Pakistani / Indian, Ramadan Recipes, Sauces, Vegetarian

Multi Purpose Tomato Gravy Base


This is my go to ultimate tomato base gravy, I make a big batch of this gravy and freeze it, especially during Ramadan.  All you have to do is add boneless chicken and you’ll have chicken masala ready in under 30 mins. Same goes for raw shrimp, ground beef, lamb or chicken. You can even add fried paneer (Indian cheese), boiled eggs or washed and drained canned chick peas. These are quick and healthy meals ready in under 30 mins with just 1 base sauce. This is an ideal base sauce for everyone with a busy lifestyle and prefer fresh meals but don’t like frozen food. Using it will cut cooking time into half and all you gotta do is save your energy for a delicious meal! 

Shrimp Masala:

In a skillet heat 2 tbsp oil and add 1 lb raw shrimp, cook on high for 30 seconds per side and add 1 and 1/2 cups of finished tomato gravy. Mix the sauce and the shrimps well, adjust the seasonings and cook on high for 3 to 5 mins. Finish with cilantro and green chili. Enjoy with naan or rice.

Chicken Masala:

Cook 1 lb boneless chicken (blend of breast and thigh meat) marinated in 1 tsp ginger garlic paste and 1/2 tsp salt in 2 tbsp of oil in a skillet until it changes color. To this add 1 and 1/2 cups finished tomato base gravy. Adjust seasonings, cook for 20 mins on medium low flame, add water if needed. Once the chicken is cooked, garnish with julienne ginger, cilantro and green chilies. Serve with rice or naan.

Chana Masala:

Add 2 cans of drained and washed low sodium canned chick peas to 1 and 1/2 cups of finished tomato sauce. Add 1/2 cup water, adjust seasonings if needed and cook on low flame for 20 mins until the chick peas soft. Finish with 2 tbsp heavy cream and cilantro. Serve with rice or naan.

Paneer Masala.

Add 1 pkg of fried cubes of paneer to 1 and 1/2 cups of finished sauce and coat evenly. Make sure everything is heated evenly and adjust seasonings if needed. Finished with thick cooking cream, cilantro and serve with naan or rice.

Keema Masala.

Heat oil in a skillet and add 1 lb ground meat of choice marinated in 1 tsp ginger garlic paste and salt. Brown the meat on high heat for 3 minutes and add 1 and a 1/2 cups of finished sauce. Adjust the seasonings and cook until the oil separates ( you can also add potato cubes). Garnish with ginger strips, green chilies and cilantro. Serve with rice or naan.

For meal prepping, wait for the sauce to cool down before putting it in freezer bags or containers. The sauce can be stored in the freezer for upto 3 months and in the refrigerator for 1 week. To thaw, place it on the counter for 1 hour before use. Add it to a skillet warm it up before use.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Please don’t forget to share with family and friends. Follow me on instagram for more recipes!

Multi Purpose Tomato Gravy Base

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Recipe by Fatima Maniya Soorty Course: MainCuisine: Pakistani/IndianDifficulty: Easy
Prep time


Cooking time






  • 8 tomatoes blended

  • 6 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

  • 1/ tbsp cayenne pepper

  • 1 tsp garam masala

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

  • 2 tsp roasted cumin and coriander powder

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1/2 cup crispy fried shallots (Laal piyaz)

  • 1/4 cup whipped yogurt

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt or to taste

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 4 tbsp oil


  • In a skillet heat oil, to this add blended tomatoes, tomato paste, ginger garlic paste and the spices.
  • Mix well and cook on low flame until it changes color.
  • Now add the lemon juice and crispy fried shallots and cook for an additional minute.
  • Lower the flame and add whipped yogurt. Cook on low flame and stir continuously to avoid curdling.
  • Add water and cook for 10 minutes on low flame until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.
  • The sauce is now ready! You may add a protein of choice or wait for it to cool down before you put them in freezer bags and freeze.
  • This recipe yields 2 cups of sauce.

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