Rural Life of the Last Century Part 11

Dr. Abdus Salam [email protected]


LAKHHA / TAILI (لکھا  تیلی)

Lakhhas (لکھا) or Taily pressed oil from oil seeds. They used traditional wooden oil mill (Ghaani) driven by donkey / bull. There was no lakhha in Malhuwala.

Ghaanis were installed in Jamia, Lahni (west) and Paar Noorani Masjids. It was thought a compulsory item for the masjid. There was only one masjid (Khokhar Mohalla) without Ghaani and they felt shy of it. Ghaani was made of single wood piece. These were operated on self-help basis by the people.


The oilseeds are held in a circular mortar made of wood. For the mortar, the trunks of hard woods are used. In the mortar, works an upright pestle which descends from angled piece. The bottom of angled piece is attached to a load-beam. One end of the load-beam moves around the outside of the barrel, while the other is yoked to the animal. The load-beam is weighted down with either heavy stones or seated kids. As the animal moves in a circular ambit, the pestle rotates, exerting pressure on the oilseeds.

 Cattle or buffalo, are blindfolded to avoid dizziness and distraction.

Drainpipe is unplugged after one hour the oil is collected into a vessel drop by drop.

  While the oilcake is still hot, it is prised out as thick slabs from the chest using a crowbar. Oilseeds yield about 5 percent less oil in a Ghani than in a modern expeller. Of course, time taken to press oilseeds is also much shorter.

To apply proper weight for pressing, kids used to sit on the horizontal load-beam of Ghaani. They enjoyed the ride. (Jhoota.جھوٹا). The capacity of these Ghaanis was three chaha چہا (seven Kilo) oil seeds. It yielded one liter oil. It took three hours to complete the process. The byproduct Khall (press cake or oil cake) served as animals feed. Khal of tills (تل) was very special food for men. It was normally eaten in the winter.

Fifty milliliters One chattank oil was given to Masjid as fee. For this purpose, a wooden measuring cup was available in the Masjids. The oil so given was used for clay oil lamps “Deeva” of Masjid. Oil surplus of the requirement of masjid was sold.

Taramera, Sarson (Mustard) & Sesame (Till) oil was extracted locally. Taramera oil (جماہں,Jamahn )is acrid (.unpleasantly bitter کوڑا ). To make it sweet it was boiled. This was the cooking oil of the past. It was used for pickling / cooking.

The second work of Lakhhas was that of Kashmiris in our village (Painja-Cotton Carder (Dhuniya).

Painja-Cotton Carder (Dhuniya)
Painja-Cotton Carder (Dhuniya) , Courtesy: Wikipedia

There is no Lakhhas community in Malhuwala, Gandakas and Herniali. The people of this community are in Kamrial, Pindi Gheb and other villages. Abdus Salam recollects on TAILI in Gandakas. He used to drive GHHANI by a Bull. His workplace was near Masjid. Lakha family is also called Taily. Rawalpindi Taily Mohallah is named after this community. They now prefer more decent title Parachas or Maliks.

Rural Life

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Dr. Abdus Salam -
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Rural Life of the Last Century Part 12

Thu Jul 14 , 2022
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Rural Life of the Last Century Part 12

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