It is recommended when roasting whole spices in Indian cooking to cool them before grinding into a powder. Why do you need to wait for the spices to cool and what happens if you don’t?

1 Answer 1


The reason to wait is that warm spices tend to clump when grinding, and the cooling step should help avoid this. I have a bladed coffee grinder that I use as a spice grinder. I rarely wait for toasted spices to cool. Sometimes they do clump in the grinder. I don't find it a problem, and just wipe out the ground, but sometimes stuck spices.

  • I didn’t have any clumping when I grinded the spices so I’m good to go? Want to make sure it’s not going to affect the final taste Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 12:15
  • 2
    I would say, good to go....I don't worry too much about it....maybe with the exception of grinding a lot at once, where a lot of steam will be generated. But we are talking cups, rather then the small amount for one dish.
    – moscafj
    Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 13:15
  • 2
    @BigBrownBear00 It depends on how much moisture is in your hard spices. If you have fresh cumin, for example, it will have a reasonable amount of moisture in it and, while still hot, if you grind it, that hot moisture can come out more readily as steam, creating a humid environment in the cool grinder and causing the spices to clump. If your spices aren't clumping when ground hot it could be that they're just a bit stale and have dried out already, or it could be that you roasted them for so long that there's not a lot of moisture left in them.
    – J...
    Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 19:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.