Sunday, January 24, 2010

Masala Dabba

The Masala Dabba, a traditional Indian spice box, is very utilitarian in Indian kitchens. A Masala Dabba is commonly found in almost all Indian kitchens.  I store large quantities of my spices in my pantry. If you missed the post about my pantry, please click here.
I use Masala Dabbas to store more commonly used spices, right next to my stove.  I use one Dabba to store whole spices to season my dishes and other one is used to store powders that I commonly use during my cooking process. A Masala Dabba is usually made with stainless steel and has seven smaller tins fits snugly in the outer box. You can open the lid and glance at all the spices at once, and I use tiny spoons to scoop out desired spices to use in my day-to-day cooking.

Whole spices are stored in one container.  The center container is filled with cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom.  Surrounding this container are red chilies, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, chenna dal, urad dal, and fenugreek seeds, which are used for seasoning vegetables and meat.

Another Masala Dabba is filled with my commonly used spice powders, such as turmeric, chilie powder, paprika, coriander powder, and cumin powder.


For more memorable tablescapes, entertaining ideas and recipes, please check out my book, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, at my website

Please check out Susan's Metamorposis Monday at


  1. My mouth is watering with the thoughts of delicious smelling spices toasting up in a pan. We have a lot of Indian restaurant locally in the Vancouver and surrounding areas. I can never duplicate their wonderful dishes even with a recipe. I think they always hold back a little secret or two. Lol.

  2. I love Indian food, and just looking at those spices makes my mouth water! They look lovely all tucked inside their containers.

    Thanks for sharing with Make it for Monday :)

  3. I can almost smell those wonderful spices! A masala dabba would be very handy right next to the cooktop, with my most often used spices...I wouldn't have to rummage through a bunch of jars.