The great Indian masala dabba or spice box is a cornucopia of color and flavor. It is bound to bring back a host of memories as it finds a prestigious place in every household. It contains all the imp[ortant spices that are typically used in Indian cuisine.
There was a time when spices lead to the exploration of uncharted territories. Indian spices were always considered to be exotic and wars were waged because of it. The strong smell of these spices can transport you to culinary heaven and the rich colors are akin to a kaleidoscope. the perfect seasoning for a hearty meal.
The masala dabba thus is passed down from generation to generation as a prized possession. It is a quintessentially Indian way of storing spices and keeping them handy. What is the need of keeping this dabba beside your stove? Well, you don’t need to hunt for it while the oil hits the perfect temperature. After all, we Indians need the perfect seasoning for a hearty meal.
The secret to mastering Ghar ka khana or cooking up a storm with exquisite recipes lies in that box. It is usually a round and deep stainless steel box that comes with a lid to keep the contents free from dirt while protecting the smell. Inside there are seven fitted bowls each containing a different spice. The art of cooking is in adding the right spices in quick succession so that the sounds make up its own orchestra. The popping of the mustard seeds or the sizzling of the cumin serves as the clarion call.
Modern kitchens may be graced by glass jars that are labeled neatly but there is something unique and special about the masala dabba. How else can you store the ground spices like coriander & cumin powder, garam masala, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and whole spices like black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, bay leaves, black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon quills, green Cardamom & Star anise? The contents might vary depending on the most common spices used in different parts of the country but the dabba remains constant.