If you are a fan of Indian cuisine, then you must know that Masala Dabbas are the foundation of it, as the aromatic spices in it can transform any bland dish into a tasty meal. Indian spices can give life to even the simplest ingredients.

Indian spice box or masala dabba is an essential and functional element in almost every Indian kitchen. So, you should definitely have it if you love cooking Indian food more frequently. This spice dabba is a prized heirloom for our grandmothers & mothers. 

Masala Dabba:

Masala Dabba, AKA Spice Box, is generally a circular spice box that is a deep, lidded stainless steel container, fitted with seven bowls, each filled with different basic spices. Usually, a spice box bowl holds about a half-cup of particular spice that you will have to replenish every few weeks. Spices lose their flavor and aroma rather quickly, particularly ground ones, and so this practice is the best to keep the spices fresh. Most cooks store larger stocks in airtight containers, keeping only small amounts in the box.

We can say that the secret to mastering Indian-style cooking lies in that box. Cooking Indian food is tricky, and timing is the key, so having all the necessary spices in one box makes cooking Indian food seem less intimidating. The whole idea behind having a spice box is that you set the box beside your pot so that you’re not scrambling and looking for different spice containers while tempering the spices in oil. 

Most Indian dishes begin by heating oil, then adding small amounts of spices in quick succession, so the mustard seeds pop, cumin seeds sizzle, and turmeric and red chili powders lose their raw edge without burning. And to make that happen, the temperature of oil has to be right, so having a spice box on hand is the most efficient and practical way of accessing the required spices- Open one box, and everything you might need is right there.

Common Spices in Masala Dabba:

The assortment of these spices included in the spice dabba varies from region to region and from family to family according to their convenience, but there are some common spices that you will find in almost every masala tin in every household. Here are some of them:

  • TurmericTurmeric is a bright yellow, healing spice that is a staple in every Indian dish. Turmeric powder adds a peppery-woody taste and a deep golden color to curries. 
  • Chili Powder: Yet another popular spice in Indian food. Indian dish is incomplete without a good chili powder. Some prefer Kashmiri Mirchi Powder, while some prefer regular Mirchi powder. Chili powder adds a bright red hue that adds natural food coloring and smoky flavor. 
  • Cumin SeedsCumin seeds or Jeera is an essential ingredient for the tempering process. It adds nutty, warm flavors and dimension to the dish. 
  • Mustard SeedsMustard seeds are mostly used for the tempering process as well. Similar to cumin seeds, mustard seeds also add a pungent, nutty flavor to many dishes, from curries to chutneys to pickles to salads. 
  • Coriander PowderCoriander powder has a hint of citrus and adds earthy notes to the Indian dishes. Ground cumin & coriander powder are popular because they add texture to dishes and can be tasted with each & every bite.
  • AsafoetidaAsafoetida AKA Hing has a raw, pungent smell that mellows into a musky aroma, adding smooth, umami flavors to the dish. Usually, a very small amount of hing is added as the small amount goes a long way. 
  • Garam Masala: People also add one spice blend in their masala dabba, be it a garam masala or kitchen king masala. They are both blends of different spices that give warmth and depth to dishes. The spices are first roasted and then ground together. Some people make these spice blends at home, while like to purchase them from online stores or grocery stores.


Some people also add black pepper to their spice box. Black pepper powder imparts intense aroma, depth, and heat to foods, which makes it an integral spice and a must-have in your pantry.

So, if you are planning to cook Indian food on daily basis, you must/should have this kind of Dabba filled with aromatic spices. 

Fill up your Masala Dabba with 100% authentic and fresh spices from Vasant Masala. We are dedicated to providing you with the spices that are as pure as your mother's love, standing with our commitment to "SHUDDHATA AISI, MAMTA JAISI."

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