How to make onion tomato masala for Indian gravies?

How to make onion tomato masala for Indian gravies?

My recent trip to the market yielded a 5 kg bag of onions. Wondering what am I going to do with so many onions? I am all set to prepare onion-tomato masala in bulk and will freeze the rest. Question is what is onion tomato masala and how to make onion tomato masala for Indian gravies? It’s a versatile and flavorful masala and nearly all the Indian recipes uses onion, ginger, garlic and tomato as base ingredients. I call it my magic masala. 🙂 Preparing masala from scratch for a recipe may sometimes sounds too much of a work and one may back out from the recipe. Why not have this masala handy all the time?

RECIPE DETAIL – Peel, wash and ground onions along with ginger and garlic. Make a fine paste. Follow the step by step recipe below to your very own homemade masala. The trick to a yummy Indian gravy is – well sauteed and cooked masala. I normally prepare this in bulk, keep half of it in my refrigerator and the rest half I freeze for later use.This masala stays fresh in refrigerator for at least a month

Ready masala in fridge saves time and speeds up the cooking process. Having guest over for dinner, no worries just throw in this masala with nearly any vegetable – Matar paneer, Aloo matar, Chicken recipes, Besan ke gatte, Lauki ke kofte, Palak Paneer ….the list is endless. This masala can be substituted for almost all the Indian recipes which calls for onion, ginger, garlic and tomato as base ingredients.

HOW TO USE THIS MASALA IN A RECIPE? If a recipe calls for 1 medium onion, 2-3 cloves of garlic, some ginger and 2 tomatoes then use 1/4 cup of cooked magic masala and voila… you are all set, follow rest of your recipe and your meal will be on the table in no time.

Follow this link to learn about how to store onion tomato masala.
How to make onion tomato masala for Indian gravies?

How to make onion tomato masala for Indian gravies?
Votes: 3
Rating: 5
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A versatile masala that can be used for almost all the Indian recipes that calls for onion, ginger, garlic and tomato as base ingredients.
Servings Prep Time
2 8 oz. JARS 15 MINUTES
Cook Time
1 HOUR
Servings Prep Time
2 8 oz. JARS 15 MINUTES
Cook Time
1 HOUR
How to make onion tomato masala for Indian gravies?
Votes: 3
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
A versatile masala that can be used for almost all the Indian recipes that calls for onion, ginger, garlic and tomato as base ingredients.
Servings Prep Time
2 8 oz. JARS 15 MINUTES
Cook Time
1 HOUR
Servings Prep Time
2 8 oz. JARS 15 MINUTES
Cook Time
1 HOUR
INGREDIENTS
  • 6-8 big Onions,peeled, washed and grounded to paste
  • 10-12 cloves Garlic, peeled, washed and grounded to paste
  • 2 tablespoon Ginger paste
  • 9-10 small Tomatoes, peeled, washed and grounded to paste
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Oil
CHANGE SERVING SIZE: 8 oz. JARS
CHANGE UNITS:
METHOD
  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add onion, ginger and garlic paste to it and keep stirring. Keep stirring at medium flame till the color changes from white to light brown.
  2. Add tomato paste at this point and mix.
  3. Keep stirring till the color changes from red to dark red and the oil starts to separate from the masala.
  4. Allow it to cool down completely.
  5. f a recipe calls for 1 medium onion, 2-3 cloves of garlic, some ginger and 2 tomatoes then use 1/4 cup of cooked magic masala and voila... you are all set, follow rest of your recipe and your meal will be on the table in no time.
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10 Responses

  1. Amanpreet Singh says:

    Gravy comes out to be too sweet when used gives a sweet taste which i don’t like. I am currently using 1:1 Ratio for Onions & Tomatoes. I have two questions
    -> Should we light brown onions or dark brown them. Currently i do light brown is that wrong ?
    -> Is my ration wrong as i am using Onion & Tomatoes in Equal Quantities. Which should be more ? How does varying each vary the flavor.

    • Ruchi says:

      Traditionally, this masala is cooked without spices and is sweet in nature. You can make it spicier by adding red chili powder or garam masala powder. 1:1 is the perfect ratio.
      From my personal experience, I would suggest that saute onions until light brown in color. If onions are cooked longer (dark brown in color), the overall masala tastes bitter. Hope this answers your query!

  2. Shailja says:

    Great blog. Truly impressed.
    Just wanted to know how to use it once you freeze it. Does it not become hard?

    • Ruchi says:

      Thank you for your kind words Shailja.
      Store the completely cooled masala in individual serving (used to cook 1 whole dish) in a plastic bag/container.
      Yes, it does become brittle and hard. When ready to use it, leave it out at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour and you should be good. Use as directed in the recipe. It saves a lot of time. 🙂

  3. Sorb says:

    excellent pictures and recipe… when you quote ‘large’ onions and ‘small’ tomatoes what does this convert into in terms of grams or cups. also, how long can this stock masala safely stay in the freezer? thanks in advance…

    • RK says:

      Thanks Sorb. Onion sizes are categorized below –
      Small onion = chopped 1/2 cup.
      Medium onion = chopped 1 cup.
      Large onion = chopped 1.5 cup.
      I have stored this masala in the freezer for as long as 1 month because it is used up before that. 😉

  4. Garima says:

    Made this versatile masala and it was too good for my tadka. Thanks Ruchi will be making it more often. Fantastic blog by the way!

    • RK says:

      Thanks Garima, this masala is a must-have in my fridge. And I agree it very versatile and surely comes in very handy 🙂

      • dhara says:

        hi ..

        just read your awesome blog when you say u can refrigerate this masala for a month does that mean i can store in one big container and scoop out as much as i need and again put it back the the refrigerator? pls reply thanks

        • Ruchi says:

          Yes Dhara, you heard me right. You can store this masala (in an airtight container) for a month in your refrigerator. Make sure the container is sealed properly and not left at room temperature for longer hours or else it will get moldy.

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