Making a base for all types of dishes…

Making a base for all types of dishes…
When we first moved into our home on our own, one of the first things I wanted to buy was an Instant Pot pressure cooker, I’d read so much about it and some of my friends already had one so I already knew it would be a good investment.

I’d always been scared of the pressure cooker when I was younger as it was noisy and quite often my mum would burn herself!

The Instant Pot is completely different to that, you barely know it’s there when it’s on until it beeps to let you know your food is done, even then it’ll carry on keeping it warm until you’re ready to eat so you don’t need to be by it’s side.

The one thing I really wanted to come up with when I got the Instant Pot is a way to make the onion masala that always takes AGES on the stove. I went through loads of different recipes before settling with this one which is the perfect consistency and flavour. The recipe makes a good 6 portions of 250g masala. This 250g will easily cover a curry for 2 with leftovers, so in essence, it’s 24 portions of curry from 1 pot of onions and tomatoes!

Once you have this in the freezer, you’ll be spoilt for choice on making all kinds of curry whether on a weeknight or the weekend!

You can find the recipe here.


P.S There’s already 1 recipe for this up, my Lamb Kofta curry with Vegetable Pulao can be found here, and I’ll post more uses for this yummy masala in the coming weeks!


  1. September 13, 2017 / 12:55 pm

    Oooh – I do keep hearing about the Instant Pot. Sounds like a very useful kitchen gadget…very tempted to get one, but I think my husband might implode if I get any more kitchen gadgets!! Thanks for linking up to #CookBlogShare 😀 Eb x

    • mrs_peejay
      September 13, 2017 / 1:04 pm

      It’s a life saver for me! Any pressure cooker would do the same thing though 😉

  2. September 14, 2017 / 9:07 pm

    Sounds like a great gadget – I love that you got 24 meals out of one cooking session!

    • mrs_peejay
      September 14, 2017 / 9:11 pm

      One cooking session which requires no effort too! It’s a life saver 🙂

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Onion Tomato Masala

Onion Tomato Masala

Servings: 250g masala will make a curry for 3-4 people, this recipe will make around 6 portions of 250g
Time: 2 hours


500g chopped white and red onions
2 tins Chopped tomatoes
140g tomato purée
85g ground cumin and coriander mixed (or 42g of each)
10g ground turmeric
3 bay leaves
6 cloves
1 cinnamon stick (2/3inch)
1 star anise
20g grated fresh ginger
25g crushed fresh garlic
15g finely chopped green chilli
Salt to taste
1 tin full of water (use one of the tomato tins)


  • Add all the ingredients into the Instant Pot and give them all a good mix around
  • Place the lid on the pot, set the pressure release handle to ‘sealing’ and then press manual, adjust to high pressure and 20 minutes.
  • Once it’s done, release the pressure and it’s pretty much ready to use if you like your dishes quite saucy. If not, you can do what I did and either hit saute until it reduces down to your liking OR set it to slow cook for 1 hour with the lid off – this is the way I prefer as I feel like it really brings all the flavours together, and it means I don’t have to stand around stirring!
  • I usually freeze this up into 250g freezer packs, you can easily make a curry for 4 with each pack 🙂
  • Once it’s done it can be used it an abundance of recipes to create loads of varieties of meals.. More to come on those soon..

So far with this base, I’ve got the below recipes:

Jeera Chicken 

Quick Chicken curry with Rice (Instant Pot recipe)

Lamb Kofta curry 

Fish curry 



  1. Maire
    August 3, 2017 / 9:12 am

    Hi Priya
    How would I adjust recipe to use fresh tomatoes please ?
    Best regards

    • mrs_peejay
      August 3, 2017 / 9:15 am

      Hi Máire, you could use fresh tomatoes but you would need around 1kg I think and they would need to be skinned and mashed/blended. What I tend to do is make the masala and then add fresh tomatoes when i’m cooking with it to add texture to the curry I’m cooking.

      Let me know if you need anything else.
      Thanks, Priya

    • Linda
      October 2, 2017 / 9:25 am

      I grate my tomatoes cut each half and with palm of your hand rub on grater, your left with just the skin on your hand.

      • mrs_peejay
        October 2, 2017 / 9:26 am

        That’s a great tip! Thanks Linda 🙂

  2. Máire Bourke
    August 7, 2017 / 10:43 am

    So I made this today Priya so posting this info for others trying it – not an issue at all with recipe just caught out by my own laziness 🤦‍♂️ I didn’t skin/mash tomatoes (as I also have a Thermomix so can blitz after to a perfectly smooth sauce) so it did stick/overheat –
    my own fault just needed to add more water, caught it it time thank goodness as all homegrown ingredients and freshly ground spices so didnt want to ruin it and its cooking now and smelling fantastic. Can i ask you guidance on how to use it as a base for other dishes, not fully sure what I need to do – thanks. Máire

    • mrs_peejay
      August 7, 2017 / 10:51 am

      Hi Máire, so glad it’s worked out with fresh tomatoes! With regards to recipes, it’s completely up to you how you use it, you can use it any meat or fish dishes you like.

      I have 1 recipe already published, this is for lamb meatballs, but you can easily use the same process with meat (same spices and marinate the meat then seal and follow the process). I’ll be posting more recipes in the coming weeks but feel free to reach out if there is something specific you wanted to try and I’ll be sure to give you advise on how to use it 🙂

  3. Jackie
    August 21, 2017 / 12:39 pm

    So delughted to have found this as I always live your recipes on the instant pot community fb page

  4. Carole
    August 24, 2017 / 10:43 am

    Like Jackie, I am really glad to have found this page. I have made your chicken biryani from the IP page several times and we both love it. In fact, I have to make extra so hubby can have it the next day for lunch. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • mrs_peejay
      August 24, 2017 / 10:51 am

      I’m glad you enjoy the biriyani Carole! Hopefully you’ll enjoy lots more dishes too 🙂

  5. October 2, 2017 / 10:02 am

    Priya, I would like to make masala chicken like those from Sammys curry in Dempsey. Do you fry the chicken first n just add the masala? Thank you for the masala recipe it’s a sure good way to cook!

    • mrs_peejay
      October 2, 2017 / 10:06 am

      Hi Pearl, I’m in the UK so I have no idea what Sammy’s curry in Dempsey would taste like. If the chicken has a crust, then yes I would fry it first then add to the masala which is cooked, if it’s soft and flavourful chicken you are looking for, then I would cook it directly in the masala for the best results 🙂

  6. Pam Mitchell
    October 2, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    How much in ounces and cups please. How much is in a tin of tomatoes?

    • mrs_peejay
      October 3, 2017 / 8:44 am

      Hi Pam – 2 cups chopped white and red onions
      2 tins Chopped tomatoes (each tin here in the UK is around 1.5 cups
      2oz cup tomato purée
      2oz ground cumin and coriander mixed (or 1oz of each)
      1 tablespoon ground turmeric
      3 bay leaves
      6 cloves
      1 cinnamon stick (2/3inch)
      1 star anise
      2oz cup grated fresh ginger
      2oz cup crushed fresh garlic
      1oz finely chopped green chilli

      • Shahira Karmali-Kassam
        February 15, 2018 / 12:18 am

        so pleased to find your website from FB instantpot community. Cant wait to try out these dishes!

        • mrs_peejay
          February 15, 2018 / 7:25 am

          Do let me know how you get on Shahira 🙂

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