I've been making recipes from Julie Sahni's book, and I seem to be running into the same problem with a lot of them. She often has you adding whole spices to a browned onions, letting them cook for only five minutes or so, then adding moisture in the form of yogurt, tomatoes, or both. Then she says to add the mixture to a food processor or a blender and puree until smooth. That's where I'm running into a problem. No matter how long I try to puree it, the whole spices (cardamom and whole coriander seeds mostly) just won't break down. I end up with sawdust-like grit throughout my puree. Granted, I have a cheap food processor and blender (both measly 500 watt motors), but I'm skeptical anything short of Vitamix is going to do it, if even that.
So my question is, if I had a better food processor would I be able to get the puree I want? What do Indian families use? I've seen these cool Indian blenders like the Preethi:
But notice it only has a 550 watt motor as well. And what's with the enormous base? All of the Indian blenders I've looked at have a bulging base like that. Does it provide better torque or something? It's curious that Sahni doesn't really talk much about blenders, and you'd think she would have if it was critical.
What about a wet grinder? I've never heard of anyone using a wet grinder to make any Indian dish but dosa though.
So if anyone can help, thanks much. I'm really frustrated about this. I suppose I could just toast and grind the spices before adding them, but I'd really like to make her recipes work as written.