Bhuna masala recipe, Everyday Indian curry paste is only paste you need to make a decent everyday Indian curry. The curry masala paste is almost a blanc canvas on which you can play with various Indian spices to make most South and North Indian curry.
Bhuna masala is perfect everyday Indian curry paste that you need in your fridge. It's totally a life saver when you can not do without curry in a hurry. This basic masala paste for Indian curry is a must in every Kitchen.
It is concentrated Basic curry paste, cooked with onions, tomatoes, salt, chillies and turmeric. You can add Indian spices and aromatics like ginger garlic as required in individual recipes, while making any curry.
Why I love Bhuna Masala
- You all know I am a lazy cook who loves good food. So I have developed many short cuts. Basic bhuna masala recipe is my short cut to save a lot of time in the kitchen.
- A suitable curry base for most Indian curries. South Indian curries or North Indian curries you can make most with addition of spices as per the recipe.
- Stores well in fridge for 7-10days so you can make for complete week.
- Better than that It freezes well. So, if you are like me, You will make it for a month, save in in 4 weekly containers, and take out one at a time and keep in refrigerator.
Usually, I cook this bhuna masala and Onion Tomato Masala in large quantity, at least the amount which I can use for minimum four times. It stores well in the freezer, so you can cook even more of it and store masala in individual portions if you have large freezer.
I have seen many people cooking ginger garlic and other spices in same bhuna masala. But I feel that when you add all these flavours you are restricting yourself to use it in any particular recipe or dish. I like to keep it as a curry base which I can adapt to any style of Indian curry. So I do not recommend adding ginger and garlic here.
Why Should You Make It?
Because this is a total life saver. You live a busy life and you do not want to spend hours in the kitchen to make best curries. Why I say It is best masala Paste ever ?
How To Use This Masala Paste
When you want to use the bhuna masala in any recipe, mix it with ginger or garlic or any other herb according to the flavour profile of the dish you are cooking.
This is precise reason that I do not add ginger garlic or any other spice in this bhuna masala. I cook many curry recipes without garlic or ginger etc. So I keep at as base and then add flavours and spices. Also every curry does not require coriander powder or cumin powder. So this way works best for me.
Ideally Indian Dal tadka is cooked quite differently from this, so I do not suggest using this for tempering dal.
How Long You Can Store Bhuna Masala
You can store this bhuna masala in the fridge for 7-10 days and in the freezer for up to 2 months. If you do not know when are you going to use it portion it for individual curries for 3-4 people and freeze it. Take out individual portion when you need it.
Or if you are making it for month and use Indian curry paste regularly, you can store it in 4 weekly freezer friendly containers or more . That's how long it lasts in the fridge. Every week take out one container and shift it to refrigerator and use.
Thats how I cook bhuna masala for a month.
- Always portion and store. Thawing big container and refreezing it can make it even more cumbersome and that will also increase the chances of spoilage.
- I store in some containers as per weekly portion and some as single portion to use in one curry recipe. This way while meal planning I know which one to thaw and transfer from the freezer to the fridge.
- In this recipe post I have mentioned bhuna masala recipe for 2 cups you can make the quantity as per your requirement. Double, triple or any multiple.
I usually cook bhuna masala when I am cooking something else, and I have some extra time. So that I can use it later whenever I am busy, not able to cook, and still want to eat a home cooked meal.
Step by Step Recipe Video
This video is old video that I shot few years ago so voice and recording quality may not be as good but this will give you the basic idea.
Recipes you Can Make With Bhuna Masala
Now if you are totally a beginner in Indian cooking Below are some of the curries you can make using bhuna masala.
These are just very few examples but practically all you have to do is throw in some fresh/frozen veggies and make a delicious curry.
You can spice up your curries using various aromatics and Indian spices depending upon your taste preference.
Basic ones are ginger/garlic/green chillies
Indian spices for North Indian curry
Cumin, coriander, Rai are most common ones. You can add asafoetida/hing nutmeg, garam masala, bay leaf, fennel as per recipe.
Indian Spices for South Indian Curry
Common Indian spices to make South Indian style curries with Bhuna masala. Mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida/hing, are most common and nutmeg, garam masala, bay leaf, fennel seeds, cumin, coriander as per recipe. Coconut in any form is often added.
I always make my bhuna masala in the big batch weekly or monthly depending upon how much time I have. It's a great time saver for everyday Indian cooking. Do give it try and you will know How easy it makes your life in the kitchen.
Originally Published on 30 October 2015 - Updated on 28th March 2020 with new info and pictures. Recipe remains the same.
- 250 grams onion
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 400 grams Tomatoes
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon red chilli powder powder
- 2 teaspoon turmeric Powder
- To prep veggies In a food processor. Grind onion and tomatoes into fine paste separately.
- Pour cooking oil in the suitable pan or kadahi and add onion paste into it.
- To cook onion paste, Leave it to simmer on the stove keep stirring in between when starts leaving the edge of the pan and turns light brown. Keep it stirring in between.
- Add tomato puree, salt and all the remaining spices and cook on slow heat for 10-15 minutes with the lid on. Then remove the lid and cook till oil separates.
- Take it out of pan let it cool, portion it and store in the freezer and use it later.