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It’s important to check your mortar and pestle regularly for small cracks since they can trap food and breed germs. All you can do in this case is discard them. After use, give the mortar and pestle a good rinse in warm water (and a little detergent if you’ve been using particularly pungent ingredients). Pounding a little uncooked rice after rinsing and drying the mortar and pestle helps remove residual odours.
Part of many women’s education in South East Asian countries is the art of creating pretty and colourful garnishes for meals with fruit and vegetables.