Sunday, January 25, 2015

Decorating Creatively

The star of my post today is the modest mortar and pestle or the "Sil Batta" (in Hindi). Wait ! I promise you it is going to be a decor related post. But first, let us revisit how the (now disappearing) sil batta was an indispensable tool in the traditional Indian kitchen. It was predominantly used to prepare fresh spice mixes for cooking. I remember my nani using a sil batta to make masalas for curries. She preferred the sil batta to the electric mixer and grinder as the natural oils and the flavor essences that are contained in the herbs or spices were kept intact. She explained to me that by choosing the convenience of an electric grinder, one was not only compromising on the aroma but also the taste as the herbs and spices tend to get over heated with the grinder blades being operated at high speeds. So no surprises there why nani's food is so sought after and cannot be replicated.

A couple of days ago, a brand new mortar and pestle, replaced my old stainless steel mortar. I did not have the heart to throw the old one away and came up with this idea of using it as a vase! Anyone who has been a reader of TECD long enough knows of my infatuation with flowers and finding unconventional containers as vases to house them. I have two different versions to share with you'll - the first one, an antique brass mortar in a traditional ethnic setting and the second, a stainless steel mortar in a more eclectic-modern  setting.
A bunch of red roses packed tightly into the antique brass mortar look stunning ! To complete this vignette, I've paired a Green Aventurine Natural Stone Ganesha statue with a Ravi Varma's " Yashoda & Krishna" oleograph. A couple of bead malas ( like the rudraksha, lotus seeds and the sandal wood), I picked up from a street vendor in Malleshwaram (Bangalore) add textural charm to the vignette.
For this vignette, I have a cluster of deep maroon colored mums tucked into my stainless steel mortar. Then I went ahead and paired it with my favorite Buddha. When you actually think of it, teal and maroon seems like a dubious combination. But I like the looks of it. What say ? 
No matter which style you choose, the bottom line is, be creative and make the things you've got, work for you !

Images: Clicked by Sruthi Singh. Please do not use without prior written permission. 
Images are the property of Sruthi Singh and subject to copyright. 


  1. As usual, outstanding! Your pictures, your vignette & your creativity!

  2. Please tell me where you found your Buddha. I have fallen in love with it and cannot rest until I find one for myself too. The white and teal blue is perfect for my home too.


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