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Bhuna Masala Recipe | Indian curry base

This is the recipe of Indian curry base or bhuna masala that will let you make Indian curries in a jiffy. It is perfect while meal prepping.
Course Main Course | Curry
Cuisine Indian
Keyword bhuna masala, Indian curry base
recipe bhuna masala, indian curry base
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 cups
Calories 175kcal



  • Blend together onions and green chillies into a paste. Blend together ginger and garlic into a paste. And blend together tomatoes to a paste and keep aside. Make sure not to use any water or just minimal water.
  • Heat oil in a wide pan. Add cumin seeds and allow to sputter. Now add in the onion paste, ginger garlic paste and mix well. It will start sputtering in some time so you can use a cover. Keep stirring and cook for about 20 minutes on low to medium flame making sure that you stir often.
  • Cook well till the raw smell goes, the mixture looks darker and glossier. You will also see oil coming out from the sides.
  • Now add tomato paste, turmeric powder, cayenne or paprika and salt. Mix well and cook some more, say 20-25 minutes. Yes, the curry paste really needs to cook out. Keep the flame low or medium low. Stir regularly and keep covered.
  • Once done, you will have thick curry paste that smells like curry and you can see the oil coming out from the sides.
  • Your bhuna masala is ready. Cool it down and then store in the fridge or in single serves you can freeze to thaw later and use.


  • This bhuna masala is slightly spicy. You can modify the heat as per your taste.
  • Using chilli powder gives it a vibrant red colour.
  • Turmeric and salt along with oil help in preserving it well. Store in airtight jars.
  • I peel onions and immerse them in water for 10 minutes. Then I roughly chop them. That reduces the tear-inducing quality when cooking out.
  • You can easily halve or double the recipe.


Calories: 175kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 726mg | Potassium: 223mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 792IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2mg