Mortar And Pestle 2095503 1920

Purani Yaadein – Hamam Dasta/Khalbatta

Ever since man evolved from a hunter to a food-gatherer and producer, he has been looking for means and implements to process food.


Our ancestors may have been far more sophisticated eaters than we perhaps give them credit for.

Processing food grains, nuts, wild fruits required implements. With Stone Age came the answer, in the form of kitchen tools.

Let’s talk about them and evoke some #पुरानीयादें (old memories)

The Hamam Dasta or Khal dasta has been used in many an ancient civilisation, not just for processing food but for medicinal preparations too. Remember depictions of Vaids or Ayurvedic doctors using a mortar-pestle to pulverize herbs and mixes?

As civilisations progressed, the Hamam dasta evolved too, it began to be available in wood and bronze, latter being more popular.

With development, came convenience and modern technology slowly replaced the old kitchen tools with appliances.

But for centuries, traditional cooks worldwide have used the good old mortars and pestles to prepare their signature dishes. Because for them, it is not just about cutting and shredding ingredients (that food processors do), but pounding and pulverizing them which brings out the actual flavours.

Additionally, this method has the added advantage of crushing the food with low energy, just enough to bring out its essence without warming it up.

Now that convenience is available at the flick of a switch, it’s interesting to note that these ancient tools actually doubled up as body fitness equipments too!

Pounding with the heavy pestle is a good arm exercise while concentrating on the movement and the food being crushed improved focus. How’s that for a quick fit idea!

Do you still use the Hamam Dasta/Ural/Khal Dasta?


  1. Hi, I’m Bhavana here my grandmother was used it ,my mother n moother in laws Also use it n now I also like to use it for better taste. I like your views n recipe.lots of love .

  2. Please recommend a place to buy this kind of khalbatta online or offline in Mumbai/ Pune

  3. Hamam dasta/khalbatta/ookhal/ookhli is essential part of our kitchen along with seel-lodha/seel-batta.
    My favorite recipe on ookhli is to grind rosted bhutta with garlic and kacha-lonka and mix raw mustard oil! Yumm!!

  4. Yes we still use खल बत्ता (khal batta)as we call in Marathi, for various recipes.
    Since generations together it is used at my mother’s place as well as at my in laws place.
    Ranveer Sir I really appreciate that you use the traditional methods of cooking as well as tools. I have seen your prog Raja,Rasoi aur Andaz Anokha on the Epic channel. I really loved it.. waiting for the next season with you in that prog. lots of love from Pune.

  5. Hi Ranveer, big fan of your cooking tips. Chefs to bahot hai but the way you explain recipes with chemistry aspect, that is priceless and makes you my favorite!
    Now as far your question goes, I not only use them but overtime collected a good bunch of Mortar and pestles. Got some when we were living in US, and also in India. Different sizes and shapes.
    Always have on the lookout for whats new.
    Growing up we used to have (still do but too heavy to handle now) Proper granite rolu, solid wood rokali and rokali banda to grind urad daal, chutneys powder’s everything! With introduction of electric grinders we got lazy. Then we bought Wet grinders which helps since it gives the same taste of grinding daals.
    So what we use Hamam Dasta is for small chutneys, masalas and my favorite spice of all ‘Hing’.

  6. Hello Ranveer,

    It is very delight to see this and yes there is lot memories hided in that along with my mother.

    Still we have this in my home I used to use that (rolu – in telugu) for all recipies like mango chutney, to grind peanuts, to grind pulses to make vada and many more like this.

    In home we have two types one is rolu and another one is along with rokali banda

    Thanks for sharing this 😍

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