How to Toast and Grind Spices

Simon Majumdar


Freshly ground spices help build layers of flavor in cooking.

How to Toast and Grind Spices 06:05

Simon Majumdar

Freshly ground spices help build layers of flavor in cooking.

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time Serving Size

The Steps

  1. 1. Set the pan over the lowest possible heat. Add the desired spice to the pan. Using your fingertips or a spoon, move the spice around the pan to prevent it from burning. Be careful not to burn the spice, as it will become bitter and inedible. Monitor the toasting process by smelling the spice. 01:38

  2. 2. Pour the toasted spices into the base of a spice grinder. Attach the top and press down to start the motor. Pulse for a few seconds, check the texture, and continue grinding until the desired consistency is achieved. 03:58

What You'll Need


- Electric spice grinder
- Sauté pan


- Various whole spices

Chef Notes

If you don’t have the time to toast and grind spices at home, there are many good brands of pre-ground spices available. Whether whole or pre-ground, it is essential to keep the spices as fresh as possible. The longer a spice is stored, the more likely it is to lose flavor. Simon recommends storing spices in the freezer, as this allows them to keep their flavor for longer periods of time.

Simon recommends grinding the spices separately, as they have different consistencies and flavors.

Toasting and grinding spices will yield significantly more flavor than untreated spices. Toasting helps coax flavor out of the spice. Grinding increases surface area. The smaller a spice is cut, the more surface area it will have. This allows the spice to release more oils and flavor into the overall dish.


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Chef Simon Majumdar

Los Angeles

At the age of 40, Simon began having a midlife crisis. He quit his publishing job and set off on a journey across 31 countrie... read more