
If your pestle and mortar is dishwasher safe, simply place into the dishwasher as normal, other wise hand wash with warm, soap free water. If you have used it for a dry grind, then a simple wipe with a clean paper towel may be all that is required.
Avoid washing up liquid! Avoid using washing up liquid as much as possible, when using this product, the soap can leave an ill-tasting flavour onto your pestle and mortar that can mix into the spices next time you grind.
If you are finding that yours has a strong, lasting odour, then we recommend using dry rice to remove lasting odours and even stubborn stains. By adding white rice into the mortar and finely grinding, the rice can remove the colour and smell that has lingered on the surface of it.
What can you make in it?
Along with grinding herbs and spices, you can use your Pestle & Mortar to create simple sauces, mixing herbs for a curry and grinding herbs for a herbal tea; you can do it all with a Pestle & Mortar!
From homemade Pesto, Caesar Dressing to your favourite Guacamole, make all these delicious sides using your trusty Pestle and Mortar.
Aioli, homemade curry paste to a yummy Hummus, are also delicious sides that can be made with your Pestle & Mortar.
Available to purchase here at Dexam, get our porcelain one for an incredible £15.00.
With an easy grip silicone base for non-slip grinding, this Pestle and Mortar looks stylish when placed on your worktops while staying firmly in place.
To shop our Pestle & Mortar for yourself, visit our website today.