Sep 252014

When we prepare any bland rice dish like vegetable pulao, jeera rice or coconut rice, we usually want to have it with some spicy gravy on the side. We prefer something simple to make yet hot and flavorful. Well, here I am sharing my basic masala gravy that I always have at hand. When I need a quick spicy dish for any of my rice dishes, this is the recipe that I look for. This goes excellently well with roti and naan as well.



Cooking time: 20-30 minutes


To be ground to a fine paste
Green chilies – 2 or 3
Garlic cloves – 2 or 3
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Cashew/almonds/walnuts – 4 or 5 (soaked)
Poppy seeds/ Gasagasalu – 2 tsps (soaked)
Coconut, grated – 1 tsp (optional)
Water – 1/4 cup

For gravy
Cloves – 4 or 5
Green cardamom/Elaichi – 2
Cinnamon stick – ½ inch piece
Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
Curry leaves – 4 or 5
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 2 tsps
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Onion – ½ cup (chopped)
Tomato – 1 cup (chopped)
Coriander leaves – to garnish
Oil – 2 tbsp
Water – 1 cup
Salt as per taste


  1. Grind the ingredients under ‘to be ground’ into a smooth paste and keep aside.
  2. To prepare the gravy, heat a skillet and add the oil.
  3. Add in the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin seeds and curry leaves.
  4. When they splutter, add the onion and fry till oil separates.
  5. Then add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala powder. Fry till all the spices blend well.
  6. Add the masala paste prepared earlier to the onion mixture. Cover with lid and simmer for about 5 mins.
  7. Then add the tomatoes, salt and water and simmer for 10 minutes till the tomatoes are soft and done.
  8. Switch off the heat and sprinkle the coriander leaves. Serve hot.

Note: You may also add dry fenugreek leaves or kasoori methi to the gravy while adding the tomatoes. It gives a nice savory taste.

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