Grinding stone

On Sundays, our house would be a hustle and bustle of activities. Early in the morning, mother would be making the menu for an indulgent breakfast, an elaborate lunch and a light dinner. For all her cooking, one thing was common. The grinding stone. The grinding stone came in a pair. The base a flat surface, sometimes with a pointed tip and a pestle like-rolling pin, made of stone again. It was popularly called sil-batta in Hindi and shil nora in my mother tongue, Bengali.

For the fish preparation, she would grind mustard and green chillies in little water. Then there was a paste of poppy seeds, the aromatic ginger and garlic paste and a host of others. It used to be music when the grinding stone was in action.

Every few months a person would visit our house on a bicycle and etch out little motifs like a house, fish, river, trees on the grinder base, to make it new and worthy. It used to be a visual delight to watch him perform and etch out stories in stone.

A small video I discovered over the web.

But now, over the years the music of the grinding has stopped. The fading grinding stone has been exiled to a corner of the kitchen. It stands against the wall and stares silently into space. I think it envy’s the whirring of the blender, which comes to life everyday and sometimes the blender looks lonely when mother takes a dollop from the ready made packets of ground spices and puts it in the food.

We have come a long way…

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1 Comment

  1. Awesome stuff…and the freshness of the ingredients that are thrown into the wok straight from the grinding stone can only be tasted and not described in words… nice post.


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