This will change your life.

Dear friends,

I know that’s a bold claim. Anything life-changing sounds too good to be true. Especially something as simple as a container. This container:

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But when you love to cook as much as I do and you spend any time at all in the kitchen, trust me when I tell you this little tin will change your life.

It’s called a Masala Dabba box and I learned about it from my friend Rama who recently gave me an Indian cooking lesson. Each large tin holds seven small tins and comes with a clear inner lid and a stainless outer lid. I noticed that Rama moved effortlessly around her kitchen because she had a couple of Masala Dabba boxes filled with spices on her prep counter.

Rama’s demonstration was in stark contrast to the way I cook. I rarely organize a mise en place, nor do I bother to pull all the spices out of my cabinet before I begin a recipe. Invariably, I’m foraging through my spice cabinet, yelling at Mr. Mom “Where’s the cumin?” or “Are we out of cinnamon?” It’s a rather herky-jerky approach to cooking that I’ve never seemed to overcome.

So as soon as I spied Rama’s Masala Dabba box, I realized my life would never be the same after I organized my spices. I ordered two last week, thinking I’d create an “Indian Spices” box and an “Italian Spices” box. But after labeling them and filling them yesterday, I realized I need a “Baking Spices” box, a “Chili/Mexican Spices” box, and maybe even a “Basics” box.

These tins easily stack in a cabinet or store in a drawer. So when you’re ready to cook, simply pull out one or more tin, remove the lid, and you’re ready to go.

Are you ready to change your life?

With gratitude {for friends with ingenious solutions to life’s challenges},

Joan, who graciously accepts your gratitude in advance for this life-changing tip because that’s what friends are for



  1. I’ve seen spice packets arranged specifically for a dish/meal on sale at the grocery store as well. I suppose on a smaller scale those are offering the same sort of instant “mise en place” only yours is customizable and infinitely flexible.

    Isn’t it funny how a new practice can revolutionize a process you’ve been engaged in for so long? It absolutely galvanizes everything when just the right piece of equipment is put into play. I felt the same way when I finally snagged a mortar and pestle and again when I got my first microplane.

  2. When I was in India, I remember the dabbawallahs delivering lunches in Mumbai — same kind of box only it held a hot lunch not spices.

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