S is for SHIL-NORA
It weighs a ton though I have imagined carrying it abroad with me more than once.
On Sundays, our complex opens its doors to the many vendors who come around singing out their various ads. One of them is the stone grinder, who chisels designs like fish motifs into the pointy end of the stone so that it can once again give optimum performance.
Indrani Sen wrote a paragraph in the Guardian Observer (11/19/06) that best seems to capture how the shil-nora makes its presence in the kitchen:
Kneeling beside Rani-di as the morning sun warmed the patio, I learned how to use the shil nora to grind the essential pastes of Bengali cooking - onion, ginger, dried red chilli, garlic, cumin and coriander. She showed me how to roll the mortar back and forth on the pocked stone slab, pausing to reposition the paste with wet fingertips.
Labels: shil-nora bengal kitchen