Masala Dabba – You Know You Want One

Over the past few weeks I’ve been researching different spices and discovering many new facts about them.  As a result of all this research, I have a new search underway.  I’m looking for my very own masala dabba.  You can find a masala dabba filled with 7 favorite spices in almost every Indian kitchen.  If you haven’t guessed by now, a masala dabba is an Indian spice box.

Masala dabbas are round and usually made of stainless steel, aluminum, or some other type of lightweight metal.  Every so often you will find one in plastic, but it’s not usual.  Seven smaller containers are housed inside the main spice box.  These smaller container s are called dibbis and each of them can often hold 1/3 of a cup of dried spice.

There are typically two lids for the masala dabba.  The first is an inner lid that seals the dibbis closed, but it could also be individual lids for each dibbi.  The 2nd lid is made of the same material as the main box.  The lid is often flat with a handle that bends inward instead of sticking out to allow stacking of multiple spice boxes.  Fantastic idea, in my opinion.

Now what 7 spices should I put in my masala dabba once it is acquired?  Right now I’m working on a rough draft of spices to include so it could change completely.  Here is what I have so far.

  1. cumin
  2. garlic
  3. ground red chili powder (hopefully homemade if I can snag a few from a friends’ garden this summer)
  4. salt
  5. cilantro
  6. paprika
  7. something new that I haven’t tried before 🙂

I know it sounds somewhat boring but these are my go-to spices for now.  The new spice has yet to be discovered by me, but I’m planning a field trip to the spice store this weekend so maybe as soon as next week I can tell you what the secret spice will be!  Stay tuned!  If you have any suggestions, let me know!