Here's my contribution to Sam's Utensibility meme. Although I admittedly have more than my fair share of appliances (due to registering at Williams-Sonoma a few years back), most of them seem to exist to gather dust and take up storage space. When I cook, I love getting my hands dirty, feeling the connection with the raw materials. I prefer earthenware cazuelas, cast iron pans, carbon steel knives, wooden cutting boards, my trusty mortar and pestle.
But there is one exception to my Luddite tendencies: my Sumeet Multi Grind. Because my wife is of Indian origin, we cook a lot of her family's specialties, including curries, chutneys and idli sambar. These recipes require a lot of grinding of wet and dry ingredients, ideally with little added water. These demands have resulted in the death of several blenders. Then I discovered this lovely contraption, made in India and imported through Canada. It reduces ginger, garlic, herbs, soaked grains and legumes to a perfect puree in seconds, with only a splash of additional water. It's especially invaluable when making my wife's cilantro-mint chutney for tomato, cucumber and chutney tea sandwiches (I'll supply a recipe when juicy heirloom tomatoes come into season). It also makes great pesto and other herb purees when you don't feel in the mood to pound out your aggressions with a mortar and pestle.
I bought mine at the Berkeley branch of Sur la Table about 5 years ago, but I couldn't find it on their website. It costs about $90 and should be available through the manufacturer's website linked above. Highly recommended!