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Novice Indian Cooking Question

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I'm just starting to dabble in Indian cooking and have noticed that recipes call for certain quantities of ground spice. I also understand that it's preferable to grind spices as needed. How do you know how much of a given whole spice will yield the desired amount of ground spice (eg. how much coriander or cumin seeds do you grind for, say, 1 tsp. of ground spice)? Is there a formula? Thanks. Btw, I'm using Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Cooking. Thanks!

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  1. This comes up fairly often on this board and everyone pretty much agrees to use a 1:1 ratio.

    2 Replies
    1. re: King of Northern Blvd

      How would you know what 1 tsp. of whole spice is, until you have ground it ???

      1. re: nyfoodjoe

        Well .. I've tested and have always been a bit surprised that King of NB's formulation appears to work. If, for example, I need a tsp of ground allspice, I generally have found that grinding a tsp of allspice berries (I use a Krups coffee grinder) yields a tsp of ground allspice.

        Perhaps it works because generally smaller seeds (like cumin) will fit fairly tightly while with larger seeds (like allspice) you'll start with a heaping full measuring spoon that will grind down to a level full measuring spoon. The exception to this rule: nutmeg!