Basic Makhani Masala

Preparation info
  • Makes

    4 cups

    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      45 min

Appears in
Instant Indian: Classic Foods from Every Region of India Made Easy in the Instant Pot

By Rinku Bhattacharya

Published 2018

  • About

At the heart of many Indian dishes is this mild, rich-tasting sauce (“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.


  • cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • cups


  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