Exploring 5 Different Types Of Kitchen Grinders

In Indian kitchens, spices, grains, and herbs were traditionally ground using various tools such as stone mortars and pestles, hand chakkis (atta chakkis), and grinding stones (shil-nora). These were manually controlled and allowed the user to choose between a coarse or fine grind.

However, modern kitchen appliances like blenders and electric grinders have replaced traditional grinders because they are more efficient and convenient. Electric grinders offer greater control over grinding consistency and are quicker and simpler to operate. They are also more versatile for a range of culinary tasks due to their additional features, including speed adjustments and multiple blade options.

Here is a list of some traditionally used grinders in conventional kitchens:

Video credit: YouTube/ Tredy Foods

1. Mortar and Pestle:

Used by ancient societies, including the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, for thousands of years, this classic grinder consists of a pestle and a mortar shaped like a bowl. It was used to crush, grind, and pound items like spices, herbs, grains, and seeds. It is still commonly used in kitchens today due to its ease of use, adaptability, and ability to retain the flavours and aromas of freshly ground ingredients. It provides precise control over texture.

2. Sil Batta: 

The sil batta has been traditionally used in India for centuries in the conventional kitchen or rasodi. The sil batta is a heavy stone tool that Indian cooks have long used to grind grains, lentils, spices, and herbs. While the cylindrical pestle crushes and grinds items to the desired textures, the stone mortar provides a stable base. Many households still cherish the Sil Batta for its ability to preserve the true flavours and fragrances of freshly ground spices.

3. Metate and mano: 

Native Americans of Mesoamerica, particularly in Mexico and Central America, use primitive grinding tools called metate and mano. The mano is a smaller, portable stone used for grinding, while the metate is a large, flat stone slab often made of volcanic rock. These tools were used to grind maize, beans, and other grains into flour or paste for cooking, and many indigenous cultures continue to use them today as part of their culinary traditions.

4. Chakki: 

Indian homes have been using the Chakki, also known as the Atta Chakki, as a traditional stone grinder for ages. It consists of two round stone discs, one stationary and the other rotating, used to grind wheat grains into flour (atta) for Indian meals like bread and chapatis. The chakki remains a standard tool in Indian kitchens due to its simple yet efficient design.

5. Attukal: 

In South Indian homes, the traditional stone grinder known as an attukal is used to grind grains, lentils, and spices. It consists of a small stone pestle, manually spun to crush foods and a cylindrical stone base. This age-old cooking utensil is used to make batters for dosas and idlis, spice blends, and other culinary preparations. It is valued for its ability to produce finely ground ingredients while preserving traditional flavours, despite the increasing popularity of modern equipment.