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Tomato Onion Masala

Updated: Apr 4

A Masala is the start of any great curry. Use this for chicken, beef, fish or vegetables. All you do is add one any of these to your masala, cook it through and add yogurt or cream or try coconut milk. Make the masala in advance to speed up your cooking process and keep it in the fridge for up to a week. Great on a bed of basmati or jasmine rice, and topped with a mango chutney, toasted cashews and chopped cilantro.


3 Tablespoons of Sunflower Oil

1/2 Teaspoon of Cumin Seeds

1 Medium Onion, diced

1-2 fresh Garlic cloves, smashed

1 Inch of Ginger, finely chopped

1 Cinnamon Stick, about 2-3 inches

1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground Pepper

2 Tablespoons of Curry Powder, I like Madras

1/2 Teaspoon Tumeric

1/4 Teaspoon Garam Masala

1/4 Teaspoon ground Coriander

1/4 - 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (*Optional for heat lovers)

2 Tablespoons chopped Cilantro stems

1 28 oz. Can Roma Tomatoes


In a large heavy bottomed Dutch oven, heat the sunflower oil on medium and add the cumin seeds and stir for a few minutes.

Add the onion and saute on low until the onions are translucent

Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute

Then add the cinnamon stick, salt and pepper, curry powder, tumeric, garam masala, ground coriander, cayenne if you wish, and chopped cilantro stems to the pot and stir for another minute on medium

Tomatoes: Using clean hands, put a little more than half of the can of tomatoes in a separate bowl. Reserving the liquid, take each tomato and crush them with your hands into the spice mixture. You are only using the tomatoes, not the liquid

Cook this mixture on medium-low for about five minutes until the oil separates and rises to the top


Masala is a Hindi word that literally translates to 'spices'. But it has multiple meanings depending on the context, such as a mixture of spices, also known as Garam Masala It may also be a 'base sauce' such as the one I made above, that involves mixing several ingredients such as spices along with onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes.

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