This Bhuna Masala or Everyday Indian Curry Paste is prepared using tomatoes, onions and lots of Indian spices! It is the base for most north and south Indian curries and is perfect for when you want to ace that curry in a hurry!
It’s the mother of all curry bases and exactly what you need when you want curry in a hurry. Bhuna masala is the perfect everyday Indian curry paste and I for one can’t do without it! It’s a lifesaver for so many reasons:
- Perfect base for most Indian curries
- Can be used for north Indian as well as south Indian dishes with some add-ons and minor tweaking
- Stays good in the refrigerator for up to a week
- Freezes really well
These days it’s pretty easy to buy it off the shelf. But preservatives. And when it’s so easy to make your own and store, why buy when you can DIY. You see I’m all about the rhyming today.
It’s like a concentrated paste with the goodness of ginger, garlic, green chilies, onions, tomatoes and wonderful Indian spices. Most curries in India start with bhuna masala.
I realized that I ended up making this every time I was making Indian curries. And I smartened up. Figured that I could make a larger batch and just leave it in the fridge for a week’s worth of curries/ dals or freeze it for later. Perfect time saving trick.
Tell me you are as busy as I am? With no time to shower even. Okay that’s just me. But busy or not, this is arsenal. For the best curries ever.
Here’s how I store this – I have small freezer friendly boxes which can store 1/2 cup of bhuna masala each. That’s exactly what I need when I’m making dinner for two to four. Plus I can just put the lid on and dump these in the freezer for later. So win win.
Also, I can’t help but give Netflix reccos, here’s what’s on our recommended list right now, if you are looking for ideas:
- Chef’s Table
- The Crown
- Ugly Delicious
Serious advice: Don’t go down the black hole. It’s safer for you if you are still ignorant. But if you insist, check out these shows and give me a holler. We can exchange notes.
This recipes makes approximately 8 cups of Bhuna Masala, and you can easily halve or double this recipe.
Watch how to make Bhuna Masala Recipe Video
Bhuna Masala is an everyday indian curry paste made with onions and tomatoes. It’s the base for most Indian curries. Freezer friendly and super easy!
- 3 tablespoons Oil
- 1 tablespoon Ghee (optional)
- 1 tablespoon Jeera (or Cumin Seeds)
- 750 grams Red Onions, peeled and cut into four parts
- 50 grams Garlic, peeled cloves
- 50 grams Ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4–5 Green Chillies or Serrano Peppers (adjust to taste)
- 1 kg Tomatoes, cut into four parts
- 1 tablespoon Chilli Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 2 tablespoons Coriander Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- To prep the veggies, add onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies to a food processor or mixer grinder, and chop till it resembles a coarse chop. Remove this mixture in a bowl, and add tomatoes and grind them to puree.
- In a large pan or kadhai, heat oil and ghee and add cumin seeds. Once the seeds start spluttering add onions mixture.
- Cook stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes till the onion mixture turns brownish in colour and oil separates from the sides (as shown in the video above).
- Add tomato puree, salt and all the remaining spices and cook on high heat while stirring continuously for two minutes. Reduce the flame and cook for another 15-20 minutes with the lid on, till the mixture reduces a little, and you can see oil start to appear on top.
- Use this as a base for curries and stir fries. To store for later, cool completely before transferring into ziplock bags or freezer friendly food safe storage containers.
- Bhuna Masala stays in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to three months.
- Prepping Veggies: You can alternatively chop the veggies finely instead of using the food processor
- Refrigeration: Bhuna Masala can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days
- Freezing: Bhuna Masala can be frozen for up to 3 months
- Storage: I prefer storing 1/2 cup bhuna masala in small jars and then freezing them. This way I only have to thaw the required amount every time I want to use it