If you are wondering what “Masala” really means than you are not the only one. In hindi “Masala” could mean a blend of different spices like “Garam Masala” or “Chaat Masala” and in some cultures sofrito made with tomatoes,onions, and combination of several spices is also called “Masala” – like Chana Masala (Chickpeas in a tomato based masala), Tikka Masala (roasted morsels of chicken or vegetables in a tomato based masala)
Spices and the proportions of Tomato, onion, ginger and garlic can vary from family to family and from one region to another but the base stays almost the same.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp turmeric
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups finely chopped Tomatoes
1 tsp green chillies
1/4 tsp cayenne
¼ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp salt
- Heat oil on medium heat, add cumin and turmeric, allow it to cook for a few seconds and then add onions. Let them sweat on low with salt.
- Add ginger and garlic when onions are almost done.( It is important to layer the spices and ingredients for a balanced flavour profile)
- When your kitchen starts to smell delicious add tomatoes and green chillies and cook till tomatoes are all cooked and mushy. ( I use fresh whole tomatoes because when we eat a tomato that is cooked with its peel, our bodies absorb 75% more Lycopene, Lycopene is the cancer fighting antioxidant we all should be eating a Tomato for)
- Add cayenne, ketchup and garam masala.
- You can use this “Masala” to season any beans,lentils or vegetables