Easy Bhuna Masala Sauce for Indian curries. 1 Pot 30 Minute Masala Sauce. Bhuna means roasted. Use this roasted masala simmer sauce for quick curries. Add non dairy milk or cashew cream or yogurt. Vegan Gluten-free Recipe. Vegan Masala Sauce to make 15 minute curries for weeknight dinners.
This Easy Masala Sauce is handy to keep around for quick meals. To make the sauce, just blend everything and cook down until well roasted. Store in the refrigerator or freeze. Bhuna means roasted. The sauce is cooked down to a concentrated form reducing 40 to 50 minute prep + cook time when you want to make a quick masala curry.
To use this masala sauce, blend 2 to 3 tbsp of the roasted sauce with 1 to 1.5 cup non dairy milk (for 2 to 3 serves). Add to a saucepan with veggies or crisped tofu. or add lentil/veggie balls after the sauce has simmered for a bit. Add salt to taste. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until veggies are cooked to preference. Serve over rice or with flatbread. You can also blend it with water or broth for a thinner sauce, or with thin cashew cream or cashew milk for creamy curry or non dairy yogurt for a tikka masala-ish sauce. Here is a Tofu Matar Masala with the sauce. More ways to use it below.
Blended sauce ready to cook down.
The sauce can be used as a marinade. Blend with just enough non dairy milk to make a thick batter, toss in veggies or tofu or tempeh, salt and lemon juice and mix to coat. Bake for 30 minutes or until veggies are tender.
You can also add the masala sauce to make dal/soup with lentils, chickpeas or split peas. Add to the simmering almost cooked legumes. Add salt and spice to taste and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes and serve.
This sauce is
- needs just 1 blender and 1 pot. no fine chopping skills needed.
- Flexible to taste. Add spices of choice
- Good to have to make quick 15 minute curried meals.
If you make it do leave me a comment, or tag me #veganricha on Instagram!
Just Keep cooking.
More Quick Curries from the blog
- Mushroom Matar Masala
- Bhindi Masala
- Aloo Baingan – Potato Eggplant Curry
- Okra in tamarind coconut sauce
- Tofu in Spinach Curry – Saag Tofu
Roasted . Use or store.
Bhuna Masala Sauce
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 medium onion roughly chopped
- 10 cloves of garlic
- 1 inch big knob of ginger
- 1 hot green chile
- 1 to 1.5 tsp paprika or 5 to 7 kashmiri red chilies, soaked in warm water for 15 mins
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp or more garam masala
- 4 fenugreek seeds optional
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3 large tomatoes chopped
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- Additional spices to add for variations: Either or all of 1/4 tsp ground cloves 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- Blend all the ingredients except oil in a blender.
- Heat oil in a saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add the blended mixture to the saucepan and continue to cook stirring occasionally for 20 to 25 minutes.
- The mixture will thicken, then start to darken. If the masala starts to burn, reduce heat to medium-low. The mixture will eventually start to leave the sides of the pan which is when it is done. See pictures above
- Store the masala sauce in an airtight container refrigerated for upto a week or frozen for upto a month.
- Alternate Method: Blend everything except tomatoes. Use a few tbsp of water if needed. Add the blended onion mixture to the saucepan with oil, and cook until the onion does not smell raw, stirring occasionally. 11 to 13 minutes. Then blend the tomatoes to a puree and add to the saucepan. Cook until the mixture is homogeneous and most of the watery puree has thickened. 10 to 15 minutes. Store.
Forgot to rate! This is yet another five star one!
Hi Richa, I’ve make this recipe twice and frozen the cubes to enjoy the sauce over a month or so. It’s delicious and easy to make! I just got a big batch of Roma tomatoes, and would like to use those but they are smaller. Do you know the approximate weight for 3 large tomatoes? Trying to figure out how many Roma’s to use and to potentially triple this recipe… thank you!
This was easy, though I need to adjust it a bit. My jalepeno pepper was so hot, I actually couldn’t eat the dish the first time. I am going to try it without the pepper. Also, mune didn’t thicken like the photo but i used three giant tomatoes and had a lot of liquid.
Cook longer ! And yes adjust heat to preference
I want to make Punjabi Gravy of Onion, Ginger,Tomato, Chilli, and want to sell in market but i don’t know how much time it will be good for taste so please suggest me way how can i make it and what will be expire. if retailer can store only max 7 days then product will not run as we think so please guide me if want to keep this gravy for more time and with out freeze what is best way .
I don’t think this will store without fridge
How much masala is required for rajma or chane?
Vegan Richa Support
blend 2 to 3 tbsp of the roasted sauce with 1 to 1.5 cup non dairy milk (for 2 to 3 serves). and 4 to 6 tbsp with 2 to 3 cup non dairy milk for a recipe containing 4- servings.
Hi Richa! This is a great masala! I blended it with coconut milk and added it to cauliflower, carrot, and zucchini, and it made for a great healthy vegan weeknight meal! Thanks so much!
This is easily the best curry I’ve ever made, thank you soooo much it lasted a week and I never got tired of it
This is really flavorful and yummy! It is especially good in your Tofu Matar Masala recipe!
This sauce is amazing!
Yikes-15 ingredients! That’s about 10 too many!
its just onion, ginger, garlic, chile, tomatoes and spices.
Thank you for your amazing recipes! My husband is from Chennai and I’m from Boston so your blog really helps me surprise him with a little taste of home. I made this masala for your tofu and peas recipe (my favorite yet!) and I know you mentioned different ways to use it. However, do you have any specific recipes where you use the masala? It’s still hard for me to be creative with Indian inspired meals. : )
I posted one with the masala here https://www.veganricha.com/2017/02/tofu-matar-masala-tofu-peas-in-blender-masala-sauce.html
You can also use the masala blended with non dairy milk to make potpie, add veggies and bake for 30 mins, then top with biscuit dough and bake until the biscuits are done. or add it to simmering lentils or chickpeas.
I always prefer to cook “in bulk” and store for future use. I made an amazing Butter Chicken sauce by slowing cooking the sauce until it became almost like a paste and then I dehydrated and powdered it so I can make a Butter Chicken in just a few minutes and with only a few additional ingredients.
This sounds like another sauce I could make and do the same with. I like to dehydrate for storage so there is no pressure as to when I use it up and I can make a variety of meals with little effort during the week.
Thanks for this recipe – it will become a standard I think. Since I haven’t made it yet I won’t rate it today but will come back to do so.
Thats interesting. I think the dehydrated version will have a bit different texture and flavor, but it should work if you have made similar sauces before. I would freeze the paste in ice cubes and then ziplock to use in quick curries.
Finished the last of the paste yesterday. We got three meals worth out of it and they were all delicious!
Can this be baked in the oven to reduce it down? Or put in the slow cooker with the lid slightly ajar?
I havent used a slow cooker. it might be possible in it. Baking would burn the edges a bit. You can cook it at low-medium heat so you wouldnt need to stir or pay attention most of the time. check every 10-15 mins.
It’s funny, my partner came home yesterday with one of those Maya Kamal curries, and I was saying that we have a whole book of amazing Indian Vegan Recipes! Today, this comes up, so obviously I have to make it. All I have in my pantry is canned tomatoes, whole, and crushed, but they are both fire roasted – the big 28oz cans. Should I wait till tomorrow to make this when I will actually have tomatoes, or do you think the canned tomatoes will work?
any tomatoes will do 🙂 you might not need additional sugar with canned.
I love the recipe, and follow you for the wonderful Indian flavors but don’t keep nondairy around the house, a mostly vegetarian here. Could I substitute a dairy yogurt or milk here? What would I need to do differently if using it?
Thanks!! I love the idea of having a masala ready to go for veggies
You can blend it in with 1.5 cups water and 1/4 cup raw cashews(soak for 15 mins). That makes a great creamy sauce.
I just made this sauce for dinner. Roasted up veggies with garam masala while the sauce was cooking and added some coconut milk to the sauce. Boiled to thicken, folded in the veggies and gosh. so amazing!