Light Metal Indian Dishware?
November 27, 2009 3:11 AM   Subscribe

Indian Cooking - I want those authentic tin plates and bowls - where?

I'm all for traveling light. I like those tin/aluminium bowls, plates and containers I've seen the cooks in India using. What are they called? What is the spice container (with all the small tin bowls fitting inside) called? Looking for an online supplier that's cool to work with and is reasonably priced. Nothing fancy - just what the locals use. Thanks.
posted by watercarrier to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I love them too. Simple, efficient, light.

The little bowls are called katoris, the plates are called thalis, and the containers are called different things depending on size/shape/use. The round spice tin with the little spice bowls inside is a masala dabba. Round flat canisters are called puri dabba; lunchboxes with stacking bowls are called tiffins. I'm not sure about the cups-- everyone here just calls them glasses, even when they're plainly metal.

A good supplier would depend on where exactly you're located. I'd guess that an exporter of Indian-style tableware would be more likely to deal in the higher-quality stuff, which is heavier and thicker and generally stainless-steel, and will last for centuries but be less portable than the cheap stuff.
posted by bookish at 3:48 AM on November 27, 2009

Awesome bookish. ~~Thank you~~ for the enlightenment on the names. Now all I need to do is find someone who can ship them to me wherever I may roam.
posted by watercarrier at 4:04 AM on November 27, 2009

I don't know where you live, but these can often be found in larger Indian grocery stores.
posted by yawper at 7:27 AM on November 27, 2009

Kalustyan's - you can order online - they also have an amazing shop in NYC.
posted by ersatzkat at 7:42 AM on November 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

You can order them online through

(If you're anywhere near NY, these people have a store in Jackson Heights, Queens called Butala Emporium.)
posted by neroli at 7:46 AM on November 27, 2009

I would suggest going into any Indian grocery store and seeing what they have... many of the ones in my area, even the small corner store shop, have these dishes available for purchasing.
posted by Meagan at 7:55 AM on November 27, 2009

World Market has some Indian aluminum products too, if you don't have an Indian grocery nearby. My local shop has a greater selection than the website, including the tiffin tins and the thalis.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:09 AM on November 27, 2009

Make sure the spice container that you get has covers for the individual containers or else all spices will get mixed up if you move it a bit.

Steel products tend be pretty heavy so for spice container, you could go in for a plastic one if you find one. Or Aluminium!
posted by bbyboi at 10:58 AM on November 28, 2009

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