Traditionally in India, spices powders are ground as needed. This ensures they are fresh, potent and fragrant. The special touch this adds to a dish is incomparable. It may seem like a lot of work but really isn't if you have the right tools. All you need (for dry spice grinding) is a clean, dry coffee grinder.
When buying a coffee grinder to use for spices, dont spend too much as once it has been used for the spices, you cannot grind coffee in it. To help you find the right one, Ive selected a few coffee grinders based on their popularity (and subsequent ratings and reviews) with users. Take your pick:
Though it is a bit expensive (from $69), this one has 16 grind settings, a 60-second timer with auto-stop facility, commercial grade solid conical steel burrs which can be removed for easy cleaning. Because it has the "slowest grinding speed in its class", this grinder creates less friction and heat build up therefore preserving maximum aroma and flavor (heat causes flavor breakdown in spices and makes them release their aroma). You can grind up to 4 ounces of spices at a time in this model.
This small, compact grinder has a 160-watt motor and can grind up to 3 ounces of spices, nuts or grains at a time with its stainless steel blades. The lid activated safety switch means the grinder won't work unless securely closed. This model does not have adjustable grind settings or a timer, but is the perfect (and therefore popular) example of a grinder that does the job for not too much money - from $15. It comes with a limited 1-year warranty.
This grinder has a stainless steel housing and removable (for easy cleaning) stainless steel bowl and blades. Its 175-watt motor can grind up to 3.17 ounces of spices at a time. The safety interlock on/off switch won't work unless the lid is on correctly. Measurement markings mean you can grind precise amounts of spices when you need them!
This model has a 150-watt motor so it grinds up to 2.5 ounces of spices quickly to prevent overheating and loss of flavor and aroma. You can measure spice amounts thanks to the graduated measuring scale on the transparent lid. It also has stainless-steel blades, a safety on/off switch and cord storage. It comes in two colors - black and white - with a 1-year limited warranty and costs from about $18.
This grinder has a 4 ounce capacity and a powerful 200-watt motor with pulse control. Other features include grind settings, a removable stainless steel grinding container, stainless steel blades and a graduated cover for easy measuring. It also has a dual interlock safety system which prevents the blades from working until top cover is locked on to the bowl. This model comes in three colors - black, white and red and costs from around $25.96.