Basic Onion Tomato Masala Used For Gravy Recipes

Basic Onion Tomato Masala Used For Gravy Recipes and is a great make ahead and freeze idea.

Now you would say why would I post about basic masala that is commonly prepared in every Indian houshold. I’ll tell you why!!!

This masala has been my saviour a zillion times. Be it unexpected guests, cooking in hurry, or coming home not having dinner coz your husband doesn’t want to eat out, blah blah. Reasons are many but my major reason of why it’s  been my saviour is as I am mother of a toddler and it becomes very difficult to make fresh masala everytime I make rajma, Chole, matar paneer, shahi paneer, malai egg, chicken….ooh it’s a very long list.

Onion tomato masala

This masala stays good for a month but mine ends up before that only!

I end up making yummy Masala dishes as its just a breeze to cook. It’s like doing all the work once and depending on the family size and type of dish this masala should lend you a hand for good 20-30 days.

Anyways I have used the ratio of onion and tomatoes to 1:1. But it’s your wish if you want it to be less or more. Either Ways making masala is so different in every household that there are so many variations to it. I would love to know your various and changes too.?

How can I store onion tomato masala?

With the below ingredient quantity you can keep this masala in fridge for up to a month keeping in mind that you make masala, gravy sabji every second day!

If you use masala not so much keep this masala quantity in . Airtight jars. Keep one in freezer and 1 in your fridge. This way you can stretch it for 2 months but not more than that.

How can I store masala for 6 months?

If you wish to store masala for 1 month and more my suggestion is to skip the tomato as that cant be stored for long.

With the same recipe cook onions, ginger garlic and blend. Freeze for up to 6 months.

Freeze in usable portions so that you dont have tk thaw all the masala.

Thaw a single portion and add fresh pureed tomatoes and cook. Fresh masala is ready!

Can I skip ginger garlic paste in the masala?

Yes, its possible to do that. The main time consuming process is to cook the onions. You can even pre prep ginger garlic paste in bulk, freeze it; or make some in advance and use as needed. Click here to know!

Can I freeze onion masala?

If you skip the tomatoes you can freeze the onion masala for ling time, up to 6 months. Make sure to freeze in usable portions.

Can I thaw the masala and freeze again?

No, once the masala is taken out of freezer you cannot freeze it again. Instead freeze in usable portions so that the portion in the fridge is used then only take out the next portion.

Directions to make Basic Onion Tomato Masala for gravy-


1 kg onions peeled and roughly chopped(I used my bajaj food processor)

1 kg tomatos rougly chopped

100gms or about 15 tbsp ginger garlic paste

15-20 green chillies (I haven’t used as I did not wanted spicy masala; can always add later)

1 cup olive oil or any refined oil

Salt as per taste

Red chilli powder as per taste

Turmeric powder as per taste

Coriander powder as per taste


Take a heavy bottom pot / non-stick vessel, something that has plenty of space to move around the masala.

Pour oil and onions. Add 1 tsp salt(optional, but it helps to brown the onions faster).

Now leave the onions to caramelize. Mine took almost an hour as I kept it on slow flame while I completed the rest of my work.

Cooking onions on low flame ensured they sweat properly and cook slowly. The onions will brown evenly and the masala would taste amazing this way.

Onions roasting
Brown onions

Add ginger garlic paste. Green chillies too if you are using.

Now add the chopped tomatoes. Cover and cook.

Add the salt, tumeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder and cook until oil start separating on the sides.

Onion tomato masala steps

Once cooled blend into a smooth paste.

Store in an air tight container.

Now it’s ready to make any gravy dish.

Please note: 

Take out as much masala you need for cooking and put the rest back immediately for later use.

You can also not add tomato’s. The masala will still work for even longer.

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