Preparation of gomashio (gomasio - sekihan seasoning) with sesame seeds and salt in Suribachi (Japanese streak mortar). Top view.
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Herbs lend flavor to bland foods and enhance foods with stronger flavor profiles and grinding those herbs to a powder helps release the flavors. In some recipes, even minced dried herbs may be too large for the dish's texture. Whether you have dried herbs from your garden or you have whole-leaf herbs from the store, grinding them will pack some zing in your next dish.

Mortar and Pestle

Measure 1 to 2 tablespoons of dried herbs into the bottom of a mortar.

Place the pestle in the bowl and begin grinding. Firmly press the pestle into the bottom and sides of the bowl to crush the herbs.

Continue crushing until you have a fine, even powder.

Place the powdered herbs in a separate container and label accordingly.

Coffee Grinder

Measure 2 to 4 tablespoons of dried herbs into the container of a coffee grinder or spice mill.

Secure the lid on top of the grinder.

Pulse the blade to grind the herbs for 15 to 30 seconds. Remove the lid after grinding to check the consistency of the herbs. Replace the lid and continue to pulse until they are ground into a fine powder.


To dry fresh herbs, gather them in bunches, tie the bunches with string and hang them upside down in a cool, dry spot indoors that has good air circulation.
Use a spoon to help dislodge herb particles that have caked up in sections of your grinder. Clean your spice mill or grinder after you use it by grinding a couple of crackers in it and then wiping out the container with a damp paper towel. The spice residue adheres to the crackers so no trace flavors of the herbs remain in the grinder.


Don't add too many herbs into the grinder at one time. Empty the ground herbs before grinding another batch.