If you’re making curry paste for Thai food, you might want to do it the traditional way-mortar and pestle-or you might decide you have a life and appreciate electronics. If so, nothing beats the KitchenAid Blade Coffee Grinder, which actually is the right size (compared to a food processor), and even has more oomph than the small ones. Even better, the metal bowl separates from the motor-base and goes into the dishwasher. Trust me: If you’re trying to grind up items as fibrous as lemon grass and galangal, you need a sharp and wickedly fast blade. Those Asian eggplants at the Farmers Market are looking mighty tasty right now.
By the way, this tip comes courtesy Chef Jet Tila, whom listeners of KCRW’s Good Food should know as an invaluable source for Asian cooking ideas. He’ll be teaching some classes right here in Santa Barbara at the end of August; check it out on the Cook It School Web site, cookitschool.com.