Indian mixers: the shocking true story!
November 15, 2008 4:19 PM   Subscribe

Do I want an Indian mixer?

It looks like Indian mixer-grinders (mixies?) can do much more than American blenders, and maybe more than food processors. Is this right? Do I want one? Are they useful? What do you do with yours? How do they work with, say, hummus? (And tips on where to get one in the U.S. for not too much are also welcomed).
posted by dilettante to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
I think the biggest difference is that mixies tend to have much more power. They seem closer to power tools than kitchen devices.

I have a Preethi mixie with stainless steel jars and I really, really love it. I'm actually trying to find extra jars for it, since they work so well as short-term storage (grind and keep). I also like the fact the machine is pretty compact. Those "food processors" with all the attachments always strike me as clumsy and wasteful, like the SUV's of kitchen appliances.

In addition to the usual "blender" functions, I use my mixie for grinding big jars of masala and also for making pulp out of otherwise useless coconut flesh, which I imagine are among its traditional uses anyway. In the less-traditional vein, it also makes excellent margaritas and smoothies from ice cubes, which some blenders just refuse to do without whining.
posted by rokusan at 6:02 PM on November 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

I am an Indian and could not live without my mixie (I don't think I could ever get used to calling it a mixer or grinder). I brought a top of the line model with me from India to the US -- Preethi Chef Pro Plus. It's great as it has several different bowls for various users. You could probably go with a cheaper model with fewer features though since I mainly use only the biggest metal bowl and the small metal bowl. It also comes with a fruit juice extractor that I've never used since I prefer to consume my fruits whole. I use it pretty much every single day. Some of the things I use it for:
Making pastes such as garlic/ginger paste, chutneys or pesto. I've not tried it on hummus yet but I used to make hummus using my parents' one at home in India and it worked fine.
Grinding dry spices into a powder.
Making crushed ice drinks like margaritas
Making milkshakes
"Grating" cauliflower: Some dishes I make call for grated cauliflower. I quickly got sick of grating raw cauliflower and just threw all the florets into the mixie. It worked really well.
Pureeing soups
Grinding coconut
Really, just about anything in the way of savory cooking. It's not meant to mix doughs or anything like that and you might find that a blender works better for drinks (though I don't have a blender and find it to perform fine for those as well). Also I haven't quite mastered the art of making an emulsion in it, so I generally use a whisk for that. I did make mayonnaise in the one at home in India a couple times though. Please ask if you have any other questions.
posted by peacheater at 6:06 PM on November 15, 2008 [3 favorites]

I have to agree with rokusan about how powerful mixies are -- you just throw something in there and seconds later it's completely pulverised. It's a wonderful feeling.
posted by peacheater at 6:09 PM on November 15, 2008

This looks like a small-quantity food Cuisinart (food processor), no? I often wish I had one of those when making Indian foods that require grinding, as smaller quantities get "lost" under the Cuisinart blade. I'll usually end up grinding by hand in a mortar and pestle if the quantity is too small for the Cuisinart.
posted by rxrfrx at 8:50 PM on November 15, 2008

Update: I got one for Xmas (had a late Xmas for practical reasons). Now to figure out how best to make hummus with it!

I will have to be very, very careful what I say out loud to whom close to Xmas time - this one is much, much nicer than I'd buy for myself.
posted by dilettante at 11:58 AM on December 28, 2008

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