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Rolling pin and slab

Contemporary Era, Asia

Bread is a staple foodstuff in many societies, and takes different shapes and forms depending on its use and culture. Alongside leavened bread, flatbread made of flour, water and salt is the most common, especially in Asia. Chapati, a circular flatbread made of wheat flour, is a staple in north-Indian cuisine and is often used instead of a fork or spoon to scoop up mouth-size bites.

The rolling pin and slab are traditional utensils and indispensable for making chapati. This example from the Museum collection is from the Punjab region and dates back to 1940 but such models are still in use today. The rolling pin, called 'belan' in Hindi, is made of wood and has two solid grips. The slab, called 'chakla', has a base and a round polished platform made of clay. Both instruments are easy to use: a small ball of dough is placed on the slab and gently patted flat with the palm of the hand. The pin is used to roll it out into a thin round before it is cooked on a 'tava', a metal griddle.


  • Type: Rolling pin and slab
  • Place of origin: India
  • Materials and techniques: Wood Terracotta
  • Date: 1940
  • Dimensions: Rolling Pin: 7.5 x 22 cm / Slab: 5.5 x 33 cm
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