A good Mortar and Pestle is a must have item to keep in your well used kitchen. I passed by many a mortar and pestle till I finally found one that I wanted to take home. Before buying one, take a good long look at it. Make sure it is really made of legitimate materials and not simply a low quality imitation made to appear like the real thing. Look also for cracks and dings in it. Once you take it home you will need to season it before first use.
Step 1 Rinse it under fast running water and give it a scrub. Do not ever use soap on your Mortar.
Step 2 put some good quality hard white rice into it, and grind it. When the rice is ground fine AND also very dirty, dump it out. Keep repeating this step until the white rice stays white.
Step 3 Now put in some seasoning into the empty vessel. This would consist of a couple of cloves of garlic (no need to peel them) a bit of coarse salt, and small handful of Cumin seed and a bit of whole Coriander. Grind this all up into a nice paste. Make sure to get it stuck into all sides of the mortar.
Grinding stuff is really fun. It makes a comforting sound almost like distant rumbling thunder on a hot summers day. One of these days I plan to try my hand at traditional Mochi. That’s a Japanese rice candy-like treat which most people make by cheating. (They buy rice flour in a bag) Yes, I’m gonna try to make it by pounding it. We shall see.
Grinding is an art requiring a certain skill. Its easy and burns up calories. No point in telling you how it’s done. This you tube video tops anything I could say.