Utilitarian stoneware of the highest excellence is made in Salem district and in the region between Pondicherry and Cudallore in Tamil Nadu. The items made are vessels for storage, serving dishes, mortar and pestle, bowls and ornamented single-wick lamps. These items are made with the use of hammer and chisel and are turned on the lathe. Utensils made of soapstone, which is a soft light gray colour with a cool smooth texture, are perfectly suited to store buttermilk, milk and curds. It is also the preferred vessel for cooking food that uses tamarind and lime.
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