I happen to be fortunate enough to live in a city with tons of Indian restaurants and, more importantly for my adventures in desi cooking, stores. I can very easily pick up cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili powder, or anything else a recipe calls for.
While I was in India, I posted on Facebook that one of my New Year’s resolutions was to learn to cook Indian food. My uncle, who is also an Indophile who cooks, told me that I would have to get myself a nice “masala dabba.” I had to Google it to find out what that was.
Ooh, masala dabbas are pretty. I mentioned this to mother-in-law, who heartily agreed that I needed one. As we went to various outdoor markets in New Delhi, we looked for one. The only one we found was steel. “You’ll never be able to get it open,” she warned me. “You have to get plastic.” So we didn’t buy it.
Fast forward – I’m back home in the U.S. and I want a dabba. I go to the Indian store and buy the only type they have… a steel one. I also buy all of the requisite Indian spices and excitedly hurry home to fill it up.
Well, I couldn’t get it open. I tried and tried and tried. No matter what I did, it wouldn’t budge. At one point, I cut myself on the steel and bled profusely all over it. Yes, I did.
Husband had to get it open for me, I’m ashamed to say. (Hey, I’m the one in the family who opens tough-to-open jars, not him.) Now it’s all prettied up with spices and featured prominently at the top of this blog (yes, that’s mine!). I really love it. It adds something to the decor of the kitchen.