The Kalukati

The Kalukati or Pangkalukad. It is a small contraption use to break open mature cashew seeds to get the white curly nuts. The tool composes of two parts. First is the metal base. It has narrow long groove along the middle which receives the cutting wedge. I think it also help hold the nut in position while cutting, in reinforcement of holding it with bare hand. One end is pointed and curved downward. A mean of fixing itself onto table. Quick removal for transfer to another more comfortable location or for storage. Another end has the fulcrum attached with the cutting wedge. The second is the cutting knife with a wooden handle.

kalukati not installed

Cashew seed breaking is done by placing the seed in between and pressing the knife down forcefully by hand. Of course, it should be cut along the nut breaking line. The white soft part of the seed should be facing up or down. After, the nut is then prick out by with pointed object, small kitchen knife or something similar.

Because it breaks the seeds into halves, the resulting nuts are also halves. If whole nuts are desired, another more sophisticated tool is required. This is so designed to cut only the thick seed coat followed by a twisting motion revealing a whole cotyledon. I never seen such in my recent travel to Palawan though.

It definitely look unhygienic because of the obvious stains, rusts and wooden handle. Stainless build is generally recommended. I like it though because of its old looking and rugged appearance. It might have collectors value after few years. Adding the fact that it is a made-to-order item. That was what they said to me. They could ask the blacksmith to made one for me if I would stay for few more days. Sorry, my schedule never allowed it. Besides, I was really eyeing for the old used one.

Usage requires wearing gloves. Hands dirt contaminating cashew is secondary thing. The seed sap is harmful to skin. Not sure the course of events but they assure it is painful.  Thicker gloves are recommended. The staff know very well that it could wound or even cut fingers if they are not careful. In case of accidents, the gloves are their only protection.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.