A Tsatsal is carved out of a single piece of wood usually left in natural colour. The carving on the spoon with nine symmetrical indentations forms a grid of three rows of three indentations each. Each of them is a four-sided pyramid into which the milk is poured. The flat bowl with its three-by-three grid pattern of indentations is the only element common to all these spoons. The grid (three down multiplied by three across) represent a sacred number to Mongolians, as do multiples of three. Three and nine are also significant numbers in Buddhism—and indicate the direct influence of Buddhist symbolism on many of these milk spoons.
The nine indentations of the sprinkling spoon symbolize the desire for health, the desire for material things, the desire for knowledge, the desire for communication, the desire for cohabitation, the desire for children, the desire for rest, the desire for sovereignty, and finally the desire for eternal life.