The secret behind great-tasting home-cooked Indian food usually comes out of a masala dabba, or spice box ($12.99 to $19.99), which no home cook would be without. The covered stainless steel round contains up to seven smaller containers that can be filled with turmeric, mustard seed, and cumin. A smaller inner lid covers the aromatics to keep them fresh. Using the small spoons that come with the masala dabba, a cook can hold the spice box in one hand and scoop out spices from each tin to create blends for curries and dals. If you're a baker, fill yours with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom for holiday confections. Or dried chilies, chili powders, and other hot stuff for spicy dishes. Available at Patel Brothers, 425 Moody St., Waltham, 781-893-1003.