Bhuna Masala Recipe is a ready fried masala paste used for making thick brown-red curry / sauce or base. Bhuna means to fry in India hence the title. It hails from North East India, Calcutta and also some parts of Uttar Pradesh. I have adapted and modified this recipe from Sangeeta Khannas blog banaras ka khana.
For a detailed explanation bhuna masala is a basic curry masala paste or base used for making various kind of curries, veggies and rice. Bhuna masala is so famous and popular that you get them sold ready-made in stores. Atleast when you make home this masala paste you know what ingredients you adding right???
Bhuna masala paste is known to be spicy, color is from red to brown, oily and thick. I have kept the bhuna masala red as when I make any dish I would saute them first once it becomes brown then use them for making curries or veggies.
In Indian many recipes like paneer bhuna masala, chicken bhuna masala, chole bhuna masala etc are made from the bhuna masala paste. I even make khichdi, pulao from the bhuna paste. Have stored them in the freezer with oil so it lasts for a longer time. Just thaw the paste for an hour use as much as you want keep the rest in the freezer for future use.
Mainly kashmiri red chilies, whole indian garam masala (spices), onion, ginger-garlic, tomatoes and other spices goes in making this yummy paste. There are lot of version to make this I have tried to stick to the basic.
Bhuna Masala Recipe below:
- 18-20 dry kashmiri red chilies
- 1 inch ginger
- 10-12 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp oil + 2 tbsp more oil
- 1 tbsp cumin seed
- 1 t/s caraway seed
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 2 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 t/s fennel seed
- 2-3 black cardamom
- 5-6 green cardamom
- 1 star anise
- 20 peppercorn
- 10-12 cloves
- 1 -2 mace blades
- 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 2 medium sized onion
- 1 t/s sugar
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 tbsp coriander powder
- ¼th tsp turmeric powder
- salt as per taste
- Soak kashmiri chilies in warm water for 30 mins. Now grind all the ingredients with little water and place aside.
- Take a pan add 2 tbsp oil saute all whole garam masala (spices) along with cumin, caraway and fennel.
- Once they leave a good aroma saute onion until they are light brown in color. Add sugar and some salt which would help the onion to caramelize faster.
- Add the tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste. Allow to cook until tomatoes soften. Add all the spice powder and mix nicely.
- Allow the mixture to cool down and grind until it's a uniform paste.
- Again take the same pan add rest of oil fry the grounded mixture until it starts leaving the edges of the pan.
- Lastly add the red paste and fry until the moisture evaporates. Add salt for seasoning. Once the mixture is thick and leaves the edges of the pan. Now you could fry them more until it's dark brown or leave them red. You could fry the paste again when you are cooking for any dish in future.
- Switch off the gas allow to cool and store them into an airtight container. Place them in the freezer and use as and when required. You could add some more oil to preserve the paste for longer time.
2. If you love spice then add more chilies.
3. It's important to cook the paste else it might get spoiled soon.