Aztec cooking tools

Before the Spanish came

Comalli
Aztecs cooked on a clay disc on three stones over a fire and stored food in clay pots

Traditional Comal

The traditional comal native of Mexico is basically a disk or oval medium-sized plane (about 30 cm ) made ​​of ceramic fired, placed on three or four stones (called Tenamaxtl├ín ), which serve to provide support and to turn fire and coals just below the pan.

Molcajete y Tejolote


Diego Delgado, "The word molcajete (mortar) derives from Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs: “molli” (seasoning or sauce) and “caxitl” (bowl). The word tejolote (pestle) also derives from Nahuatl: “tetl” (stone) and “xolotl” (doll)." 
Foods traditionally prepared in the molcajete include salsas and mole's (mohl-LAY), as well as guacamole. It is also used for grinding chilies, garlic or other herbs and spices for food preparation. 

About Basalt / Lava Stone 
The best quality molcajetes are made from basalt / lava stone with the lowest possible sand content. This stone can have a very fine-grain, smooth feel (see painted pig below) or a very rough-texture. The coarser textured stone (like the example at the top of this page, and the bull and pig below) is made up of basalt with granite, feldspar and quartz mixed in. This stone is hard rough and makes a good grinding surface. Read more about volcanic stone. 

Inexpensive Molcajetes 
You may find very inexpensive molcajetes on the web. These molcajetes have a very "rounded appearance" with pear or cone-shaped pestles. They are softer and easier to carve and thus less expensive. Unfortunately they are terribly sandy and no matter how you may try to cure them they will always be sandy. They are also typically very shallow so they don't have a very usable capacity. These pieces are fine for decoration or serving only but we don't recommend using them as a preparation or grinding tool. (Also, see our warning about fake molcajetes)