Granite Mortar and pestle

The mortar or batu lesung is used for crushing and pounding everything from candlenuts to lemongrass, breaking up large pieces and releasing flavours. The batu lesung is generally believed to be Malay in origin. It is often said that in the old days, matchmakers and prospective mothers-in-law would conspire to visit the homes of eligible young ladies in the mid-morning, while the lunch meal was being prepared, just so they could listen to the sound of the girl working at the mortar. The sound of the pounding would indicate if the girl was a good cook.