Whenever we think of villages and food what are the images that flash by in our mind? Men roping in harvests of rice, women hand pounding rice, clay pots simmering over firewood stoves and of course grandmas hunched over an Ammi Kal grinding an aromatic spice paste to cook up a fabulous feast. Occasionally mothers would be at the corner smashing and mashing rice and urad dal in an Aattu Kal to make idli batter. Ammi Kal and Aattu Kal are two iconic South Indian kitchen implements which when first discovered would definitely have taken the art of food to a whole other level.
Forget the food processor, blenders and mixer-grinders of today. Real flavor came from grinding spices and aromatics with an Ammi Kal. With each pull and push of the oval stone, the ingredients would gradually pulverize, and its flavor would develop. Unlike the mixers of today which whizz up chutneys so fast that it could turn to mash in a second the Ammi Kal ground chutneys and thogaiyals so that it had flavor and a little bit of texture to it. And who can forget the Kuzhambu made from freshly ground spices? The aroma could drive in even cattle.
There is a knack to using the Aattu Ural. It requires a lot of practice with precise coordination and swift hand movement. With one hand the stone should be rolled and with the other coarse batter slipping out should be pushed in the hole. The end result was a thick and foaming batter that could make the softest idlis and the crispiest dosas.
With revolutionary technology, we have comfort and leisure at our disposal. It takes us a mere 5 minutes to whip up a chutney, some of us do not even make our own idli batter and we eat food at the fastest pace possible. Now and then we should learn to go back in time, cook and eat the old way, enjoy food as it truly is a gift for mankind. It is good to pull out the Ammi Kal and Aattu Kal, ask a delicious recipe from grandma and make it for your family and for the neighbors too.
At Sweet Karam Coffee preserving our rich heritage and tradition is one of the main mottos. We want our clients to enjoy holding on to our age-old customs and take hold of all the delicious advantages it has to offer. We offer mini Ammi Kal and Aattu Ural in our icons of tradition collection. We also have pickle jars, thaiyal elai, and much more traditional implements in-store. Here’s to Happiness being made at home with the aid of Sweet Karam Coffee.