Wet grinder tips, How to choose table top wet grinders
Choosing a wet grinder to buy can be confusing. You have to decide between a 3 stone vs 2 stone wet grinder or a tilting wet grinder vs table top wet grinder. In this page we will guide you on how to choose the best wet grinder for your needs.
Now a days Wet grinder comes with many extra attachments like Coconut Grater and Atta Kneader or Chapatti dough mixing. Dough mixing may be useful if you plan to make chapattis for a party, but for a small household to make a few chapattis it may be easier to knead the dough by hand. The main problem of making the chapatti dough in the wet grinder is the tough job assembling and after that the cleaning of the wet grinder.
3 stone wet grinder Vs 2 stone wet grinder
The advantage of having a 3 stone wet grinder is that the grinding job gets done faster. This is because there is more grinding surface of the stone rubbing against the idli dosa batter. But you are talking about a few minutes saved. The smoothness of the batter, whether made in a 3 stone or 2 stone wet grinder will be the same, only difference is that you may have to grind about 5 to 10 minutes more in the 2 stone grinder to get the same smooth idli dosa batter.
Tilting wet grinder vs non tilting wet grinder
The advantage of having a tilting wet grinder is that it is easy to pour out the idli dosa batter from the wet grinder drum with you having to lift the drum and pour it into a vessel. This could be very advantageous if the capacity of the drum is large like over 2 liters. After emptying the wet grinder drum, you need to clean the drum and stones, and for this the drum and stone has to be carried to the kitchen sink. So the only advantage with a tilting wet grinder is that you do not have to carry the drum with the batter inside. Thus it is not a major advantage to have a tilting wet grinder. Apart from this there is always the chance of the tilting mechanism not to work properly.
Locking the wet grinder stone with swing arm assembly Vs Screw Knob
There are two methods of locking the rolling stone piece to the drum of a wet grinder. One method is to screw a knob down to fix the stone rollers inside the wet grinder drum. The stone rollers, because they are not heavy, require the assistance of a spring to press down with force on the base of the grinder drum to enable proper grinding of the rice and dal in the idli dosa mix. So the knob is spring loaded and as you screw down the knob, the spring acts with greater force on the stone rollers. The problem here is that the spring is quite strong and you need to use a lot of force to tighten that knob to get the stone roller fixed on the wet grinder base drum.
The second method of fixing the stone rollers on the wet grinder is by having what is called the swing arm assembly. This is like a lever which will press the stone roller down with a spring and the lever locks in place. The advantage of the swing arm assembly to lock wet grinder stone rollers is that you can use both arms, one to press down on the lever and the other to twist and spring load the stone rollers. This is much easier than trying to tighten a spring loaded knob. The video below show how the swing arm assembly works in a wet grinder.
The video below demonstrates how to use a table top wet grinder. The table top wet grinder shown in the video is made by ELGI Group in Coimbatore and the model is 'Ultra PERFECT+' table top wet grinder. Elgi Ultra Industries Limited, Coimbatore is reputed to be the first company to make table top wet grinders. Their table top wet grinders under the 'Ultra' brand is one of the most popular brand of wet grinders in India.
How dosa idli batter made before elctric wet grinders
Many of the younger generation may not know how idli dosa batter was made before the advent of the electric wet grinders. The video below shows how idli dosa maavu or batter was made in India for 100s of years till the electric wet grinder was invented.
Me, the author and owner of this website, may have been part of the team that made the first electric wet grinder, as explained further down on this page.
As mentioned above, I was part of the team that made, may be the very first electric idli/dosa wet grinder. In 1965, while studying for my Mechanical Engineering Degree in REC (Regional Engineering College, now NIT - National Institute of Technology), we put the big stone idli-dosa grinder used in our hostel mess (or canteen) on a wooden platform, which in turn was mounted on an old scrapped car wheel rim with ball bearings. The car wheel rim was driven with a canvas belt and an electric motor. The top smaller grinding stone was placed inside a ring fixed on a cantilever beam and could rotate freely on its axis. The smaller grinding stone was positioned slightly slanting in the hole of the base grinding stone which was rotated by the electric motor.
After several trial and error runs we finally had this machine running and our mess (canteen) idlis were made with this contraption for some time. The story goes that one of our Tamilian students took this idea to Coimbatore and started to make similar machines there. I personally believe, this led to the evolution of the modern day table top wet grinder.