What appliance or gadget for making ginger-garlic paste? Maybe also for grinding whole spices?

cilucia | Oct 29, 201409:47 AM     9

Hello! This is an indian-specific question, I suppose. I did search through some prior posts, but didn't quite find an answer. I'm going to write a long post so I can give as much detail as possible... thanks in advance for reading through it and providing your input!!

Two needs:

(1) creating small amounts of ginger-garlic paste (raw ginger, garlic and oil)

(2) grinding whole spices (cumin seed, coriander seeds, etc.)

What I have tried, and why I'm not satisfied with the methods:

Starting with (2), grinding whole spices,

(a) Proctor Silex E160BY Fresh Grind Coffee Grinder - I like the size and retractable cord, but find it does a poor job of grinding whole coriander seeds. I always have to sieve the result, otherwise I end up with coriander seed shells in my curry. I don't mind having something solely for the purpose of grinding spices, but it is a bit annoying that the plastic dome is permanently stained with spices and smells like the spices too (i.e., there's no way I could grind anything else in there without it picking up the same flavor). I have tried the rice trick, but it doesn't work that effectively.

(b) Mortar and pestle - I have a smallish one, but the spices always come flying out. I presume it's because I need a large one, but I don't really want to go down this route because of size and effort.

Back on (1), making small amounts of ginger-garlic paste (I only make curry twice a month or so, and have wasted large batches of the paste that I've made in hopes of it keeping well in the fridge). I'd prefer to just be able to make small amounts, fresh, as needed.

(a) Vitamix - this is awful for small amounts (think 4 cloves of garlic and a 1 inch knob of garlic), as it all gets thrown into the four corners of the container. Plus, it is a pain to get the small amount out from the base.

(b) Black & Decker 1.5 cup mini food processor - I already got rid of this. It always threw the garlic and ginger to the edges and didn't mince it fine enough. I also hated cleaning it (because of adding oil to it to facilitate the processing).

(c) Microplane zester - I don't mind this in a pinch, but I don't like wasting the nubs of the garlic or ginger (or alternatively grating off my finger nails), and it's a pain to get the ginger fibers out of the zester afterwards. It's a bit more time consuming than I like. I also dislike my garlicky smelling fingers (even after rubbing them against stainless steel...)

(d) Knife/hand mincing - What I'm actually defaulting to right now, but my paste is not so much a paste as it is tiny tiny cubes. Also, a bit time consuming to do every time.

What I'm considering:

(a) An immersion blender (Bamix seems the most popular) with a mincing attachment or mini food processor attachment.

(b) A Magic Bullet / Ninja equivalent

(c) A higher quality 1.5 cup food processor.

Do any of these three options sound ideal for my tasks (or both)? Do the mini food processor attachments that come with immersion blenders work better than a dedicated mini food processor? Is there something else I haven't considered?

Thank you!!

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