Bhuna Masala, also known as Indian Curry Paste, is a super simple curry base that you can prepare ahead of time to make a variety of Indian curries on the go! You’ll only need some basic pantry ingredients to make it, and it’s perfect to store in the freezer!
Cooking Indian curries usually involves sautéing onion, tomatoes, ginger, and garlic along with a variety of Indian spices, depending on the curry recipe. Along with prepping all the ingredients, the entire process can be a bit time-consuming.
That’s where this super quick and easy Indian curry paste can be a lifesaver! It’s exactly what you need on those busy days to have a decent curry on the table in under 15 minutes.
Why you’ll love this
- You probably already have all the ingredients you need. You’ll need only some basic pantry ingredients to make this flavorful curry paste. It’s easily available in the market nowadays, but the homemade version tastes much better with the added bonus that you know exactly what goes in it.
- It’s so versatile and pairs so well with vegetables, chicken, and dals. With add ons and adjustments, you can easily make most of the north-Indian and south-Indian curries with this perfect everyday Indian curry paste!
What goes in Bhuna Masala
Here’s what you’ll need:
Onions and tomatoes:
Garlic, ginger, and green chillies:
Oil and spices:
How to make Bhuna Masala
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Then add onion, garlic, ginger and green chillies to it and sauté everything for 15-20 minutes.
When the onions turn a beautiful golden brown and oil starts separating from the sides, add tomato puree along with the remaining ingredients. Stir everything frequently on high heat for 2 minutes.
Place a lid on and reduce the heat to medium low. Allow it to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Cook till the sauce starts to reduce and oil starts to appear on top.
Uses for Bhuna Masala
This recipe for bhuna masala yields around 8 cups that you can store in a super airtight container and refrigerate for 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. If you’re planning on freezing it, store it in multiple containers so that they’re portioned and ready to use when needed.
Bhuna Masala (Indian Curry Paste)
- 1 Wok
- 3 tbsp oil
- 2 tsp cumin seeds or jeera
- 500 grams red onions finely chopped
- 3-4 green chillies finely chopped (serrano or cayenne)
- 40 grams fresh ginger crushed
- 40 grams garlic cloves crushed
- 750 grams tomatoes roughly diced
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp chilli powder
- 2 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp salt
- Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan or kadhai over medium heat.
- Add cumin seeds and wait for them to splutter. Add onions, ginger, garlic and chillies. Slowly cook everything, stirring every now and then, for about 15 minutes.
- Grind the tomatoes into a puree while the onion mixture is cooking.
- Once the onions turn brown in color and oil starts to separate from the sides, add the tomato puree along with remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, stirring frequently for 2 minutes.
- Place a lid on and lower the heat to medium/ low to keep the sauce at a slow, steady simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
- Cook till the sauce starts to reduce and oil starts to appear on top.
- Use this rich curry base to make many different Indian curries in less than 10 minutes.
- Or if you want to store it for later, wait for it to cool down. Then store it in portions in airtight containers and keep refrigerated for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Make sure to marinate the chicken for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours. Helps to flavour the chicken from inside-out.
- It is best to cook Indo-Chinese food in a wok on high heat for that distinct restaurant-style smokey flavour. If you don’t have a wok, you can use a frying pan or kadai.