The best homemade masala paste

You can make this masala paste without any special trips to speciality grocery stores, and its ready in a flash.

This recipe makes nearly two cups of paste which gives you enough for at least four meals. The paste can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for a good few months.

Once you have the base for the sauce it’s super easy to build a meal around it. Add what ever ingredients, you have in the fridge, make a chicken curry or add the sauce to meatballs, it is a super flexible sauce.

screen-shot-2017-08-01-at-11-21-41-amFor the Masala Paste:

  • 2 onions
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, crushed
  • 3 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup of almonds
  • juice of one lemon

For the Masala Sauce:

  • 1½ cups pureed tomato
  • ½ cup water or broth
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt (taste and adjust)

Note: For the pureed tomato, I blended a can of tomatoes in a blender until smooth till smooth. The idea is just plain pureed tomatoes without seasoning.


Masala Paste: Pulse all the ingredients for the masala paste in a food processor until smooth. It’s as simple as that!

Chicken tikka masala national Indian spicy meat food with butter and rice in cast iron skillet

Masala Sauce: Heat a drizzle of oil in a pan. Add 1/4 cup masala paste to the pan and with a little bit of oil and stir around in the pan until fragrant (3-5 minutes).

If you’re making this with chicken or another protein, this is a good time to add your protein to the pan. Add the pureed tomato and water and simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Add the coconut milk; simmer for 10 minutes or so until thick and creamy.

The longer you simmer the sauce for the thicker and better flavour you get.