Masala Paste Uses

Masala paste is an aromatic blend of spices and herbs that forms the base for many Indian dishes. It packs a punch of complex flavors like ginger, garlic, onions, and various ground spices.

Masala Paste Uses

With a jar of homemade masala paste in the fridge or freezer, you'll always have the start of a great Indian meal ready to go. The paste keeps for up to a week refrigerated or many months frozen.

Best Uses for Leftover Masala Paste

This intensely spiced blend begs to be used again and again. Here are some ideas:

Use It As a Spice Rub or Marinade

The paste's potent blend of spices permeates meat incredibly well. Use it to coat chicken, beef, lamb or fish before grilling, broiling or roasting. The paste works well as a spicy marinade too. Marinate proteins for a few hours or overnight in yogurt mixed with masala paste for extra tender and aromatic results. The spices tenderize while infusing tons of big, bold flavors.

Mix Into Soups and Stews

Stir a few spoonfuls of masala paste into soup or stew recipes for an instant flavor upgrade. It's especially good paired with tomato-based dishes but also shines in brothy preparations with beans, lentils, vegetables and all kinds of proteins. The mixture introduces exotic complexity and warmth to ho-hum dishes.

Spread on Roasted Vegetables

Masala paste makes an easy seasoning paste for all roasted vegetables. Toss cubed potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts or any other hardy veggies with a few tablespoons of the paste before roasting. The mixture forms a flavorful crust on the outside while the interiors turn perfectly tender. Roasted spiced veggies pair excellently with simply prepared chicken, meat or fish.

Swirl Into Creamy Dishes

The pungent mixture performs wonderfully swirled into creamy dishes. Add it to mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, vegetable gratin, pasta sauce, egg dishes like omelets or scrambled eggs and more. The masala paste adds delightful contrasting spice and aroma when blended into rich, creamy bases. A little goes a long way in mellowing the intensity.

Prepare Vegetarian Dishes

While often associated with meat dishes, masala paste has lots of vegetarian applications too. Use it to make spectacular vegan curries as well as side dishes like spiced sautéed spinach, roasted cauliflower or crispy spiced paneer. For a quick weeknight meal, stir leftover veggie bits into a pan with masala paste and canned tomatoes for a fast vegetable curry. Serve over rice or with Indian breads.

Spike Condiments

Liven up boring condiments like ketchup, mustard and mayo with a spoonful of masala paste. Or make your own spiced yogurt sauce for drizzling. Mixing the strongly flavored paste into sauces and spreads allows you to add pops of flavor to sandwiches, burgers, fries and more. A little bit spices up dips impressively.

Key Takeaway: Masala paste is extremely versatile and can be incorporated into all types of savory dishes beyond curries for amplified flavor.

How to Use Masala Paste for Curry

Curry recipes represent one of the most obvious uses for homemade masala paste. With a batch at the ready, whipping up a deeply complex Indian curry meal becomes easy any night of the week.

Many recipes in the attached file highlight chicken tikka masala and vegetable curries made with a simple masala paste. Follow similar methods blending the paste with pureed tomatoes, spices like cumin, cream and protein.

Perfect Pairings for Masala Paste Curries

A few ingredients pair particularly beautifully with masala paste curries:

  • Chicken - The most classic choice. Boneless chicken thighs or breasts work well.
  • Paneer - For vegetarian curries, Indian cheese cubes add great texture.
  • Chickpeas - Protein-packed and perfectly spiced by the paste.
  • Lentils - Masala flavors permeate them sublimely. Pair red or brown lentils.
  • Potatoes - Diced potatoes soak up fabulous flavors in curry form.

Some additional ingredients that complement masala curries wonderfully:

  • Tomatoes - Fresh, canned crushed or pureed all work.
  • Cream/Coconut Milk - Lends luxurious richness and texture.
  • Onions - Caramelized, sautéed or raw for crunch.
  • Cilantro - Fresh herb brightens with flavor contrast.
  • Rice - Basmati or jasmine rice complete the meal.
  • Naan - Fluffy flatbread is perfect for scooping curries.

Follow recipes or freestyle it with handy staples elevated by the handmade flavor paste.

Tips for Building Masala Paste Curries

A few tips will help you craft sensational homemade masala curries:

  • Sauté aromatics - Cook chopped onions, garlic, ginger with oil first to deepen flavors.
  • Bloom spices - Quickly fry the paste to intensify spice flavors before adding liquid.
  • Simmer - Low and slow cooking builds complexity. Simmer curries uncovered.
  • Adjust liquid - Add splashes of broth, tomatoes, or cream to thin or thicken.
  • Season carefully - Taste and add salt, sugar, citrus etc. judiciously.
  • Garnish - Cilantro, chili flakes, chopped nuts or seeds give a final touch.

Masala Paste Recipe Ideas

Whipping up fragrant masala paste only takes about 5 minutes in the food processor. Endless recipes result for very little effort.

Easy Masala Paste

This is one of the simplest masala paste recipes. The ingredients are easy to source:

Pulse everything together in the food processor until you achieve a smooth paste. That's it! Thisconjugation makes for a well-balanced masala foundation.

Customized Masala Pastes

Once you master basic masala paste, get creative with ingredients. Some ideas for mix-ins:

Tailor masala pastes to suit different dishes. For example, throw in some lime zest and cilantro for brighter chicken curries or extra garlic and onions for ultra savory lamb.

Masala Paste Recipe and Storage Tips

Getting the most out of homemade masala paste comes down to proper storage. Follow these best practices:

Make Big Batches

A batch yields around 1 1⁄2 cups paste. But don't stop there! Double or triple recipes so you have plenty ready to go. Extra paste portions easily:

  • Ice cube trays - Freeze paste in cubes to pop out.
  • Muffin tins - Handy single-serve portions.
  • Silicone molds - Reusable and freezer safe.
  • Zip top bags - Flatten to freeze then break off bits as needed.

Store Properly

Refrigerate masala paste for up to 1 week in an airtight container with extra space for expansion as ice crystals form. For longer storage:

  • Freeze for 6 months or longer
  • Wrap portions well and exclude air
  • Thaw overnight in fridge before using

With handy masala paste always at the ready, authentic Indian food can be a regular part of your menu!

Key Takeaway: Making masala paste in big batches and storing it properly allows you to always have the flavor base for incredible homemade Indian cuisine on hand.


How do I make masala paste spicier?

Add more chili powder, cayenne, dried chiles or chili paste when blending the initial paste. Start with small amounts until you gauge the level of heat you prefer.

Can I substitute ingredients in masala paste recipes?

Absolutely! Play around with ingredients to create your own signature version. Just maintain the basic aromatic flavor profile and binder ingredients like garlic, onions and oil or lemon juice.

What is the difference between garam masala and masala paste?

Garam masala is a premixed powdered spice blend. Masala paste takes fresh ingredients like onions and garlic and blends them with spices into a thick, saucy mixture.

How long does homemade masala paste last in the fridge?

Store masala paste in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. For longer shelf life, freeze smaller portions for months.

What should I serve with masala paste curries?

Good accompaniments include rice, naan or other Indian flatbreads, raita, chutneys, poppadoms or potato wedges. Simple additions like sliced cucumbers or tomatoes also refresh nicely.


Homemade masala paste packs super concentrated flavor into just a few potent ingredients.This aromatic mixture outshines any store-bought paste.

With a batch prepped and stored properly, authentic curries, stews, roasted meats and veggies, creamy comfort foods and more all become quick, easy meals.

Unlimited Recipes
Unlimited Recipes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *