onion tomato masala in a jar
Batch Cooking Eating

Easy onion tomato masala

onion tomato masala in a jar

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know I recently made a few dietary changes and savoury porridge is my new favourite breakfast. The recipe I found required sautéing some onions and a little tomato along with some spices and that was lovely, but I knew that if I had to do it every day, I’d most likely end up going back to eating toast.

So I thought I’d make a large amount of onion tomato masala and store it in the fridge to use whenever I needed to. When I went shopping for the onions, I realised that I could use the masala in so many different ways, so instead of buying my usual 500-gram bag, I picked up a 2.5 kg bag of onions and set to work!

Here’s what you’ll need:

2.5 kg bag of onions (This yields 2.14 kgs of onions once peeled and chopped)

6 tins of peeled tomatoes (Each tin yields 391 grams of tomatoes so if you are using fresh tomatoes, this is about 2.3 kgs worth)

6 tablespoons ginger paste

6 tablespoons garlic paste

I did not add spices to this onion tomato masala so that when I use it to cook, I can tailor it to the specific dish as required.


1. Peel and chop your onions. I use a food processor (that I can’t live without!) to chop them quite finely so this really was easy.

2. Decant your tomatoes into a large bowl and blitz them in a food processor or a blender. I use tinned tomatoes but you can use fresh ones too. I don’t like lumpy tomatoes, which is why I blitz them. I think it also helps this cook a little quicker.

tomatoes for onion tomato masala

3. Sauté your onions in some oil with the ginger and garlic paste for about 30 -40 minutes until they are really caramelised and dark. I had to run an errand whilst I was doing this, so this is the last photo that I got of it, but you can let it get a little darker than what is pictured below.

cooking onions for onion tomato masala

4. Add your tomatoes, pop a lid on and leave it to simmer, stirring every now and then to avoid it catching at the bottom. This took about 2 hours.

onion tomato masala simmering

5. Pour your rich, dark masala into a jar and store it in the fridge or let it cool completely and decant into freezer bags. This recipe yields 14 cups or 3.5 kgs of onion tomato masala.

This has saved me SO much time, I wish I began doing it a lot earlier. Cooking is super quick now that for most of my dishes, the base is already done. I just put some in a hot saucepan, toss in the spices that I need, add in my meat or vegetables and we’re good to go! This shaves about 20 minutes off my daily cooking/ clean up time, so I’m never going back to doing it separately again! This will keep for up to 4 weeks in your fridge (put it near the back of your fridge) and for much longer in the freezer.

If your recipe calls for an onion and two tomatoes, use 1/4 cup of this and you’re sorted! Do you make anything ahead of time to make your day to day cooking easier? If you do, tell us about it in the comments below!

You Might Also Like...


  • Reply
    December 18, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Girl I’m all for hacks that save time and this could be such a useful staple for most foods because we add these base ingredients in pretty much each of them! Jazakillah khair for sharing ❤

  • Reply
    December 18, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Love the idea, will be making a batch of this too! I already make a batch of something similar, but with coriander, onions, garlic, tomato and bell peppers (it turns out more green, due to the coriander leaves). I store it the same way and use it in a lot of our dishes. This has given me some inspiration to put that recipe up on my blog too, I will reference back to you there 🙂 Jazakallahu khair!

  • Reply
    Umme Hafsa
    December 22, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Yesss love the cooking hacks – my mum does the same with freezing grated garlic and ginger but I’m not soo prepared lol Never frozen tomato before so that’s a good one to try inshaAllah and better than tinned tomatoes x

  • Reply
    December 22, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Ah once upon a time I used to do this too- so glad I got to read this as I really need to start this up again- I like the idea of putting them in sealed bags – very clever! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Mona Ismaeil
    December 22, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    I try to cook things like spaghetti sauces and such ahead of time. This looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Madhiya Qureshi
    December 22, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    I’m all up for prepping meals ahead of time. Thanks for sharing this awesome hack to easily cook healthy meals at home. Brownie points for such clear instructions!

  • Reply
    December 28, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    This looks very delicious and easy. I’ll definitely try this out.

  • Reply
    Nazia Akhtar
    January 23, 2018 at 12:19 am

    Salam, which ginger and garlic pastes do you recommend please? The ones I’ve used in the past have had a vinegary smell! Thanks

    • Reply
      January 31, 2018 at 2:04 pm

      Waleykum Salaam! I recommend the Laila brand – I haven’t tried anything else 🙂

  • Reply
    April 17, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Loved the idea esp could use it for Ramadan,
    But can you please update with few recipes you use it for?
    Am a south Indian and would love to try few of the recipes ,with this base ,if u gve some ideal recipes too to try .
    Jazakallah khair

  • Reply
    December 10, 2018 at 4:08 am

    As-salaamu alaikum Iman,
    Jazak’Allahu khair for sharing this hack! What’s the time adjustment if I was to make this in the instant pot?
    Love and duas x

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.