Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Mortar and Pestle (Rolu, Pothram)

Stone Mortar and Pestle - big one from India and the small one from Ikea

Stone Mortar and Pestle - big one from India and the small one from Ikea
Stone Mortar and Pestle

The big one, I brought it from Nandyala, India from my last visit. It’s weighed around 30 pounds both pestle and mortar combined. More about it here.
The small one, I bought it at Pittsburgh’s Ikea.

Sam, this is for you.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Indian Kitchen,Indian Utensils (Saturday February 25, 2006 at 9:40 am- permalink)
Comments (23)

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23 comments for Mortar and Pestle (Rolu, Pothram) »

  1. OH MY GOSH!!!!!!
    U carried it all the from nandyala???
    I cant tell you how much I am impressed with it.
    I guess it is worth t for the amazing taste of roti pachadi. BTW I found a mandoline in indian store last week that was a little interesting.
    It is a regular mandolie with a plastic cover behind, making it like a box so that all the grating will remain in the box. Have not seen something like that before. Will post a picture today

    Comment by Santhi — February 25, 2006 @ 12:36 pm

  2. Wow. Just…wow. That may be the most massive mortar/pestle I’ve *Ever* seen!

    Comment by Stephanie — February 25, 2006 @ 1:01 pm

  3. Indira, I came across your website when I was looking for some tindora recipes and have been a frequent visitor since. I just love your exceptional pictures and the homely, earthy recipes to go with them. I was so inspired by your work that I too decided to start a food blog. Check out my humble start at

    ps. I too have a mortar and pestle from india that is a smaller more rough-hewn version of yours. It probably weighs 6-7lbs and cost Rs 150! unbelievable bargain.

    Comment by holyjalapeno — February 25, 2006 @ 3:33 pm

  4. I’d love to carry that mortar & pestle home too regardless how much it weights!
    Btw, I’ve just made your potato kurma, splendid! Thanks for the recipe! I don’t blog frequently, but your blog is the one I must visit 🙂

    Comment by gattina — February 25, 2006 @ 4:53 pm

  5. I couldn’t live without mine! I have four mortar and pestles, and my favorite is a big green granite one (probably also about 30 pounds)that I got in Oakland’s Chinatown. It’s essential for making Thai curries, but I also use it sometimes for Indian cooking. After that my favorite is the tiny brass one I have for grinding cardamom for tea. I love pounding ingredients for curry paste in them (when I have time).

    Comment by Diane — February 25, 2006 @ 5:43 pm

  6. Hi Indira,

    I am one of the regular visitors of your site. When I wanted to try some Andhra recepies, first referrence is your blog site. Excellent presentation, pictures are real mouth watering,making the viewer to think of trying out the recepie. And the mortat / Pestle are shown are real excellent. Check out my blogsite when you get some time. Ofcourse I recently started it.

    Indira replies…
    thanks for your kind words and thanks for the invitation.

    Comment by dprapav — February 25, 2006 @ 8:35 pm

  7. I did post the picture of mandoline.
    You can take a look at it now.


    Indira replies…
    It looks like a new model, convenient too. Good buy, Santhi.

    Comment by Santhi — February 25, 2006 @ 9:30 pm

  8. Truly amazing! I recently bought a steel mortar-pestle, but now I want a stone one like yours! I will still go for it if I see one; it’ll be a worthy addition to the kitchen counter.

    Indira replies…
    Only if you have enough counter space and time/energy to use them. 🙂 Just kidding.
    after years of frustation, I decided to brave and bought the big one. Small one- porcelian, I’ve it for many years. Very convenient to grind small amounts and I regularly use it.

    Comment by Sury — February 25, 2006 @ 11:40 pm

  9. I use the steel one lol.
    cast iron also makes good ones but mostly for crusing ginger garlic… and jeera

    And Indira… there is something wrong with ur hit counter i believe… It is not properly registering or something… have u noticed it.

    Indira replies…
    Because of excessive spam, I removed the counter (code) from my blog. That site can’t count my site hits anymore, Tony.

    Comment by tony — February 26, 2006 @ 7:37 am

  10. Oh, that is a lovely mortar and pestle. I’d have carried it home, too.

    I only have a small green marble one–it is nice and I have had it for years, but I have been wanting a larger one for a while…even though I use the Sumeet, there are a lot of foods that taste better hand ground.

    Indira replies…
    The big one is invaluable to prepare some kinds of chutneys and sweets, Barbara. That’s why after many years of unsatisfactory results with machine ones, I decided to go manual and lug this mammoth from my hometown.
    Sumeet mixie is the best. I was really impressed when I read your post about it – ordering it all the way from India. Wow, Barbara!

    Comment by Barbara — February 26, 2006 @ 8:39 am

  11. I agree with you, Indira. Chutneys and Rice flour (for some special dishes) and some more stuff, made with a stone pestle and mortar tastes divine. Even when something’s ground to a fine paste, it has a nice texture, when ground with a stone pestle and mortar.

    Unlike Barbara, I made a mistake of lugging my Preeti chef-pro mixie from India. It’s not even an year old and I’m not very happy with it. should have gone with my mom’s choice – she’s been having the same Sumeet mixie ever since I was 5 yrs old.

    Indira replies…
    The sumeet in our house, back home, is atleast 20 years old. I don’t know how, but they work great there.
    I also have sumeet mixer. last month, I left the small jar in the sink with water in it. On that particular day, the temperature went below 0, I left it there overnight, by morning, the motor froze and now the small jar is not working properly. A big headache, I’ve to replace it now with new one. 🙂

    Comment by Kay — February 26, 2006 @ 4:32 pm

  12. U brot this all the way from India .. WOW!!!

    Comment by Sneha — February 27, 2006 @ 7:21 am

  13. Oh… these spammer check hits and then spam? Innovative… I want to get spammed lol.

    Comment by Tony — February 28, 2006 @ 1:16 am

  14. Dear Indira,

    I love your blog! I am originally from Delhi, but my husband is from Andhra. We got married only 6 months back. Being new to Andhra cooking, your recipes have been an immense help to me and have helped me make a good impression on my new family 🙂 Thanks!!


    Comment by Shuchi — March 1, 2006 @ 11:24 pm

  15. Can you tell me if I can get this mortar and pestle in chennai.

    Comment by Sri — March 22, 2006 @ 10:19 am

  16. For those of you who would like to get their mixie (either Sumeet or Preeti )fixed contact We have all the spare parts to repair those mixies or any mixie. – Andal

    Comment by Andal Balu — July 14, 2006 @ 12:31 pm

  17. […] Now is the time to add the spices. Roast black pepper and cumin seeds seperately. Crush them coarsely in using the mortor and pestle(See Indira’s post). Add garlic and pound a bit more. Garlic should be broken into small pieces and should be mixed with the spices. […]

    Pingback by Paruppu Kari « V I R U N D H U — March 9, 2007 @ 11:03 am

  18. Hello Indira garu,

    I am an ardent fan of yours. I am young cook 🙂 walking in similar path. I absolutely love authentic ways of cooking and my friends this I am insane for choosing traditional methods over simpler ones. I believe that there is no shortcut for great tasting food.
    I am a student so I don’t go to India often. I found this online and wanted your opinion for getting it. It will be at least 10 times cheaper in India. Let me know. I have already 3 types of mortar and pestle including the Indian brass one. I hardly use nonstick. All my kadhai are either Indian iron or aluminum.
    I will start my blog once I finish my studies. I am an architect and have passion for photography. 🙂

    Comment by Girija — November 21, 2008 @ 2:18 pm

  19. Hi Indira, the big pestle and mortar looks similar to one I’ve just brought back from from a holiday in Nepal. It weighs around 5Kg, which I think would be about 17 – 18lb, so not as big as yours. My question is does it need preparing in some way before use? I ask this because when I grind dry it creates a certain amount of stone powder, which I don’t imagine would be desirable in the food! Or doesn’t that matter? Many thanks for your site, it’s excellent. Paul

    Hello Paul, stones and stone powder are undesirable in any food culture, that’s for sure. Stone mortar need seasoning before they put to use for food preparation. What we do in Nandyala area is, place few fistfuls of rice and pound/grind to coarse powder. Dry first and then with few sprinkles of water. Grind the rice and then throw rice-stone powder away.
    Rice powder acts like sand and seasons/smooths the mortar stone and helps to remove the stone powder. This process has to be repeated three to five times depending on how coarse the mortar is. This was how I did, and I hope you find this method useful.

    Comment by Paul Hamlyn — November 25, 2011 @ 8:22 am

  20. Many thanks Indira, I’ll give that a try. Paul

    Comment by Paul Hamlyn — November 26, 2011 @ 6:04 am

  21. Hi Indira,

    I am living in Hderabad. I want to buy a good mortar and pestle. I liked your Mortar but don’t know about stone type and where it is available. Can you please provide the details where I can find that item in our Telugu states or online sites. And if I can’t find same as yours please guide me any other good stone mortar and pestle. I appreciate your response. Thank you.

    Comment by AJAY K KANNURI — October 11, 2015 @ 7:06 pm

  22. how to purchase rolu pothram.

    Comment by sinchan ray — October 15, 2017 @ 8:05 am

  23. what is the price of big rolu.

    Comment by sinchan ray — October 15, 2017 @ 8:09 am

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