Masala Box | Spice Box | Vaggarne Dabbi | Tadka Dibba

A well arranged masala box, with all the essentials for everyday cooking
04/18/2018 10:13:24 PM vindhyadesai

Masala Box

Do you find yourself scampering around while cooking, looking around to find mustard, cumin, methi, pepper etc. A masala box or vaggarne dabbi or tadka dabba will come to your rescue. In many cuisines people have spice stands, boxes etc. But masala box is something very unique to Indian cuisine specially in Southern and Western parts of India.
It is generally a stainless steel box with multiple small containers like pigeon holes. These containers hold a small quantity of spices. In olden days, the masala box used to be made of copper or brass. Here I have described an easy way to fill up your masala box with some typical South Indian spices. It is a do it yourself activity, ready to make meals like mixed veg upma, lemon rice, to add tadka for chutneys etc.

You can also make the masala box as per your commonly used spices. Here I have shown the most common spices I prefer to have in my masala box like mustard (saasuve/rai), cumin(jeerige/jeera), asafoetida (ingu/hing), black pepper (kari kaalu menasu/kali mirch), broken red chilli (kempu mensinakayi/sabut lal mirch), black gram (uddina bele/urad dal), yellow dal (kadale bele/chana dal).
But you can also use spices like fenugreek (methi), sesame, panch phoran, bay leaves, shahi jeera, dalchini, ajwain etc. to fill your masala box. This post is just to give you an idea of what you can do with your masala box. Try to avoid staining ingredients like turmeric in your masala box to avoid having a mess on your hands.
Depending on number of small containers within your box plan to fill your box. Other spices not used regularly can be kept in separate small spices bottles. Masala box is the key to good aromatic food especially the great Indian cuisine!

Masala Box | Spice Box | Vaggarne Dabbi | Tadka Dibba
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A well arranged masala box, with all the essentials for everyday cooking
Author:
Recipe type: Homemade
Cuisine: Indian
Ingredients
  • 100 Gm mustard (saasuve/rai)
  • 100 Gm cumin(jeerige/jeera)
  • Asafoetida (ingu/hing) as required
  • 100 Gm black pepper (kari kaalu menasu/kali mirch)
  • 50 Gm broken red chilli (kempu mensinakayi/sabut lal mirch)
  • 100 Gm black gram (uddina bele/urad dal)
  • 100 Gm yellow dal (kadale bele/chana dal)
Method
  1. Start by cleaning your masala box, wash it and dry it well
  2. Make sure to have small spoons, individual spoons are best to avoid flavour mixing and contamination
  3. Fill mustard and cumin adjacent to each other, they are inseparable
  4. Next fill black pepper, strong and bold flavours
  5. Urad dal and chana dal can go in next 2 boxes
  6. If using crystal hing, pound into smaller pieces in mortar and pestle, and I keep this in the centre of my masala box. The heart of South Indian flavours
  7. Cut dry red chillies using a pair of kitchen scissors into smaller pieces. It's best to cut into smaller pieces so you do not waste the chillies, people fond of spice can eat them if they are small
  8. Lastly place small spoons in each holder and your box is ready. Ensure you can close the lid as well!
Notes
As mentioned earlier this box is an idea only, fill with any kind of spices you like

Clean your masala box from time to time to ensure fresh spices always

Try to buy a good sized box so you can fill a good quantity of spices

Masala Box Stepwise:
Start by cleaning your masala box, wash it and dry it well
Make sure to have small spoons, individual spoons are best to avoid flavour mixing and contamination
Fill mustard and cumin adjacent to each other, they are inseparable
Next fill black pepper, strong and bold flavours
Urad dal and chana dal can go in next 2 boxes
If using crystal hing, pound into smaller pieces in mortar and pestle, and I keep this in the centre of my masala box. The heart of South Indian flavours
Cut dry red chillies using a pair of kitchen scissors into smaller pieces. It's best to cut into smaller pieces so you do not waste the chillies, people fond of spice can eat them if they are small
Lastly place small spoons in each holder and your box is ready. Ensure you can close the lid as well!

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