Realistic Cooking Ideas

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Precooked Masala final picture

In prior months I discussed how we got introduced to Indian food and posted recipes for my versions of: Indian Masala Chai, Ginger Honey Tea, and Murgh Mumtaz Mahal. When we had dinner at a local Indian restaurant we really enjoyed the Chicken Curry recipe. The chicken was so tender and the sauce was delish! I have been doing a lot of research from several cookbooks and websites. Plus Meeta, a testing professional, has kindly provided recipes and advice.

To get started with a version of Chicken Curry I made a pot of Precooked Masala. Plus I am researching other dinners that use this sauce. A single batch makes just over 3-cups and you can freeze it for future dinners. This recipe is from the book “From Mom With Love… Complete Guide to Indian Cooking & Entertaining” by Pushpa Bhargava. You can find here book here. My recipe for Chicken Curry using Precooked Masala can be found here. The Precooked Masala takes a little time to make but I freeze two containers that will save time for the next dinner. Stay tuned for the Nan Oven Baked bread recipe!

Precooked Masala Spices

Onion Mixture
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
1 large or 2 medium green chilies
2 cloves garlic
2 small pieces of ginger

Oil Mixture
½ cup canola oil
½ tsp cumin seeds
4 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
4 black cardamoms

Tomatoe Mixture
28 ounces canned tomatoes, crushed
½ tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chili powder
4 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp paprika – for color

Place the onion mixture ingredients into a food processor. Grind the onion mixture ingredients to a fine paste.

Precooked Masala place onion mixture ingredients into food processor

Precooked Masala blending onion mixture in food processorPrecooked Masala grind onion mixture into a paste

Heat oil in a heavy saucepan with spices. Once the cumin seeds start to pop, add the onion mixture. Be careful because the oil mixture may be hot causing splashing hot oil. Reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally until onions turn golden brown. This takes about 20-minutes.

Precooked Masala oil in sauepan with spices

Precooked Masala add onion paste to sauce pan

Puree the canned tomatoes in a food processor.

Precooked Masala puree tomatoes in food processor

Add the remaining spices to the onion mixture and stir.

Precooked Masala getting spices ready to add to sauce pan

Precooked Masala add spices to final browned onion mixture

Add the pureed tomatoes and stir. Cover and cook for 40-45 minutes stirring occasionally.

Precooked Masala add tomatoes from food processor to sauce pan

When oil separates from the sauce, the masala is done.

Precooked Masala oil separating from the sauce

8 thoughts on “Precooked Masala

  1. cindy knoke says:

    Marvelous. I will try this. Thank you!

    1. Bernice says:

      Thank you. It is nice to make the sauce or gravy ahead of time since it freezes nicely. That saves a lot of time when you want to make dinner. I love these types of shortcuts when you can make something in a larger batch and freeze it for later use.

  2. This looks so savory and fantastic and to make it in bulk is a great idea. Take Care, BAM

    1. Bernice says:

      I just posted the Chicken Curry recipe and there is plenty of sauce. I love when you can make items ahead of time to reduce the actual time to the dinner table. Plus you can start to marinade the chicken earlier in the day. Then it doesn’t seem like so much work. 🙂

  3. dawnspitfire says:

    Awesome.

  4. ssimm411 says:

    This looks like an exact replica of the recipe I am reading in my Indian cookbook right now, yet there is no credit given to the author. Was that an oversight?

    1. Bernice says:

      Yes, I did get this from a cookbook and I did provide the credit in the posting and a link to her book. From my posting second paragraph: “This recipe is from the book “From Mom With Love… Complete Guide to Indian Cooking & Entertaining” by Pushpa Bhargava. You can find here book here.” Plus I also thanked Meeta as she also provided recipes that was very similar to the recipe from Pushpa. From my posting first paragraph: “I have been doing a lot of research from several cookbooks and websites. Plus Meeta, a testing professional, has kindly provided recipes and advice.”

      I found many recipes that were very similar in nature. Pushpa was different since she made her sauce separately instead of incorporating it into the dish.

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