The ammikal or Sil Batta is a rectangular shaped rough unpolished stone with a cylindrical, movable stone on top is used to make wet/dry masalas and chutneys in Indian households. In modern kitchens, an Ammikal seldom finds a place sadly. But if given a chance, if the modern cook is wiling to take up the task of grinding a simple chutney or masala using an ammikal, the legend will live on….
The sheer aroma that an ammikal imparts to the most simplest of chutneys is just over the top. Anyone who has not experienced this will not a word of what I say, and it is understandable too… After all how can a simple stone impart so much aroma and flavor? But the truth is simple. The freshness of the ingredients and the rich aroma that fills your kitchen is testimony to it.
A new ammikal will require seasoning and regular usage to remove any grainy particles on it. Therefore it takes atleast 2-3 weeks of usage before anything edible can be made on it. During these few weeks, use your Ammikal atleast 4-5 times a week to grind any vegetable refuse in your kitchen with some water and clean it once your done. This helps in removing any grains of stone on it and helps in seasoning the kal(stone).
Today simple, slow cooking is being brought back in a lot of urban kitchens. Adding an ammikal to yours should be one of the steps towards that journey. It might look like a lot of work, but really it is not. It takes only a few minutes longer if at all. But the result is enormously worth it. After eating mixie ground chutneys you are sure to find a remarkable difference in your ammikal ground chutneys.
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