Overhead shot of Onion tomato masala served in a white bowl
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Easy curry sauce recipe

Easy Indian curry sauce recipe - Whether you make Indian food regularly or occasionally, having this curry sauce in your refrigerator will save you time. Skip Indian takeout and make fresh and delicious Indian meals in minutes!
Course Basics
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Curry sauce
Method Instant Pot, Stovetop
Diet Vegan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Pressure building time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 cups
Calories 203.36kcal
Author Anushree Shetty

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 lbs white onions, coarsely chopped ~ 6 cups (2 large or 6 small)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 inch piece ginger 4 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 16 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2.5 lbs medium-sized tomatoes ~12 Roma tomatoes (~8 cups chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons Kashmiri chili powder

Instructions

Instant Pot instructions

  • Select the Instant Pot 'Saute' mode and set it on 'High'
  • Add oil and once it heats up add onions and salt. Mix well.
  • Add 1/4 cup of water and stir it in. When the water starts to turn into steam, use a glass lid to cover and cook the onions for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, add ginger and garlic and mix well. Continue to cook till the onions soften and change color to light brown (will take about 10 minutes).
  • Add tomatoes along with Kashmiri chili powder. Mix well.
  • When the tomatoes begin to leave out water (takes about 5 minutes), add 1/2 cup of water and mix well.
  • Deglaze the pot - scrape the bottom of the pot to make sure there is nothing stuck.
  • Hit cancel and cover the lid. Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
  • Once the cooking cycle is complete, release the pressure immediately by moving the steam valve to the venting position.
  • Open the lid and give the sauce a quick stir.
  • Use an immersion blender to coarsely puree the mixture. If using a blender, allow the masala sauce to cool down for at least 10 minutes before pureeing it.
  • Let it cool completely before transferring the onion-tomato masala into a glass jar or ziplock bags. Store in the refrigerator for a week or store it in the freezer for a couple of months.

Stovetop Instructions

  • Use a saucepan kept over medium heat on a stovetop.
  • Add oil and once it heats up add onions and salt. Mix well.
  • Add 1/4 cup of water and stir it in. When the water starts to turn into steam, cover and cook the onions for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, add ginger and garlic and mix well. Continue to cook till the onions soften and change color to light brown (will take about 10 minutes).
  • Add tomatoes along with Kashmiri chili powder. Mix well.
  • Continue to cook the onion-tomato mixture till the oil starts to leave the sides of the saucepan.
  • Use an immersion blender to coarsely puree the mixture. If using a blender, allow the masala sauce to cool down for at least 10 minutes before pureeing it.
  • Let it cool completely before transferring the onion-tomato masala into a glass jar or ziplock bags. Store in the refrigerator for a week or store it in the freezer for a couple of months.

Notes

Curry recipe notes/tips

  1. Add salt along with the onions as it helps to draw the moisture. 
  2. Brown onions for at least 15-20 minutes for best results. I have also sauteed them for only 5 minutes when I was in a rush and the recipe turned out okay. I highly recommend cooking them till they are soft - it makes the dish so much more flavorful. 
  3. Use a vegetable chopper to fasten the chopping process.
How to store this onion-tomato masala
This onion-tomato masala stores well in the refrigerator for about a week and lasts for a couple of months in the refrigerator.
  • Refrigerator - Store it using leftover marinara sauce bottles which hold about 3 cups. Or use any airtight containers to store them. 
  • Freezer - Freeze the rest using these freezer-safe pyrex containers which are perfect for the job. To use, thaw the glass containers in the refrigerator overnight. 
I hate throwing away Ziploc bags after one use and that is why I prefer using glass containers. I like this storage set in particular because it has 8 containers in 2-cup and 1-cup sizes. 
Note: When using glass containers to freeze the masala sauce follow the guidelines below.
  1. Don't fill it to the brim, leave about an inch - that will give some room for the masala to expand.
  2. Always thaw the glass container in the refrigerator overnight before use. 
Read this: How to prevent glass from breaking in the freezer.
Using silicone trays to freeze
Probably the most convenient option to store this bhuna masala in the freezer would be using silicone trays. They are available in 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, and 1 cup capacity. Put them in the freezer and pop the masala cubes out easily when needed. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 203.36kcal | Carbohydrates: 18.96g | Protein: 3.01g | Fat: 14.02g | Saturated Fat: 1.98g | Sodium: 602.94mg | Potassium: 549.84mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8.69g | Vitamin A: 1329.01IU | Vitamin C: 29.86mg | Calcium: 52.77mg | Iron: 0.89mg