Easy Indian Curry Paste Recipe (you can use everyday!)

This is a time-saving recipe for homemade Indian curry paste with simple ingredients. Also learn how to use this curry paste to make 7 exciting curries for quick weeknight dinners!

About the recipe

If you’re new to curries, this beginner-friendly Indian curry paste will help you get started. If you’re a seasoned cook, the everyday masala paste can help you plan easy dinners with curry and rice/ naan/ roti, ahead of time. Who doesn’t love curries? When you think of Indian food, the first thing that comes to your mind is the creamy delicious melt-in-your-mouth curry. Paneer butter masala, vegetable curry, butter chicken, fish curry, prawn curry, the list is never-ending.

The interesting fact about curry is that each home cook and each restaurant in India has a different way of cooking a curry. Using different spices to get a variety of flavors yields curries that taste different each time you cook.

Simplify your curries using this Indian red curry paste

Don’t be intimidated by the complexity of flavors in Indian curries. Yes, there are curries that need a lot of ingredients and take much of your time in the kitchen. But there’s a way out when you’re desperately trying to bring dinner to the table as quickly as possible, that’s TASTY and HEALTHY.

This homemade Indian curry paste recipe is the perfect solution. I will share the details in a minute….

How to use Indian curry paste

This recipe for Indian red curry paste is a simplified version with mega flavors. Use this as a base and add ANYTHING you have on hand – fresh or frozen vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, paneer or tofu along with added flavorings and thickening agents which I will tell you in a minute. You’ll be amazed at how EASY it is to cook a variety of curries with this humble recipe for curry paste.

That’s not all. Here comes the BEST PART: Not only curries but this curry paste can be used to make other recipes like easy fish cakes (for onion-tomato mixture) and paneer wraps (for making paneer filling). Did you make the 5-ingredient chicken curry? This curry paste can also be used instead of the 5 ingredients!

Curry paste ingredients

Ingredients for Indian curry paste recipe.
  • Onions, tomatoes, chillies, ginger and garlic.
  • Spices: chili powder, coriander, cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper.
  • Oil to sauté.

There, you have the list of ingredients. If you look at the ingredients, you might feel I haven’t given you the full recipe but my dear friends, that is all you need to make this delicious curry paste!

How to make Indian curry paste- step by step

(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the recipe card at the end of this page.)

Make a coarse paste with onions, ginger and garlic.

Saute the paste in oil. Once the paste is browned well, add tomato puree and the spices.

Saute until the paste becomes thick and oil oozes out. Let the paste cool down, and store in a clean, dry jar. This curry paste stays fresh for a week in the refrigerator or a month in the freezer. It may keep longer, I didn’t have the chance to keep it longer than a month. TOO TEMPTING to see a jar of curry paste whenever you open the refrigerator!

That’s it, guys, you’re well on your way to becoming a curry queen/king!

Recipe tips

The key to a great curry lies in the time you take to SAUTE the onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes. The longer you saute on medium-low heat, the better it tastes.

You’ll love this Indian curry paste recipe because

  • It simplifies the curry-cooking process.
  • It makes you look like a pro who can cook a curry within 30 minutes when you have this curry paste sitting in your refrigerator.
  • It keeps for a week in the fridge (2 months in the freezer) so it’s perfect for MEAL PLANNING. You can have curries for dinner throughout the week!
  • Use this masala paste FOR ANYTHING from vegetable curry, chicken curry, fish curry, paneer butter masala, butter chicken, and so on.
Homemade Indian curry paste in a jar with a wooden spoon in it.

Love curry flavor? You might want to try my chickpea curry soup or the quick and easy mutton curry.

I’ve listed down the recipes you can cook with this Indian red curry paste in the table below. These curry recipes might be slightly different from the traditional ones, but the idea is to SIMPLIFY the recipes as much as possible with what you have, without compromising on flavors. If you’ve tried this easy recipe for lentil curry (dal) with spinach, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

7 curry recipes with homemade Indian curry paste

(you can find the full printable recipe card with exact measurements at the end of post)

This recipe for curry paste makes 3 cups. 1 cup of the paste is enough for each of the curry recipes given below, for 3 to 4 servings.

CURRY ADD-IN ADDITIONAL FLAVORINGTHICKENING AGENT
mixed vegetable curryany fresh/frozen chopped vegetables- 2 cupsgaram masala- 1/2 teaspooncashew paste-
15 cashews + 1/4 cup water
vegetable kormaany fresh/frozen chopped vegetables- 2 cups garam masala- 1/2 teaspoon coconut cream- 1/2 cup
dal/lentil curryyellow/brown/green lentils – 1 cupmustard seeds + cumin seeds- 1/2 teaspoon eachnone
chicken curryboneless chicken
500 gms/ 1 lb
chopped into bite-size pieces
garam masala- 1 teaspoon cashew paste-
15 cashews + 1/4 cup water
fish curryany white fish fillet, sliced
500 gms/ 1 lb
curry leaves + mustard seeds- 1/2 teaspoontamarind paste
2 tablespoons
egg curry boiled and halved eggs
8
garam masala- 3/4 teaspoon coconut cream-
1/2 cup
paneer butter masala250 gms paneer, cubed2 tablespoons cream+ 1 teaspoon garam masala+ 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (optional)cashew paste-
15 cashews + 1/4 cup water

NOTE: This recipe for curry paste has enough salt and spice. When you’re cooking the curry, add more salt if required, as per your taste.

Use this opportunity to download, save or print the free ebook with all these recipes for easy reference:

.

Mixed vegetable curry and vegetable korma

  • Saute 1 cup of curry paste in 2 teaspoons of oil for 5 minutes. (the curry paste has enough oil).
  • Add the vegetables and 2 cups of water.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer until the vegetables get cooked, for about 10-15 minutes. If using frozen veggies, thaw them for 5 minutes in warm water before cooking.
  • Add the flavoring and thickening agent (see table above)
  • Simmer for 5 -10 minutes more or until the curry becomes thick and creamy.
  • Garnish with cilantro.

Dal/lentil curry

  • Cook the lentils as per package instructions. (the cooking time and amount of water depend on the type of lentils)
  • Heat 1 teaspoon of oil, add mustard and cumin seeds as given in the table.
  • Once the mustard seeds splutter, add 1 cup of the curry paste, cooked lentils and 1 cup of water. (adjust the amount of water since the cooked lentils may already contain some liquid).
  • Simmer away until you get creamy, delicious dahl that doesn’t require a thickening agent.
  • Garnish with cilantro.

Easy recipe for chicken curry

  • Mix the chicken pieces with 1 cup of curry paste (marinate for 30 minutes if time permits)
  • Saute in 1 tablespoon of oil for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Simmer for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
  • Add garam masala and cashew paste.
  • Simmer for 10 more minutes or until it reaches the required consistency.
  • Garnish with cilantro.

Fish curry

  • Saute 1 cup of curry paste in 2 teaspoons of oil, add fish fillets with 1 1/2 cups of water.
  • Optionally add diced eggplant for veggie goodness πŸ™‚
  • Bring it to a boil.
  • Add tamarind paste and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the fish is cooked.
  • Garnish with curry leaves.
fish curry made with easy Indian curry paste recipe in a metal bowl

Egg curry with coconut

  • Saute 1 cup of curry paste in 2 teaspoons of oil, add 1 cup of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Add the boiled and halved eggs, garam masala and coconut cream.
  • Optionally, boiled and cubed potatoes may be added along with the eggs.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to be absorbed by the eggs.
  • Garnish with cilantro.

Paneer butter masala

  • Blend 1 cup of curry paste until smooth. The curry paste has to be smooth for paneer butter masala to get the creamy consistency.
  • Saute the curry paste in 1 tablespoon butter, add 1 cup of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Add garam masala, cashew paste and dried fenugreek leaves (if available): it is an essential ingredient in most of the traditional paneer recipes). Mix well to avoid lumps.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes or until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Add in the paneer cubes and cream.
  • Simmer for 2 minutes and garnish with cilantro.

Now, you have easy recipes for curries to enjoy throughout the week. Just make a huge batch of the curry paste, double or triple the recipe, refrigerate/freeze and enjoy your easy healthy weeknight dinner with curry and rice, naan or roti.

More curry recipes

closeup view of homemade Indian curry paste in a glass jar

Easy Indian curry paste recipe (you can use everyday)

his is a time-saving recipe for homemade Indian curry paste with simple ingredients. Also learn how to use this curry paste to make 7 exciting curries for quick weeknight dinners!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course basics, cooking paste, dinner, LUNCH
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3 cups (1 cup each for 4 servings of curry)
Calories 73 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 large onions
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 4 inch ginger
  • 1 green chili
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Instructions
 

  • Make a coarse paste with onions, ginger, garlic and green chili using a food processor or blender.
  • Heat oil in a wide pan and saute the paste. Keep stirring until the paste browns, for about 10 to 15 minutes on medium-low flame.
  • Puree the tomatoes. Add the tomato puree with all the spices.
  • Saute for another 15 minutes or until the paste is nicely browned and thickened.
  • Cool and store in an airtight jar. This curry paste keeps well in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for a month.

Video

Notes

  • The key to making this curry paste delicious lies in the time you take to saute the onions and tomatoes. Keep stirring on medium-low heat until all ingredients come together.
  • This curry paste can be used to make a variety of Indian curries, using vegetables, paneer, meat, fish or eggs. (recipes below:)
  • Use less chili powder in the curry paste if you’re not used to spice. 1 1/2 teaspoons would be an optimum quantity. Or leave out the green chili.
  • The nutrition facts for the curry paste are based on the estimation that 3 cups of the paste can be used to cook 12 servings of curry.
Substitutes:
  1. Chili powder can be replaced with cayenne pepper.
  2. Kashmiri chili powder can be replaced with paprika.
 
Easy Indian Curry Paste Recipe (you can use everyday!)

 

How to use Indian curry paste

7 easy recipes for curries with the curry paste (4 servings)

Add the above nutrition details of the curry paste to the nutrition of each curry recipe to get the total nutrition facts.

mixed vegetable curry and vegetable korma

  • Saute 1 cup of curry paste in 2 teaspoons of oil for 5 minutes. 
  • Add 2 cups of fresh/frozen vegetables and 2 cups of water.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer until the vegetables get cooked, for about 10-15 minutes. If using frozen veggies, thaw them for 5 minutes in warm water before cooking. Add 1/2 teaspoon garam masala.
  •  For mixed vegetable curry, add cashew paste made with 15 cashews and 1/4 cup of water.
  • For vegetable korma, add 1/2 cup of coconut cream.
  • Simmer for 5 -10 minutes more or until the curry becomes thick and creamy.
  • Garnish with cilantro.

 

nutrition facts for mixed vegetable curry

 
Easy Indian Curry Paste Recipe (you can use everyday!)

 

nutrition facts for vegetable korma

 
Easy Indian Curry Paste Recipe (you can use everyday!)

 

dal/lentil curry

  • Cook 1 cup of lentils as per package instructions. (the cooking time and amount of water depend on the type of lentils and the equipment used). 
  • Heat 1 teaspoon of oil, add mustard and cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon each.
  • Once the mustard seeds splutter, add 1 cup of the curry paste, cooked lentils and 1 cup of water. (adjust the amount of water since the cooked lentils may already contain some liquid).
  • Simmer away until you get creamy, delicious dahl that doesn’t require a thickening agent.
  • Garnish with cilantro.

 

Easy Indian Curry Paste Recipe (you can use everyday!)

 

chicken curry

  • Mix 500 gms/1 lb chicken pieces with 1 cup of curry paste (marinate for 30 minutes if time permits)
  • Saute in 1 tablespoon of oil for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Simmer for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
  • Add 1 teaspoon garam masala and cashew paste made with 15 cashews and 1/4 cup of water.
  • Simmer for 10 more minutes or until it reaches required consistency.
  • Garnish with cilantro.

 

Easy Indian Curry Paste Recipe (you can use everyday!)

 

fish curry

  • Saute 1 cup of curry paste in 2 teaspoons of oil, add 500 gms/1 lb fish fillets with 1 1/2 cups of water.
  • Bring it to a boil.
  • Add 2 tablespoons tamarind paste and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the fish is cooked.
  • Garnish with curry leaves.

 

Easy Indian Curry Paste Recipe (you can use everyday!)

 

egg curry

  • Saute 1 cup of curry paste in 2 teaspoons of oil, add 1 cup of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Add 8 boiled and halved eggs, 3/4 teaspoon garam masala and 1/2 cup coconut cream.
  • Optionally, 2 boiled and cubed potatoes may be added along with the eggs.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to be absorbed by the eggs.
  • Garnish with cilantro.

 

Easy Indian Curry Paste Recipe (you can use everyday!)

 

paneer butter masala

  • Blend 1 cup of curry paste until smooth. The curry paste has to be smooth for paneer butter masala to get the creamy consistency.
  • Saute the curry paste in 2 tablespoons butter, add 1 cup of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Add 1 teaspoon garam masalacashew paste made with 15 cashews and 1/4 cup of water. Optionally add 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (if available: it is an essential ingredient in most of the traditional paneer recipes). Mix well to avoid lumps.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes or until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Add in 250 gms paneer cubes and 2 tablespoons cream.
  • Simmer for 2 minutes and garnish with cilantro.
Easy Indian Curry Paste Recipe (you can use everyday!)
 
 
 
Keyword everyday masala paste, homemade Indian curry paste, how to make Indian curry paste, how to use Indian curry paste, Indian curry paste recipe, Indian red curry paste, vegan curry paste

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– Sheeba.

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