Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Kitchen Pride: Traditional Vegetable Chopper and Grater/ Aadoli or Addoli

If there is one thing I miss in my kitchen time and again its this timeless piece of beautiful contraption - Aadoli or Addoli as called in Konkani ~ the traditional kitchen chopper and grater. This contraption is widely used in Southern regions of India and is easily available in local markets for $5-$10 in India. One can custom make it if one knows a good mason or carpenter. I spotted many in local markets from tiny palm sized to huge two-seater kinds. Today, convenience has preceded necessity so much so that you can tweak your contraption as per your needs, specification and requirements.

This is the picture of the Vegetable Chopper & Grater which my mom uses to this date. The blade which is the concentric black metal attached to the wooden plank is extremely sharp so kids and tiny tots were not allowed to hoover and jump around in the kitchen when Mom, Aunts and Grand moms were busy chopping with the kitchen gossip and numerous buzz-creating stories. The end of the blade has a round blade with a zig-zag finish. This serves as the grater and is abundantly used to grate coconuts and draw pearly white fresh grated coconut. One needs to sit on the wooden plank to chop and grate vegetables, coconut et al.

The blade plonked to this one in the picture is around 30-40 years old. Our old wooden plank perished long time back, so we got a new wooden plank done and attached the old blade which is still razor sharp and spic-and-span to a fault. No wonder, even after decades, my mother refuses to part with the blade and insisted for a new wooden plank to be made to suit this blade. Unfortuantely, international laws do not permit these contraptions to be carried out of the country hence I cannot get this chopper to US. Some contraptions as they say are timeless, and this one has stood the test of various cultures, generations, machinery revolution and yet is loved by many ladies who take great pride in their cosy woody chopper.


  1. Hi!
    I was wondering if you know for sure if this cannot be brought to the US from India. My mom will be coming soon and was planning to get one. Thankfully, I read your post and will now ask her to not get it!

  2. @ Manju -
    Thanks! As much as my experience goes, this cannot be bought into US. If Customs chooses to scan (random checking) and identifies it as a weapon, you are now allowed to take it. So the choice really lies with the passenger. I know few friends who took the risk and got them. In India, you get special Box Addoli where the Blade is removed and put in the box. The box is below the plank where one sits. Once you reach destination, you need to attach it back. I did not want to take the risk, moreover I don't use Addoli and use a Chef Knife now :)


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