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Dec 7, 2011 04:54 AM

Masala Dabba recommendations?

I'm thinking of getting a masala dabba--one of those round metal containers that holds 7 or so smaller round spice tins inside. Here's an Amazon example:

It would be for myself and maybe also for gifting. Are there quality or function issues that I should be aware of?

We do have an Indian grocer here, and they might have one, and probably cheaper. But if Indian grocers are like Chinese ones around here, they won't be keeping higher quality cookware items on the shelf. I'm just not sure if qualities matter much in this case. Thanks for any tips.

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  1. Hmmmm...been looking at these myself. Having been in Indian homes both in India and here, I would say that most are of the type you'd see in an indian grocery shop. You can find a few more expensive ones, and if you do a search on google under vintage or antique, you can sometimes find a truly beautiful one, but really, if it is just something you use everyday, I'd feel good enough to buy at a local shop.

    1. I get mine from India, but I know Cost Plus World Market sells them. They are nice quality too.

      1. I've wondered about these -- but was concerned that lack of contained/airtight containers for each spice would lead to the aromas mixing in with each other..

        Do you think this is a problem?


        3 Replies
          1. re: iyc_nyc

            Unless you're going to be using the spices you keep in it every day the way a S Asian cook would, yes, I think it would be a problem.

            1. re: MikeG

              I'm trying to add spices to my diet for better health and variety. For example, I really dislike cauliflower in general but, I have eaten some vegetarian Indian cauliflower that I really liked. Chickpeas are another I'm trying to add to my diet so, I need to find a way to spice and jazz them up. The street food I had in Dubai showed what can be done with simple healthy ingredients when you have a good spice rack and some knowledge about how to use them.

          2. Any recommendations for where to purchase a good quality unit? I'm probably going to "test drive" a cheap one from a local source (assuming I can find one) before I order one on-line to get a good quality model. I want something that won't easily dent and has NO SHARP edges to cut me (which is a common experience with the local ethnic grocery store options).


            p.s. I'm trying to duplicate some of the the tasty things I had at so I have some mideastern spices coming in addition to more common Indian spices.