The problem with buying pre-ground spices is that by the time you get to use them, much of their aroma and flavor are already gone. Therefore, it is better to buy whole spices and grind them yourself. The process to do it is simple, and you can get it done with a spice grinder or a coffee grinder. This video shows you how.
However, the one thing that you see in the video is that a mix of several spices is being ground together. This would be ok if you are making a spice mix such as curry powder or garam masala. Otherwise, it is better to grind and store different spices separately. Spices such as coriander and cumin are used in powder form in many curry recipes and are the two best spices if you’re just starting to grind your own spices.
The same goes for cardamom seeds that add fragrance and flavor to desserts and hot drinks.
Bonus tips: Once you have toasted the spices, allow them to cool fully before you start to grind them. However, not every spice needs toasting before it is ground to a powder. It is better to do some research beforehand.
Another thing to take care is to maintain a low temperature while grinding. A spice that gets too hot during the grinding process will lose its flavor and health giving properties. For that reason, many people prefer to grind their spices using a mortar and pestle set, rather than an electric spice grinder.
Video credit: The New York Times YouTube channel.
You can grind India’s traditional garam masala at home with just a few ingredients. Read this: How To Make Traditional Garam Masala At Home