The mortar and pestle are ancient tools still used to crush, pulverize and mix herbs, grains and spices. Though you can purchase pre-ground herbs and spices, fresh foods prepared with a mortar and pestle are healthier, more aromatic and richer in flavor. Mortars and pestles are available at most kitchen supply stores, but you can save money by making your own.
Soak a rock in bleach and rinse it, or wrap a clean rock in plastic wrap. This will prevent any bacteria on the rock from getting into your food.
Place your herbs, spices or grains in your bowl. If using a wooden bowl, double line it with plastic wrap before crushing strong-flavored herbs and spices. The goal is to prevent the bowl from absorbing these flavors.
Smash your food inside the bowl by bringing your rock down upon it. Continue until you have ground your food or have pulverized it to your liking.