Mortar and Pestle, Solid Thai Granite

Made in Thailand of the highest quality 100% hand-carved solid granite, this durable mortar and pestle is an important tool for Thai cooking as well as around the world. We source the raw material from the finest granite quarry. Our charcoal-grey granite is not only the most functional tool in your kitchen but also a striking work of art (see testimonials below).

mortar and pestle
mortar and pestle
Infuse fresh ground flavors of basil, sage, tarragon, garlic, pepper and much more. The highest quality mortar and pestle you will ever find. What sets it apart from others is the generous capacity, the beautiful appearance, and you can whack it as hard as you can without fear of chip or crack. You'll know when you pick it up that it will last a lifetime--they're very heavy and solid (see detailed measurements below). The mortar is carved by hammer & chisel from a single block of grante.

Nobody offers the same premium dense (super hard) granite, we are absolutely certain of that. Others sell weaker immitation rock so beware.

We no longer sell our product at Non-ImportFood (including Chinese made) are peddled there as the ImportFood product, but don't be fooled. Order from us here, get the real thing, and support our family-owned small enterprise.

Top chefs and culinary authors specifically endorse our granite mortar and pestle:
Grant Achatz "Chef's Secret Weapon. It's pure manpower"
The Wall Street Journal rated ours "Best Overall" in a nationwide comparison
Fine Cooking Magazine's "Favorite"
David Rosengarten says "Please don't live without the ImportFood mortar/pestle"
Mark Bittman (NY Times) " is a great place to buy a mortar and pestle"

All mortar/pestles are in stock and ready to ship.
6" Mortar and pestle
7" Mortar and pestle (most popular for home use)
8" Mortar and pestle (most popular for serious chefs)
9" Mortar and pestle (caution, too heavy!)
We also have a giant 12" version
mortar and pestle thai granite 7" (left), 8" (middle) and 6" (right). Click to enlarge. Note the extremely fine granite used, and the beautiful color. The 6" has been used for a few years, see how it darkens throughout as natural oils give it a fine patina. The others show how they look as new.

6" has 1.5 cup capacity, weighs 7 lbs. 4 1/2" inner bowl, 4" height. 6" pestle.

7" has 2+ cup capacity, weighs 12 lbs. 5" inner bowl, 4.5" height, 7" pestle.

8" has 3+ cup capacity, weighs 15 lbs. 5.5" inner bowl, 5" height. 7.5" pestle.

9" (not shown) has 5-6 cup capacity, weighs 24 lbs (VERY HEAVY). 6 1/2" inner bowl, 6" height. 8" pestle.

mortar and pestle side
The 9" version actually takes one person two days to make, using a hammer and chisel to shape the item then the interior bowl is finished by hand with an electric router.

Shown here is a brand new set, next to the 7" version we've used almost daily in our own home for over 12 years (incidentally the one we use was returned to us from a customer who didn't like a small fleck on the exterior, we liked the distinctive mark and kept it for our own). Note how the stone darkens up over time due to oils in your food and on your hand. We love this tool but find the 7" size adequate for home use.

The 9" size weighs over 20 lbs and has a 5+ cup capacity. Dimensions vary a bit, some mortars may be slightly less than 9" but not less than 8.75". The pestles range from 8.5" - 9". All units weigh at least 20 lbs and have at least 5 cup capacity.

extra large granite mortar and pestle
extra large granite mortar and pestle
9" Mortar and pestle
thai mortar and pestle
Limited Edition, Designer Square Mortar & Pestle

The same super-dense, attractive solid dark granite machined to a precise 6" square block. The mortar is 2.5" tall and has a 1.5 cup capacity, pestle is 6" long with a nice taper, and the top half of the pestle has a granite polish applied to it which gives the look of it having two colors. Complements any countertop, with an elegant style. The bottom, sides and top are all perfectly smooth, and the inner bowl is machined smooth as glass. It works great as a natural grinder for all kinds of herbs & spices, and it would be a very nice gift particularly for someone who has granite countertops. Based on appearance alone, it looks like it's worth far more than $30 or $40. We've seen something similar in an art gallery for $150. Click more views.


Call toll free 888-618-THAI if you prefer to place your order on the phone. We select only the very best quality granite, unlike other traders offering softer raw material. You will not find better raw material if you buy from us!
To a Thai cook a high quality mortar and pestle is as important as the best quality skillet is to a Western chef. Like iron cookware, the stone mortar and pestle becomes seasoned with age. With experience, the mortar becomes more responsive and you'll learn to blend flavors like never before. Rustic in appearnce, and unchanged for centuries, this device enables the cook to grind, mash and pulverize the melange of spices and other ingredients essential to Thai cooking. The most common type, pictured above, is hacked from a piece of granite particularly suited for this tool, and found only in certain parts of Thailand. Working at this craft for hundreds of years, the villagers who hand carve them have made it a fine art. Basic and primitive, there are no moving parts – nothing to break; once purchased, it will last a lifetime.

Those electric wonders designed to make cooking easy – the blender, food mill and food processor – have attacked the mortar and pestle, but it has stubbornly resisted and is still found in most Thai kitchens. The reason is simple. It does a better job than its electrical competitors. They cut, while it bruises and mashes, releasing the oils and flavours necessary for an authentic Thai taste. And then, of course, there is the sound. Awakening to the whirr of an electrical appliance doesn't provide the feeling of cultural strength and solidity, created by the thud of pestle against mortar. A stone mortar and pestle is ideal for pulverizing and grinding spices and herbs into seasoning pastes and spice mixtures. Purists insist that this allows the natural oils to be released and makes for better flavors. Our granite mortar and pestle will reduce fibrous herbs and hard seeds in no time. The pestle and inside surface of the mortar are polished smooth, so it will not absorb odors from foods. Very dense and heavy, this set does not chip and will last for years, even when subjected to vigorous pounding.

Brief History of the Thai Granite Mortar and Pestle
The Thai stone mortar and pestle dates back hundreds of years, some say it all started in Sukhothai where the first Thai kingdom was founded in the 13th century AD. The stone mortar & pestle was used to grind food as well as medicine. Considering the key ingredients of Thai cooking--seafood, Thai basil, palm sugar, kaffir lime leaf, garlic, fresh ginger and galanga, tamarind, lemon grass birdseye chilies (and other varieties), you can understand why the mortar and pestle so naturally lends itself to preparation of Thai cuisine.

Not all mortars and pestles are fashioned from stone. The ones designed to make som tam – a salad from the Northeast, but now widely popular everywhere – are made from unglazed, fired clay. We have them available also, click here. The pestle is always made of wood, as any other material would break the mortar.

Selecting The Right Size
The 6" version offers less room to work but the light weight makes it easy to move around the kitchen & sink for wash. The images here on the website makethe 6" look small but in fact it should meet the needs of most home users. The 8" and 9" sizes function well for making curry pastes in larger quantity, as well as sauces, pesto or any fusion of your choise. The 8" version is our most popular size and we believe it's purchased by a more serious chef (rather than a casual home cook). For preparation of larger quantities, and if you really want to get your hands in and work, do choose the 8". If you're a pro or an aspiring pro you may want the 9" heavy-duty version. NOTE: we stand 100% behind the quality of our mortar & pestles because the stone used is absolutely superior, and we know that our prices are the best available for this product. Do compare the weight and capacity of our offering and you'll see that does have the best value, regardless of the size you order.

Recipes for your Thai Mortar
Below are a few samples from our Thai recipe index which call for the mortar and pestle
Thai-style Fried Noodles, "Pad Thai"
Northern Thai Sausage "Sai Oua"
Panang Beef
Waterfall Beef, "Neua Yang Nam Tok"
Khao Soi, Chiang Mai Curry Noodles
Miang Kham
Thai Style Spicy Beef Salad, "Yum Nuea"
Salmon in Spiced Tamarind Soup, "Tom Som Pla Salmon"
Thai Spicy Ground Chicken and Toasted Rice, "Larb Gai"
Vegetables with Spicy Yellow Bean Sauce Dip, "Tao Jeeow Lon"
Squid Pad Kee Mao
Northern Thai Sausage, "Sai Grok"
Chicken Satay, "Satay Gai"
Gai Tom Kha Namsai, Rayong Style Tom Kha Soup
Thai Curry Paste Made From Scratch

Using and Caring For Your Thai Mortar
These mortars are heavy, well balanced and suitable for rigorous pounding & grinding. If you ever see the way Jamie Oliver uses his, you'll know that this mortar and pestle and take a beating without fear of breakage. The weight of the pestle assists you as well. When using the mortar and pestle, it's a good idea to place a folded dish towel down on the counter first, as the heavy mortar can damage your countertop. When finished, simply place mortar and pestle in the sink and rinse it with soap & warm water.

As Thai culture has lots of old "legends" and superstitions handed down through generations, there is an old wives tale about the stone mortar and pestle that we'd like to share. Although you can really pound the pestle as hard as you can, it should always be done with food in the mortar. If a woman pounds the pestle into an empty mortar, Thai superstition has it that her breasts will stretch to the ground.

Mortar and Pestle Testimonials, Updated October 2015
Paul R, FL. The mortar and pestle I got from you is the best! The delivery was prompt. I will be back for more.
Martin, San Antonio, TX. This is a duplicate of a wedding gift given to us 26 years ago, and the message read "marriage is sometimes a grind, work it baby, work it".
Jeanean, San Jose, CA. I just wanted you to know that my giant mortar & pestle arrived this morning and it's wonderful. I'm sure the large model that I got is the same one Jamie Oliver, the Naked Chef, uses. If you have a chance to look at his cookbook the one he uses is pictured on page 192. Thank you for sending it so promptly. My friend will be ordering one from you soon.
Beryl, Wilmington, NC. My order arrived and as always was packed to perfection. The mortar and pestle was more beautiful than I imagined. As a former Art Gallery owner in Cambridge, Mass. it has a permanent place on my kitchen counter. I love the small brass wok although I haven't used it yet. I have reccomended your site to many of my friends and family. It is a pleasure to work with your company and your recipes are wonderful. Please keep up your wonderful site.
Pete Pica, Culinary Instructor, Granger IN. This is excellent for the price. I am a professional chef and love the quality of this mortar and pestle. I am always happy to endorse excellent products.  Quality and value are so important.
Gary, Nacogdoches TX. I just returned from a two week trip to Thailand. While there I attended 4 days of culinary school, where we learned to prepare quite a few of the dishes that keep me coming back. When I got home, I happened upon your site. EUREKA! I ordered two mortar and pestles and spices, lime leaves, etc....I am completely impressed at your quality and value. The 8" mortar is exactly the same as in our cooking class. I love it and am telling all my friends. Living in a small town, it is difficult to find things like Kafir lime leaves. You have it all. Thank you!
Tom, Erie, PA. The Thai stone mortar & pestle arrived and is wonderful. It is a heavy bugger and would be hard to break without a sledgehammer, in fact you could market it as a combination kitchen and home security device. Thanks for great service.
Michelle, Boulder WY. I received your 6" granite mortar and pestle a few months ago and have been very pleased. I never knew a mortar and pestle could work so well. I just love it. I'm ordering the 8" as well now because it will be better for making large amounts and also for pounding things like dried watermelon seeds, which tend to jump and escape from the smaller mortar. I won't be surprised if in a little while I will be ordering the 9". That one is probably too heavy for me, but will be great for putting the menfolk to work once in a while -- and will make a great looking serving bowl. I have used suribachi, marble, ceramic, metal and wood mortars and pestles before and your wonderful granite ones are my favorites by far. No contest. Superb!
Matt, Cumberland, MD. Hi, I bought a stone mortar and pestle from you guys a few months ago. It's a great thing, and I love using it. But I was just wondering what the proper way to clean out the bowl is. Usually I just take a damp paper towel and wipe it out, but I just want to know if that's the right way to do it. Thanks a lot. Our Response: Thanks for your support, Matt! To clean, just wash with mild soap and warm water--that's it!
Thomas, San Jose CA. Excellently cut (which is not easy) real granite.
Geoffrey Cunnar, Yale University laboratory. Click link to view email.
David, Buffalo, NY. Thanks for the quick reply. I placed an order today for an 8" Granite Mortar & Pestle. I will be putting together another order soon for some other supplies. I look forward to doing business with you.
Brett, Trenton NJ. Just a note to say thanx for shipping the mortars in good shape..They are beautiful to behold.
Olga, Palm City FL. I cannot believe how fast I received my two mortar and pestles.  Gorgeous beyond my expectations.  Thank you for your great service and fast shipping. My son will love his too.
Alicia. I got the mortar and pestle today. I am so pleased it is way better than the picture.
Todd H, CA. I received the Chili Paste and Spices Starter Set and Sticky Rice Kit today, You folks are fast! Thanks! Also thank you again for going out of your way on the Mortar and Pestle that I ordered as a gift, it will arrive just in time to make the great cook in my life very happy. Your high standards of service and merchandise have truely impressed me. I've already forwarded your site to everyone in my life who loves to cook. and have recieved lots of positive and enthusiastic responses back, so your company is a big hit!
Glenda, Sunnyvale, CA. I stumbled on your web site searching for a mortar and pestle, and was just thrilled with it! You have everything anyone could want for cooking AND serving Thai food. Your prices are wonderful and after sneaking a peek at your shipping policies, it appears they are just as great. I will be ordering, you can be sure....
Shoshana, Berkeley, CA. Your Mortar and Pestle is of a quality and durability I have needed for a long time! Your condiment set is truly beautiful and your service and help is especially appreciated. Will be a loyal customer for a very long time!
Ann, Toronto, Ontario. My mortar and pestle just arrived!!! It is absolutley perfect!! I thought I would let you know that the duty that was charged was $9 CDN which is about $6 US which isn't bad... although it is just another tax that we lucky Canadians have to pay!!! Many thanks for all of your help! Cheers!
Meredith, Denver, CO. You guys are great! I didn't expect you to mail me the invoice for the order I placed as a gift, but you did. As long as I'm writing, I did some comparison-shopping before I bought your mortar & pestle. I'm very impressed with your company. Thank you so much!
Lyne, Marieville, Quebec. I just want a thank you! I recieved my faboulus pestle and mortar yesterday morning. I really want that kind of pestle mortar (I'm Jamie Oliver freak...) I wish you have a very nice day and I appreciate a lot your professional work. You make my day!
Emily, Edmonds, WA. Your company has been an absolute dream to work with. You should be commended for that. SO many companies these days do their work with the ever-growning mentality of "fast business." Move em in, move em out. I feel like I've been able to work one on one with someone regarding the mortar and pestle stuff, as opposed to some unknown at the other end of the computer. So, thank you. A few days after we shipped her order of three mortar/pestles (one each, 6", 8", 9") she sent us this picture from her home, and another note of thanks. Thank you Emily, glad you're happy!
Thomas, Portland, OR. You are right, it really is a nice mortar & pestle. The weight of the pestle makes it so much easier to pound ingredients into a curry paste!
John, Banning, CA. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the fantastic mortar & pestals that I ordered. I ordered a 8" for myself, then ordered two more 8" & one 6" for gifts. I liked the 6" so much that I kept it for myself. I guess I will have to order more... The quality is superb, and the items were shipped out quickly and packed very well. I will recommend your company to all my friends, and needless to say you have a customer for life! Thanks again for the great service.
Kristine, Alton, IL. just received the 8" mortar and pestle. I love it so much that i'm ordering a separate one to use exclusively for preparing herbal remedies and buying 2 extras for friends!!
Noble House Catering, Longview TX. I had to write you and let you know how very pleased I am with the mortar and pestle that I ordered from you. It is absolutely a work of art, with just the right amount of texture, color and shape. Thanks for a quality product.
Connie, Newark, DE. I recently purchased the 8" Thai Granite Mortar & Pestle. I always thought a large Marble Mortar & Pestle would be my ultimate luxury. Much to my amazement, your Thai 8" is that and more - at a fraction of the cost. I've used it almost every day and don't know how I have survived without it
Dave, Wayzata, MN. Wanted to let you know that I just received my 8" mortar and pestle, used the first time, and it was marvelous. So solid, it made the work go fast. Also wanted to let you know that quite by acident I found out this weekend that Su-Mei You (Author of Cracking the Coconut) seems to be using the the large one. Thanks for a great product.
Dan, San Diego, CA. Hi there. I asked for your 8" granite mortar/pestle for Christmas. I love it! As a test, I took a hunk of ginger and threw it in. One thwack and it was reduced to mush. Apparently the look on my face was for the record books. Next test was stick cinnamon. A few whacks and a quick grind and I had a fine powder. Amazing! I just ordered a 6" as well, to get a nice matched set. Thank you for a great product.
Monica, San Antonio, TX. Just wanted to let you know that I received my two granite mortar and pestles yesterday and they were both in perfect condition! Pictures don't do these items justice - They're beautiful! The square m&p looks like a piece of modern sculpture and the "ancient style" one is almost too beautiful to use!
Julie, El Monte, CA. The 8 in mortar and pestle arrived in only two days and it is a beauty! Even sturdier and heavier than I anticipated. This is one item I'll be using my entire lifetime, and then my kids and their kids will enjoy it as well. A real heirloom. Thank you so much. I do have one observation about the bottom surface of the pestle, though. It was quite roughly hewn and would have definately scratched my countertop to pieces, but that was made right with a few minutes of smoothing it out with a fourteen-inch coarse bastard file. I can now slide it along my countertop without fear of damaging the surface. Thank you for your prompt delivery and truly excellent product. (we recommend placing a folded dish towel or pot holder between the mortar and your countertop, this is the common practice in Thailand, to avoid countertop damage).
Matt, FL. I am, indeed, happy with the purchase of the two granite mortar and pestles. #1 reason for buying: I raise red worms for composting (my bonsai trees!) and need VERY fine egg shells for their injesting pleasure. This set works very well for this. #2 I cook with dried spices and salts, and this set is perfect for all of my dry ingredient needs. #3 The smaller one was for me, and the larger one was a gift. The recipient of that gift is a professional "shaman" (yes, weird) and takes it with him to ALL of his engagements (ren. Faires and whatnot) and authenticity is a must. Needless to say, it is quite "rustic" and looks great in a "shaman's kitchen". He was extremely impressed by it's authentic look and was excited to get home and start using it. Overall, these sets are great.
Gary, Calgary AB. They are well worth it. Very heavy, sturdy and pleasing to the eye, thanks for picking out some good ones. Not to mention even with the shipping a very good price and your emails were quick, friendly and courteous. I will recommend you to friends if they are looking for a mortar and pestle. On with the grinding and smashing a guy could do some major damage with one of these. :) I only paid 11$ cdn duty on two and one of them is going to be a gift to a friend. She going to love it, I bet she will not be able to guess what I got her when it is wrapped. Thanks again
Rita, Prattville, AL. The stone mortar and pestle is awesome. We have used it quite alot and have had great results and many super comments on the food. The m&p itself has also received quite a few compliments.
Luposian, Sierra Vista AZ. Just received my 6" granite mortar and pestle a few hours ago and it reduced my recently pulled and dried dandelion root, into pulverized bits (for making homemade DRT (pronounced "Dirt"; Dandelion Root Tea)), in a couple seconds!  Amazing!  I love it!  I'm trying to think of other uses for it, as I speak!
Rhonda, San Diego CA. I love the mortar and pestle! I ordered the 8" and 6". I love the 6" it is a kitchen staple.I use it to take the skin off of garlic, don't use too much pressure. I make guacamole in it and then use it to serve. Its great to break up nuts for pancakes and muffins. Its wonderful to use to make a bean dip like hummus. Or to smash beans to be refried.I love making Thai food and that is why I purchased it, but as you can see it is great for all types of cooking! Love it!
Stacy, Somerville NJ. Just received my mortar and pestle today. It is absolutely gorgeous! I would have liked it just for use as an art piece let alone for use in the kitchen. I ordered it to crush up my supplement tablets for easier and more thorough digestion. I had been using a coffee grinder but the tablets proved too much for it to grind causing it to wear out after a few months. The mortar and pestle is very thorough in pulverizing the tablets and takes very little time. The best part is that I do not have to worry about mechanical failure as I experienced with the other method. Expect more business coming your way as I will be telling everyone I know about this wonderful and AFFORDABLE product!
Earl, Bedford Ontario. I just wanted to let you know I received my order a few weeks ago, in good shape. I'm not into Thai food, but Italian, and the mortar and pestle did a superb job making pesto. I'll never go back to using a blender again, the taste is so much more intense. Thanks again.
Stefan, Berkeley, CA. I feel truly lucky to find a mortar of good height and capacity! I appreciate it more with each use. What a blessing. Thank you. I completed a batch of curry paste yesterday to share with cooking-friends. Yum. I am more interested in the details of these mortar/pestle tools than most customers. Since I truly love food flavors, I've followed a slow project for a number of years (slow due to medical disability) to test techniques and tools for home-grinding culinary spices. Over the course of this time, I have evaluated 18 different kinds of mortars/pestles, 15 hand crank grinders, 11 electric grinders and a half-dozen miscellaneous techniques. Lots of research ultimately led me to your shop. This Thai mortar & pestle comes out a top performer (yay!) with exceptional capability for tough/soft spices, small/large batches, wet/dry cool grinding and ease of cleanup.
Michelle, Austin TX. I have worked my way UP the ladder to the LARGEST Thai granite mortar and pestle. This is my third one and largest. I was a little leery of getting it at first because of all the warnings about how heavy the 9" is, but now I am IN LOVE with it!!!! Who CARES how heavy it is? If Import Foods would offer one that was 12" diameter I think I would have to buy that too! With each size larger I can do more and more things to more satisfaction. I love to pound cacao nibs to a powder with this mortar and pestle. I would still need a much TALLER one to do as much as I would like at once, but this is FINE for most of my needs. I love how HEAVY the pestle is, doing 80% of the work for me. I also love to crush my own sesame seeds in making homemade hummus rather than using what to me always seems rancid (i.e., tahini). I know that as the months and years go on I will have more and more foods that I feel I simply MUST grind in my mortar and pestle (unless I'm on the road in which case I'll have to resort to an electric coffee grinder assuming I can get electricity). One note about the really BIG mortars: they are not as "picture perfect" as the smaller ones. On the outside there are dents into the granite. It took me a while to figure out that this must be because it is hard to find the larger pieces of granite with which to make these mortars. Love this product and each time I buy a new one I bequeath my older and smaller one to a very happy-to-receive friend. Thanks,!
For more testimonials, click here
Cook Like the Prime Minister of Thailand

When we met the Prime Minister of Thailand, also a celebrity chef (see story of Thai Prime Minister Samak, and checkout his Tom Kha Salmon recipe) he went right to work in the traditional way--pestle in one hand and a rice ladle in the other to scrape the sides as you pound.
NEW: Video! See The Mortar and Pestle in Action

We produced this video in Kanchanburi Thailand, where chef Chantana prepares a homemade Thai curry paste using the solid granite 8" mortar & pestle. As you can see, this beautiful rustic tool does the work like no other can. See the Thai granite mortar and pestle video.
Special Street Vendor Video Feature--Prik Pao

Grandma makes Thai chilli jam "Prik Pao" by hand using the old method, with a granite mortar & pestle. See the video.
Thai Green Curry w/ Fresh Chile, "Gaeng khiao wan gai"

The advantage of this recipe is that you pound fresh chiles into a high quality green curry paste, resulting in a more bold, fragrant and spicy final result. See the recipe.
Spicy Thai Chicken w/ Fresh Thai Basil, "Gai Pad Grapao"

This very simple Thai spicy chicken dish uses just a few ingredients, with fresh Thai chiles and the garlic pounded together in a mortar and pestle, and it's loaded with flavor. See the recipe.

Thai Herb Dipping Sauce
'Namjim Pak Chee' (vegetarian)

This fresh, spicy sour garlic dipping is full of rich green color, and we love it with chicken (as shown). Also popular to serve with steamed fish. Excellent with sticky rice.

1/2 cup fresh coriander
3 tablespoons garlic, chopped
2 fresh Thai chile peppers
1 teaspoon whole white peppercorn
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup lime juice

In a mortar and pestle, pound white peppercorn, chopped garlic, then chili, until it becomes a paste, then add finely chopped coriander, pound until paste.  Set aside.

In another bowl, mix lime juice with sugar, salt, stir until dissolved.  Then add coriander paste into sauce, stir together, serve and enjoy.

More on the mortar and pestle.

Brief History
These essential cooking tools are found throughout the world in so many civilizations, and they can be made of a hard wood, marble, pottery, or stone. The pestle is used to grind inside the mortar and pulverize food as well as medicine.

15th century Italian history show mortars and pestles used by pharmacists. The Molcajete (the Mexican version of the mortar and pestle) appears in Mexican history as early as 6,000 years ago.

How it is used
Place the substance to be ground inside the mortar. Apply downward pressure using the pestle, then grind using a circular motion. This forces the substance against the surface of the bowl and pulverizes it. Using a mortar and pestle can be quite laborious but the results are certainly worth it, if you have the time.

Alternatives to the Thai granite mortar and pestle

Molcajete Tejolote
Molcajete being the mortar, tejolote the pestle. Made of rough black volcanic rock that's full of small holes. It is necessary to season the molcajete prior to using it or you'll get grit in your food. Soak your molcajete for 8-12 hours in lukewarm water. After drying the porous surface, grind a few cloves of garlic, a tablespoon of comino, salt and pepper until most of the spices are absorbed into its surface. Rinse under running water--and that's all the preparation necessary. Simply wash the molcajete and tejolote in warm water after each use. Soap can soak in and taint your food (unlike the Thai mortar/pestle which is completely non-porous and will never absorb odors). Some retailers offer molcajetes made of concrete that's painted to look like lava. Needless to say we don't recommend a concrete mortar and pestle.

Marble Mortar and Pestle
Marble may be a good for you particularly if you are grinding pharmaceuticals, as they offer the smoothest interior finish, but they do not offer nearly the same amount of size as our Thai granite version. Most marrble come in quite small sizes. Similar to our granite mortar/pestle, marble will not absorb odors from food. Marble is very hard and provides an excellent grinding surface and it is easy to clean and maintain.

Ceramic mortar and pestles do not absorb food odors however they do not offer the same strength, permanence and durability as our Thai granite version. High quality ceramic versions have convenient pouring spouts. Most ceramic mortars found for sale here are made in England and are expensive.

A utensil that's been used to prepare Japanese food for generations. The inside of this pottery (earthenware) mortar is glazed on the outside and marked in a broad sweeping pattern with a wide fork. The ridged pattern facilitates grinding. The wooden pestle, called "surikogi" is used to keep the pestle from wearing down the ridges in the mortar. In Japanese cooking the suribachi is used to crush sesame seed as well as for various pastes.

Whatever mortar and pestle you decide to use, we strongly believe the Thai solid granite version is the best overall, and you'll certainly enjoy it. Bon Appetit!

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