How to make a Master Curry Sauce in the Instant Pot to Freeze and Use Later

A basic sauce to be made ahead with subtle adjustments  for different curries, and can be frozen.
Pressure Cooker Master Curry Sauce

Pressure Cooker Master Curry Sauce

By  Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

This is a recipe made with the Instant Pot- which takes some of the work  out of preparing a curry sauce with a long cook time. This makes 5 cups, which is enough to supply two different curry recipes.

You can make this and freeze ahead to use midweek  and get your curry finished quickly.

Unaltered, this makes a basic curry  like you might get at a restaurant  such as “chicken curry”.

Later I will post other recipes  which will  use this as a base sauce,  such as Vindaloo or Tikka Masala. Of course, you can use this with most kinds of cooked meats and vegetables.

Since even with the pressure cooker,   it takes an hour of cooking  to achieve the kind of texture and consistency I insist on, I suggest making this on your day off, and freezing up  two packs to thaw and use  later. Some curries, such as chicken tikka masala, involve grilling your chicken, so that’s not  a  good time  to  be making your sauce.

Also, I make this in two parts since I like adding turmeric, cayenne and garam masala in at the end. One, the fragrant garam  doesn’t like long cooking as it strips fragrance away. Cayenne, you really want to add and taste until it is as spicy as you want, and turmeric stains so I  keep that towards the end so utensils don’t end up turning yellow on me.
Pressure Cooker Master Curry Sauce

Pressure Cooker Master Curry Sauce

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Yield : 5 cups


  • 2 large vidalia onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2  tablespoons minced ginger root
  • 6 multi-leaf stems of curry leaves, central stem removed
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seed
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seed
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 28 ounces can whole peeled tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 5  teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Place onions, olive oil and garlic in the Instant Pot and cook on the saute setting until translucent.
  2. Add the ginger, curry leaves, cumin seed, mustard seed, ground coriander, black pepper, tomatoes and  juice and water.
  3. Cover the instant pot, lock the lid, seal the valve for pressure cooking and operate on manual for 60 minutes.
  4. After the timer goes off, use a long handled wooden spoon to open the pressure valve, and relax while the cooker gives off steam.
  5. Do not attempt to open the lid until all  the steam has dissipated.
  6. Puree  the mixture in the pot, using a food mill or food processor.
  7. Pour it back into  the stainless tub and stir in  the salt, turmeric, cayenne, and garam masala.
  8. When cool, pack into two ziploc freezer bags, 2-1/2 cups of sauce each. You can use the sauce hot if it’s going  straightaway into a curry recipe.

From the kitchen of

Pressure Cooker Master Curry Sauce

3 responses

  1. What a great idea! Off to look for curry leaves and I’m sure I’ll find them. We have several Indian grocery stores in the area.
    Thanks Sue!

  2. Finally, another recipe I can use my curry leaf plant for. Of course it may never recover after I make a few batches of this for later. Even if I don’t have an instant pot I can make it in. Thanks so much for bringing it over to First Monday Favorites and sharing it there.

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