Life-Changing 30 Minute Masala Sauce
Serves: 3-or-so cups masala sauce + 1½ cups remaining masala paste for future use!
For the Masala Paste:
  • 2 onions (I used one yellow, one purple)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, crushed
  • 3 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • a small pile of cilantro stems
  • a fistful of almonds
  • juice of one lemon
For the Masala Sauce:
  • 1½ cups tomato puree + ½ cup water or broth
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt (taste and adjust)
  1. Masala Paste: Pulse all the ingredients for the Masala Paste in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Masala Sauce: Heat a drizzle of oil in a skillet. Add 1/4 cup masala paste to the skillet (not all of it! reserve the rest for future use - yay you!) 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 tomato puree and water and simmer until t's a rusty-deep-red color - about 5-10 minutes. Add the coconut milk; simmer for 10 minutes or so until thick and creamy. Longer simmer = thicker and better flavor.
Store the paste in a jar in the fridge for about a week or store in the freezer for, well, for probably forever.

This sauce is great for making homemade chicken tikka masala, but it also goes with just about anything ever - kind of like a curry. We made this with butternut squash, chicken, and the meatless-meatballs that are pictured. Served over rice... mmmhmmmm. SO GOOD.
Recipe by Pinch of Yum at