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How to make Indian Makhani Sauce

Makhani Sauce also known as Onion Tomato Masala is a quintessential curry base widely used in Indian cooking. This curry base is used in numerous Indian dinner recipes including Dal Makhani, Butter Chicken, Butter Paneer Masala, Dum Aloo to name a few.

Making Makhani Sauce is easy and simple. This scrumptious curry mixture includes onions, tomatoes , ginger and garlic paste, and sultry spices like garam masala , cinnamon and cardamom.

This recipe also can be used as a meal prep. Having a big batch of Onion Tomato Masala can be life saver in preparing multitude of Indian Dinner Curries. This curry mix freezes well, SO go ahead and make a big batch by doubling or tripling the recipe.

Every Indian household has their favorite way to make this base curry mix. I grew up watching my mom make this masala mix fresh every time she was making a special meal. She would spend good amount of time browning the onions and cook down the tomatoes to bring out the intense flavors that we all crave

Just like marinara sauce defines Italian cuisine , Makhani sauce does Indian. Makhni sauce is a vibrant, aromatic tomato sauce that you can use to prepare numerous Indian entrees . You can make a big batch of it and freeze it for those busy days when you crave for restaurant like curries. Alternatively, you can also use it as pasta sauce, pizza, bread topping or as a dipping sauce .

After experimenting with several spice combinations, I honed in on few main ingredients that make this sauce bold and rustic. Purist may frown on the limited ingredient list as not so traditional but trust me you won’t miss the authentic taste with this recipe. After all, easier the better , isn’t it?

Ingredients:

2 cups tomato puree or 2 cans of diced tomatoes or 7-8 medium size tomatoes
2 cups water ( 1 cup water if using puree)
1 tablespoon oil
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp cardamom seeds crushed
1 tablespoon each grated ginger and garlic
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt, adjust per taste
1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves ( called Kasuri Methi ) This dry herb brings out the unique flavor to many Indian dishes.

Directions : Stove top 

Place a heavy bottom big pan on medium heat. Drizzle the oil and add the crushed cardamoms and cinnamon powder . Let it sizzle . Add the grated garlic and ginger. Stir for a minute. Add the dried fenugreek leaves, followed by the tomato puree and water. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the chili powder, sugar and salt. Stir and bring it to a boil. Now lower the heat, cover the pan with mesh and let it simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce reduces into a thicker consistency.
Take the pan off the heat and let the sauce cool down to room temperature. You will need to use immersion blender if you used diced or fresh tomatoes instead of puree. Makhani sauce is ready. You can use it for numerous curries or store it in a glass airtight container for later use.

Directions : InstantPot

 
Turn the Instant pot on sauté high. Drizzle the oil and add the crushed cardamoms and cinnamon powder . Let it sizzle . Add the grated garlic and ginger. Stir for a minute. Add the dried fenugreek leaves, followed by the tomato puree and water. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the chili powder, sugar and salt. Stir it well. Cancel sauté. Close the lid and Press manual 3 mins, vent sealed. After its beep, when its done, let it NPR. Natural pressure release. Open the lid and stir well so the ingredients mix well.
 Let the sauce cool down to room temperature. You will need to use immersion blender if you used diced or fresh tomatoes instead of puree.
 

 Makhani sauce is ready. You can use it for numerous curries or store it in a glass airtight container for later use.

■Let us know how you like this recipe by leaving a comment and rating it so other readers know it too. And while you’re at it, take a picture and tag it #profusioncurry on Instagram! We love seeing what you come up with. Cheers, friends■

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