I have tried using my Hamilton Beach but it doesn't do a good job when I try to grind less than 2 cups or when I try to combine wet and dry ingredients like coriander seeds and grated coconut, for example.
Here's a few suggestions. Comment away if you have used one of these products, or if you have other ideas for Nisha.
• Try the old blender and jar trick. Most blenders, especially older models, are designed to allow you to screw a standard glass Mason jar upside down onto the base. This smaller capacity jar effectively turns your blender into a mini food processor. You can see a picture of the setup at Simply Recipes.
• The Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus has a 3-cup bowl and while this may still be too big for some spice pastes, it seems to do better than comparable models in blending wet and dry ingredients.
• The Moulin Wet and Dry Grinder is like a mini blender designed for both wet and dry grinding.
• This Revel Wet and Dry Grinder with a removable, washable bowl also looks promising.