Indian Onion Masala Recipes

How to Use Onion Masala in Indian Recipes

Let’s Talk About This Magical Sauce: Indian Onion Masala

Welcome to the Indian Onion Masala series here on My Heart Beets! I am on a mission to help you simplify Indian cooking, and having onion masala on hand is basically essential for those who want to enjoy fresh Indian food regularly, including busy weeknights.

First, read all about how to make my onion masala. Then make the recipes below using the masala!

Goals for this Series:

  • To increase confidence in the kitchen – especially for those who aren’t as comfortable with Indian cuisine.
  • To prove that it is possible to easily make healthy Indian recipes every day.
  • To get you cooking more Indian meals!

After you make the recipes in this series, you should feel confident knowing how to replace onion/tomatoes in other recipes!

Indian Onion Masala

Start with these two posts about Indian Onion Masala:

Indian Onion Masala

Recipes that Call for Indian Onion Masala:


Dal (Lentil Recipes) & Beans


Chicken & Eggs



Bookmark this page – I will continue to update it as I add more recipes that call for onion masala!

How To Use this Masala in Other Recipes?

This will require some experimentation, but as you continue to make dishes, you’ll figure out how much to use. And chances are the dish will always turn out well even if it’s not perfect. I haven’t tested every recipe on my blog to determine the exact quantity of onion masala, but I’ll add them to this list as I test recipes and I’ll also add notes to the recipe itself.

When you use onion masala, you’ll want to use it in place of onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes in a recipe. You may also need to adjust spices accordingly.

  • Keema: use ½ cup of masala
  • Goat Curry: use 1 cup of masala
  • Rajma: use 1 cup of masala
  • Butter Chicken: I’ve tested this with 1 cup and 1 ½ cups and while it makes the dish super easy to make (you just dump and cook everything for 10 minutes then QR), I have found that it is not as good as my original recipe.

Other Simple Ways to Use Indian Onion Masala:

You can use this masala to give extra oomph (flavor) to pretty much anything you make.

For example: add some masala when making a stir-fry; use it as an Indian tomato sauce on pizza (or add Italian herbs to it!); mix it with pasta; spread it on a sandwich; stir it into your scrambled eggs, etc.

Tell me how you use this masala sauce 🙂

Reader Interactions

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  1. Mary says

    Can we pop these out of the freezer and straight into the pot at the beginning of our recipes? Or do these need to be thawed/defrosted differently first?

  2. Jennifer says

    I thought others might want to know about this variation: I can’t tolerate onion and garlic — I follow the FODMAP diet. But I make this with leeks (just the green part) and garlic oil, and it comes out really nicely. I don’t spend as much time cooking the leeks, since they don’t caramelize the same way, but since they’re darker the end result looks the same.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Jennifer, this is great to know – thank you so much for sharing! It’ll definitely help other readers – I get questions about replacing onion and garlic all the time.

  3. Bree says

    I absolutely love the utility of onion masala and it has made vegetarian life a breeze! I hardly have to put any thought into meals which used to give me crazy anxiety. Thank you! After following your recipes for so long I felt it appropriate to finally comment. My favourite onion masala recipes so far: Chana dal and paneer makhani!
    Thanks again 🙂

    • My Heart Beets says

      Bree, I’m so glad you like the onion masala! I’ll definitely keep coming up with more easy veg recipes that call for it 🙂 Also, I’m really glad you left a comment – this was really nice to read so thank you 🙂

  4. Vps says

    Thank you! I made your Aloo Baingan recipe today and it was a hit!!! Cant want to use the onion masala again!!! 😊

  5. Mokhsha says

    If I defrost the masala to add to a recipe (eg dahl), can I go onto to freeze any leftovers of the dahl?

  6. Roomina says

    Hi Ashley,
    I’m not sure how I can thank you for this, words fail to Express my gratitude. It took me literally 5 minutes to make dinner tonight. I usually prep chicken when I buy it so I always have stir fried chicken (stir fried with garlic and ginger only) in the freezer. All I had to do was add the masala to the chicken, add some salt and garam masala and heat it for 5 minutes on medium-low and that was it. Delicious chicken curry in 5 minutes. I’m so thankful to you and to a friend who introduced you to me.

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