Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ammi and Kulavi kitchen equipments are still in use in Dasilnaikanoor village.

Traditional way of masala preparation in Dasilnaikanoor
The village walk under Participatory Rural Appraisal, (PRA) conducted under SG.OFI/SEVAI Watershed project, it is observed that the Dasilnaikanoor village people especially women use the traditional kitchen equipments for cooking for maintaining the cost effectiveness of the food preparation for the families. This oblong grinding stone (Tamil name “ammi”) and the roller (Tamil name “kulavi”) which looks like a rolling pin are made out of stone.  In the traditional Tamil cooking dried ingredients such as coriander, cumin, and black pepper are placed on the heavy stone and pulverized with the roller.  The granite stone has carved ridges to hold the ingredients in place.  Traditionally chutneys, curry pastes are also made with this equipment.  When grinding with ammi and kulavi, spices, coconut are placed on the base stone and the top roller (kulavi) is moved back and forth.  When using this apparatus, very less water is used.  Methods of grinding spices evolve over the years. In Dasilnaickanoor, even
Village temple of dasilnaickanoor
now the women of this village use stone pounders for malsala mortar preparation. Most families in this village use stone grinders for fine-tuning the masala as the woman of the family sits  in front of stone grinder and bring the rolling stone up and down to grind the masala( a mix Red chili, turmeric, coriander, garlic, onion mortar) to prepare the sambar/veg/non- veg curry etc for the rice food/staple food. The methods of grinding spices are traditional and manual. Most houses have their own grinder and mortar made of undressed granite. This was used for grinding small quantities of spices. One of the kitchen "appliances" is the "Ammi" (that's what we call it in our native Tamil language). The Ammi or a stone rolling grinder consists of two heavy stones just like a mortar and pestle. The Ammi has been passed down through the generations. My women in Dasilnaickanoor use it as often for her day-to-day needs. The rough surface of the basalt stone creates a superb grinding surface that maintains itself over time as tiny
Wall paintings of Dasilnaickanoor temple
bubbles in the basalt are ground down, replenishing the textured surface. In Dasilnaickanoor and other parts this village traditional kitchen equipments are still in existence.  In Dasilnaickanoor people still use these equipments on a day to day basis.  Other than these equipments the fire stove which is used to cook food is called “aduppu” which is made out of clay.  Normally fire wood  is collected from the backyard is used.  Dried coconut leaves are also used make fire.  Some people use coconut leaves especially when boiling water.  Normally Clay pots are used to cook food on aduppu.  -Govin

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