Basic Makhani Masala
At the heart of many Indian dishes is this mild, rich-tasting sauce (see index under “Basic Makhani Masala” ). My version uses coconut milk which keeps it vegan, allowing the recipe to be more versatile. I recommend using this make-ahead sauce to save time without compromising flavor for any Makhani-based recipes.
Servings Prep Time
4cups 5minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
4cups 5minutes
Cook Time
  • 1/3cup canola oil
  • 1tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2cup diced red onions
  • 2tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • 2tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 4lbs tomatoesdiced, or 3 cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 1tbsp garam masala
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 1/2tsp salt
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2cup coconut milk
  • 1/2cup fenugreek leaves(kasuri methi)
  1. Set the Instant Pot® on Sauté mode and heat the oil. After about 3 minutes, add the cumin seeds and sauté until the seeds begin to sizzle. Add the onions and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until they begin to wilt and soften. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, garam masala, cayenne pepper powder, salt, and sugar, and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Press Cancel to turn off the Sauté mode, close the lid, and put on Manual Pressure mode for 7 minutes.
  3. When cooking time is complete, allow for Natural Pressure Release for 5 minutes, then do a Quick Release for any residual pressure.
  4. Open the lid and stir in the coconut milk. Using an immersion blender, puree the sauce until it is relatively smooth.
  5. Stir in the fenugreek leaves, set the Instant Pot® on the Sauté mode, and heat through for 2 minutes.
  6. Cool the sauce and store in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze in small containers and use as needed.