Basic Curry Masala – Instant Pot

Curry PasteA curry masala is something that I make often to tide me through the week, offer a jump start to anything and everything. This month’s recipe redux theme is about gut health, and I will wager that this useful and fragrant sauce with ginger, cumin and anything nice will be pretty good for your gut.

I have been resurfacing from planning a major event, at least major by my family standards. I am not quite upto sharing major details or tips and tricks from that. All I can tell you is that, at the end of the day, planning is not over rated. Plan, Plan and Plan again.

Sort of what I do at a cerebral level with my cooking.  It is something like

  • Examine the refrigerator on Thursday.
  • Go Grocery shopping on Friday evening, I realize that for most people, they have funner things to do. But, it really is good for beating the weekend crowds.
  • Splurge and planning cooking on the weekend. The planning should be synced with your calendar for the week, as in day in late, kids weeknight, routine, well you get the drift.
  • Coast Survive the week with reasonable meals most days of the week.
  • At the risk of sounding terribly like my accountant self, I will add, review and refine the planning.

Curry Paste

Most of the time, I make enough to get me through the week, usually 2 jars of this base. There are times in fall when the tomatoes are in super abundance, I make a few extra batches and freeze. I usually cook down fresh tomatoes about 4 pounds at a time. Let me tell you a secret, in a bind, canned tomatoes will not hurt.

I am still toying with the idea of a small cookbook project before the end of the year. Yes, that means in two months. Maybe?

Basic Curry Masala – Instant Pot

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

A curry sauce made in a large batch, done easily in the instant pot.


  • 1/3 cup of canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of diced red onions (about 3 red onions)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 10 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoons minced green chilies
  • 4 pounds diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt (this is relatively low)


  1. Turn the instant pot setting to saute and add in the oil. After about 3 minutes add in the cumin seeds. The seeds should begin to sizzle.
  2. Add in the onions and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the onions begin to wilt and soften.
  3. Add in the garlic and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add in the chilies, tomatoes, cumin and coriander and the salt and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Cover and cook for 7 minutes on manual mode.
  6. Let the steam release naturally.
  7. Remove the lid and mix well to form an even base.
  8. Turn on saute more and let the mixture thicken for about 5 minutes.
  9. Store in jars.
  10. This sauce can be frozen or it will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.


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